Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A friend from across the field calls out the green

Song of the day dedicated to the red and blue http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=z7n37GME3fw

Seems our resident FCT fan and Aishteru Tokyo blogger Dokