Sunday, November 30, 2008

This is the last song I will ever sing........

though Verdy might change their minds again........

OK so the Classico sucked big time. Bad performance by almost everyone concerned and where was the defense on the first goal? Where was Hattori period?

1 game to go. Here is the dirt

13. Omiya- 40 pts -10 away Jubilo

OUT Leandro. the good news is Verdy is tied on goal differential with Omiya so a 3 way tie between Omiya, Jubilo, and Verdy would send Omiya into the pro/rel playoff.

14. Albirex 39 pts -15 home Gamba

OUT Chiba. Gamba looks pretty disinterested at the moment but Albirex is struggling. A win and a tie for Albirex will put Verdy into safety

15. Jubilo 37 pts -7 home Omiya

OUT Hatano. The most likely scenario for survival would be a loss by Jubilo combined with a tie. However Jubilo has a fairly good record against Omiya.

16. VERDY 37pts -10 home Kawasaki

OUT Diego. Looks bleak. But anything can happen. They need to attack alot. Kawasaki has trouble against teams that attack. If Verdy bunkers, the will lose.

17. JEF Chiba 35pts -19 home FC Tokyo

OUT Bosnar. Right now JEF is desperatel hoping to sneak into the 16th spot. First it starts with a FC Tokyo squad as hot as anyone right now and looking for a spot in the ACL. This is the one time Verdy fans will root for the other Tokyo team.


Sho Asuke and Koijiro Kaimoto are the first Verdy players shown the door. Adios Muchachos


Monday, November 24, 2008

Could've been worse

Yeah not too much worse though........Oguro finally shows a pulse in this one but Verdy can't crack Consadole.

So now we go to the final 2

Let's go to the board!!!!!!

17. JEF United Chiba 35pts -18

1 card to oblivion-Bosnar, Saito, Ikeda, Sakamoto, Yazawa, Toda, Maki

Next games A Shimizu H FC Tokyo

Chibapool hangs precipitously over a cliff as the deadline approaches. Do they have enough to muster one final miracle? 2 wins are needed at this juncture......the early malaise has bitten them.

16. VERDY 37pts -8

suspensions-Diego (Out for the season)
1 card to oblivion- Tomisawa, Sugawara, Fukunishi

Final games A Yokohama, H Kawasaki

Why you don't start your best midfielder in a must win game is beyond me, but Hashiratani went with Tomisawa. Next game is an emotional one as another Classico hits against a resurgent Yokohama side. Harutaka Ono had a good seat on the bench last game........could he be the answer for the missing Diego?

15. Jubilo 37pts -6

suspensions- Chano (Out for the season)
1 card to oblivion-Nishi, Bandai

Final games A Kashima, H Omiya

Well, it went from ecstasy being up 2-1, to agony being down 3-2, to finally relief with a last minute notch by Bubba Cullen. Jubilo has a 1-1-3 record without Chano so it's gonna be a bit tough in the final going. Omiya is not a bad game for them in terms of matchups. Kashima on the other hand is a nightmare so stealing one point without any injuries or stupid red cards might be the best the can hope for.

14. Albirex 39pts -14

suspensions- Allesandro, Nagata

1 card to oblivion- Uchida, Yano, Matsuo, Chiba, Matsushita

final games- A FC Tokyo, H Gamba

Another sketchy ref job and Albirex might have to dip into their youth team. FC Tokyo is eager to finally crack the upper eschelon and a spot in the ACL would at least put them in the Shimizu/Kawasaki/Oita category. Add to that the Albirex form on the road and you could have a very long day coming up. Or FC Tokyo could choke bigtime, like they usually do in must win games they are favored in. Gamba looks like they have packed it in so that might be a break. Not sure if Suzuki should just bag the FCT game and play for the last one or not, rest all the guys who are in card danger and focus on Gamba. If Verdy, Chiba, and Jubilo lose on the 29th......I play the odds and do it.

13. Omiya 39 pts -10

suspensions-Leandro (out for the season)
1 card to oblivion-Kataoka, Y.Kobayashi

Final games H Kyoto, A Jubilo

So their two offensive schemers, Chikara Fujimoto and Denis Marques are out for who knows. their best defender is out on a dodgy yellow call and they face two squads that are scratching their way to survival. So what does Omiya have to be happy about? 3 wins 2 ties and 1 loss in the past 3 years of home and away finallies including a 1-2-0 record in December. That being said, a win next Sunday is job 1 right now.

12. Kyoto 40 pts -7

1 card to oblivion- Ataliba, Sato, Ando, Watanabe, Yanagisawa

Final games A Omiya, H Shimizu

Get used to Orange because for the next 2 weeks thats all you will see if you are a Sanga fan. Recent form has been a bit erratic for the southern side as they have gone 1-2-5 in their last 8. rumors are that GK Mizutani sustained 2 broken ribs so it's unknown what his condition is. the one good thing is that they have a hot striker in Atsushi Yanagisawa who notched 4 in the past 2 games. Losing the way they did also has to be gutting. Who knows how the respond.


Saturday, November 22, 2008


4 pm is really the important time of the day tomorrow if you are a fan of the green. 4 games kick off at that time that have deep ramifications for the next campaign.

Game 1- Consadole at VERDY- The most important game of the day really. If Verdy can't beat Sapporo, chances are they don't deserve to be in J1, to put it bluntly. The number 1 question is who starts up front? If you believe the tabloids (AND I TOTALLY DO!) you are going to see Iio line up on the wing with Shibasaki, leaving the trio of Oguro, Hiramoto, and Donkey. Personally, I'd go with Hiroyama and Inoue because the speed would kill that backline but that's why I'm not in charge. Consadole sees this game as their last best chance to win in J1 too so don't think this will be easy.......especially with Davi auditioning for new gigs.

Game 2 Omiya at Albirex- BIG GAME!!!!!!!! I think the winner of this one survives. GGOA has a good one on this contest.

Game 3 JEF vs Marinos- I'm thinking that JEF will probably squeak out a win in this one considering Marinos took a looooooooong trip down to Shikoku last week to play 120+ minutes versus Urawa. JEF is at home and need the win more as well. All is not so rosy for Chiba though especially if there is a card happy ref in the game. 5 players are close to taking a break.

Game 4 Jubilo vs Kashiwa- Kashiwa is the only squad not in danger of relegation right now so this game is hard to call. We'll see how Komano and Kawaguchi respond to the short rest after their Qatar working holidays. Hold your nose and cheer for Kashiwa.

Finally------Matsu at RSN has a great article on Inukai up on the front page. Seems the only one who thinks Inukai is visionary is........wait for it.......RUI RAMOS who loves the idea of Nabisco going U-23. That way he could bring in more Jubilo retreads. rumor has it that Toshiya Fujita will need a job next year.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

7 to the chopper

Sports Hochi put out a report today that says Verdy will fire 7 players at the end of this month. none of the players were named but let me speculate

Leandro- Almost a given considering he has been an overpriced distraction who failed to either score or set up in reasonable amounts. I don't even think he is in Japan right now.

Yuzo Funakoshi- This one is harder to call than at first blush because the guy scores at the most opportune time for Verdy. And there are no players out there at his size. That being said, he isn't good.

Kazuki Hiramoto- It's time to cut bait on the immensely talented but immensely immature and unprofessional striker. 2 goals in 20 games is unexcusable for a talent like that and considering he came back out of shape and had to beg for his job, this season was the worst thing that he could have done. The good news for him is that with at least 2 new teams coming into J2, he's almost guaranteed a starting gig somewhere......maybe even Yamagata after all the rentals come due.

Tsuyoshi Yoshitake- Injuries and the fact that younger guys like Kawano and Shibasaki have already usurped his spot make Yoshitake expendable. A shame because he had flashes of real talent.

Harutaka Ono/Nozomi Hiroyama- One or the other is probably gone. Maybe both. Both have had injury problems, neither can consistently go 90 and playing time is drying up with the new blood coming in. I hope Ono goes but I think it's Hiroyama for some reason.

Shigenori Hagimura- Part two of Albirex alums being shown the door. Good news is JEF has an Albirex fetish so there will be someplace to land for the guy not quite good enough for J1.

Koijiro Kaimoto- Part games played. Injured. Lucky 7.

Takumi Wada is also a rental but Fukuda has yet to take over the spot completely so we might see him stay.

I didn't pick keepers because the article said that they wanted all 4 keepers back

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dear Leader Inukai speaks yet again!

So the chairman has decided yet again that the competitions should be dictated and controlled not by coaches and teams but by chairman Inukai himself.

Today he stated that Nabisco Cup needs to be a U-23 tourney. At first blush, I thought hey!! Great idea! Now some young guys can get some time. Then I thought, Hey U-23 players playing against U-23 players..........don't we call that the Satellite league. Then I thought, hey do teams actually have enough players under 23 to actually field a team even with the three overage player exemption? Counting the 3 new signings, Verdy has 10. And wasn't the whole purpose of the so-called BEST MEMBER rule to give the consumer the best bang for their buck?

Then I thought, how many people watch U-18 many people are actually gonna pay to see a team made up of pros and amatuers play in a competitions?

Then I thought.......Chairman Inukai would be far better served worrying about things that can be controlled by the erratic reffing. And maybe the best members for the competition should y'know not be dictated by league appearances or an artificial age limit but by the head coach. I'm not even against saying 3 or 4 players need to be under 23 if you want to encourage it but seriously, enough rules.

Now I'm thinking Chairman Inukai can stick his ideas up his cornhole

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Coming Back?

Terra sports says that Verdy and Kashima both put out offers.
I'm not buying it personally.............He would never coexist with Marquinhos and putting him on the same field with Diego means you have 2 guys who don't have any interest in defense.
Anyhow enjoy
Oh yeah.......Verdy Kawasaki?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

2 bits and a rant!

Well, with a week off coming up before a big game against Consadole, Verdy hit the practice ground against Yokohama FC and dropped one 3-1. Defender Kensuke Fukuda hit one late for Verdy after the blue bombers got 3 on the board.


Jubilo midfielder Hiroshi Nanami announced his retirement after 313 games and 34 goals. Nanami had an uneventful 1 year stint in green for the promotion bound 2007 version of Verdy but will go down in J League lore for a stellar career at Jubilo (and a decent stint at Cerezo). Good luck to the man who liked his soccer and his smokes.


Why has the J League decided to intertwine the league competition with the Emperors Cup? This week the league announced that they were going to fine recently crowned Nabisco Cup champ Oita Trinita and relegation threat JEF Chiba for not fielding their "Best Members" in their losses to Sagan Tosu and Shimizu respectively. Why?

Seriously, both teams have much bigger things to worry about than Emperors Cup. Oita is close to seizing a league title after dropping to 14th last year. JEF meanwhile has scratched and clawed their way back into the mix for survival after a horrendous start. Both teams made decisions that playing full strength before crucial matches was not a great idea. And both came out with crucial points.

But the heavy-handedness and utter disregard for club autonomy is rearing it's ugly head. Do you seriously believe that anyone in Oita or Chiba are upset that their squads lost the cup games or would trade the 1 crucial point that each team picked up for a chance to move on in a cup? Really? Do you think the good folks in Shimizu or Tosu are disappointed that their squads were able to advance over severly diminished competition?

It's really a waste to force teams to play their best teams over reserves. One thing the intelligensia at the J League mothership have failed to ponder is that these games (and Nabisco Cup) are wonderful opportunities for new players to get a chance to face live fire without costing their squad chances at success or survival. Players get bloooded in cup competions. Recently watching Omiya's game against Cerezo and not seeing ANY of the potential young strikers is not only bad for the team, It's bad for Japan. I'm not saying that any of those players will be in the starting 11 for the blue anytime soon, but one good game could lead to another and who knows after that.

Finally, why are players serving League suspensions for cup game violations and vice versa. When Diego got his red card halfway through the game, Verdy suffered the ultimate penalty.......they lost. If you want to extend the ban 2 games to next years competition, fine. But penalizing a player the final 2 games of the season is not measued and not fair. Essentially you have crippled the squad. And you have provided teams a great disincentive to play Emperors Cup at all. Balance that with the FA decision for Omiya's Hato to serve a league suspension during a cup game and you see the problems with the league intertwining competitions.

I get the whole ACL angle.........really the refs aren't gonna let Fagiano Okayama ever represent Japan. Enough though. You seriously are ruining a perfectly wonderful competition and turning it into a winter version of that crappy Nabisco Cup

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

3 Verdy players make the grade

According to Weekly Soccer Magazine

Yukio Tsuchiya, Daisuke Nasu, and Diego were named to the 2008 50 best J League players.


Monday, November 10, 2008

WSM grades for 2008

On a scale from A to E (like school A is best)


Tomo Sugawara


Yoichi Doi
Daisuke Nasu
Kosei Shibasaki
Yukio Tsuchiya
Toshihiro Hattori
Hiroki Kawano


Kensuke Fukuda
Takumi Wada
Harutaka Ono
Seitaro Tomisawa
Kazunori Iio
Nozomi Hiroyama
Takashi Fukunishi


Shigenori Hagimura
Taira Inoue
Yuzo Funakoshi
Yoshinari Takagi
Tsuyoshi Yoshitake
Kazuki Hiramoto
Masaki Iida
Junpei Shinmura
Masashi Oguro


Koijiro Kaimoto
Sho Asuke
Sho Miyasaka
Osama El Samni
Takahiro Shibasaki
Tomoyuki Suzuki

Players with the best record in games played

1 Tomo Sugawara 9 wins 5 ties 6 losses
2 Harutaka Ono 6-3-5
3 Hulk 5-1-5

And the worst

1 Bikkuri Donkey 0-0-5
2 Shigenori Hagimura 0-3-2
3 Masashi Oguro 2-2-7

Two things jump out

1 The swap of Oguro for Hulk has been a failure. Oguro needs service and Verdy doesn't provide much........especially with Diego out. The injuries and national team stints haven't helped either.


Sunday, November 09, 2008

DANGER! DANGER! 16th place

Dropped like a rock.......2-0 Vissel

The shots got more prolific but it was not to be.

So going into the home stretch

JEF Chiba H Yokohama A Shimizu H FC Tokyo
VERDY H Consadole A Yokohama H Kawasaki
Jubilo H Kashiwa A Kashima H Omiya
Albirex H Omiya A FC Tokyo H Gamba
Omiya A Albirex H Kyoto A Jubilo
Yokohama A Chiba H Verdy A Urawa
Kyoto H Nagoya A Omiya H Shimizu

If I had to judge right now, I'd rate the schedules from easiest to hardest as Kyoto, JEF, Verdy, Albirex, Jubilo, Yokohama, Omiya only because Shimizu, Consadole, and Gamba have nothing to play for. Also watch FC Tokyo versus Vissel......if they lose that game then they are probably out of the running for the ACL as well as definetely being out of the Championship race.

Nagoya is banged up as well. Magnum just returned and Narazaki is on the shelf.

Big game of the week 1. Yokohama vs Chiba- big matchup between 2 of the originals. Just when you thought it was safe for Marinos, they are back at the bottom. Feel a bit bad for Chiba who dragged and clawed their way out of danger but find themselves back at 17.

Big game 2. Omiya vs Albirex- In October I had an idea about what I would write for Omiya's obituary but I held off because its November and Omiya owns November. Still playing in Niigata is always tricky. Niigata managed to steal a point in Kashima but their combination of bad defense (13th) and bad offense (18th) has put them in danger. Omiya is almost as bad in both but seem to have a little momentum.

If ya lose this one then you should probably prepare for the drop. Put Kawano and Shibasaki on the wings, Oguro and Inoue up top and run Consadole to death. They will quit if you get a lead but playing no goal trios up top ain't gonna cut it.


Stats at the break

Verdy Vissel

Shots 1 9
Corners 2 6
Cards 0 Matsuoaka yellow
Subs 39 Donkey

Score 0-0

In fact all 3 games went 0-0 into the break with the favorites all outshooting the little guys

If the games end like this JEF stands in 17th place with a -15 gd 35
Jubilo is 16th with a -6 36
Verdy goes to 15th with a -6 37
Albirex goes to 14th with a -14 38
Omiya is at 13th -10 38
Yokohama is 12th +1 39
Kyoto is 11th -6 40

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Verdy Show.......with special guest star......

Yukio Tsuchiya!!!!!!!!!

Here is your lineup for todays little shindig



As Nick posted yesterday, all the teams that can damage Verdy's J1 future won yesterday to fairly strong competitors. Today's big games see Albirex Niigata travel to Kashima and JEF go south to Oita. On paper it looks like two routs but JEF in fact has a record of 10-1-0 versus the Oitards.

BTW I hate Oita

In 2 weeks bottom dwellers Consadole Sapporo come in to face Verdy. Big and not so surprising news is that coach Toshiya Miura is a goner in 3 games. Since a big 3-0 win at JEF on July 12th, Consadole has gone 16 games without a win and 8 games without a point in league competition. Rumors are circulating that Consadole is scouring greater Chiba for coaches. One rumor has Osim and his dim son taking the reigns of the Northern Kingdom.

Have we not learned the lessons of Kim Il Sung, George Bush the first and Brian Dennehy when the installed their less capable sons into power? (Actually Chris Farley wasn't Brian Dennehys son in real life and he did save the day in Tommy Boy........his brother however is not funny at all....whatever, Osim junior is a tool).

Another name bandied about is Kashiwa man and former Verdy brain Ishizaki who would be a good hire because that guy can coach. Hitachi has decided the need an overpriced Brazilian twat to bung up a decent situation so more power to them.

1 hour to gametime

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Diego is done

Wow........the league put the hammer down and essentially gave Diego the death penalty for this season with a 2 game ban. So more math for ya 2+2 in a 4 game season equals disaster. Adding that to the missing Kawano and the injured Tsuchiya and you see a problem.

The good news is that this is a team filled with grizzled vets who tend to buckle down when the going gets tough. And one of the games is against a downtrodden consadole squad who looks as if they've waived the white flag

The question now is this......where are the goals gonna come from?

VERDY ties Machida Zelvia

TM time 1-1 Taira Inoue notches 1 for the green but they conceed late

Finally Bomberhead is fielding offers from Urawa, Urawa south and OMIYA??????


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Diego done for the year?

It looks like the tabloids are convinced that Diego is a goner for the season after yesterdays red card on the Stoyanov challenge (not surprisingly Iemoto gave the card........he of the Xerox cup fiasco).

Usually, the league gives an automatic game suspension on reds plus games for the degree of severity. Diego and the team are apologizing for the card, signaling that there was some merit to it (I didn't see it so I don't know). Anyhow the team is pulling for a 1 game suspension.....which would be tacked onto the 2 gamer that he's already out for.

The question now is, what kind of lineup does Hashiratani put out


Hashiratani went with a 4-4-1-1


Shibasaki Iio

Sugawara Fukunishi

Hattori Nasu TSUCHIYA Fukuda


Well, not sure who goes where or what formation will be put in place. Last year they toyed with 3-5-2 and maybe they do it again..............It might look like this

Hiramoto Iio


Shibasaki Fukuda

Sugawara Tomisawa

Hattori Hagimura Nasu


Pack the middle and put speed on the wings while letting Fukunishi be the main schemer

Or they could go 4-4-2

Iio Hiramoto

Fukunishi Hiroyama

Sugawara Fukunishi

Hattori Nasu Tomisawa Fukuda


Oguro could help if he comes back in decent form and Kawano might be back soon to pitch in.

11-1=1-0 Sanfrecce

It was going to be tough to begin with but 44 minutes in, Verdy talisman Diego gets run with a straight red and Verdy has to play defense for a good 46 minutes.......outshot 17 to 5, verdy succumbs in the last minute to a shot from midfielder Issei Takayanagi.

So for the second straight year Verdy will be watching the final on tv and now can focus on other things like tv dramas and not getting relegated. One worry has to be the punishment doled out to Diego for the straight red. Already having a squat for picking up too many yellows, I would have speculated that nothing major would happen because he was playing in a seperate competition but last week Omiyas Yasuhiro Hato got suspended for his red in the league and had to sit out the Emperors cup game. If it was a bad foul he could be done for the season, which doesn't help considering defensive anchor Yukio Tsuchiya is out for at least 3 to 4 weeks with a bad hamstring.

A glimmer of hope next week is the return of Oguro from crocked status. He will start from the bench against high flying Vissel Kobe.


Former Verdy man and current Red Takahito Soma got an offer to play for CSKA Moscow. His contract is up after this season but all accounts are that he will be a priority for Urawa in the offseason.

I'll post on the new guys coming in later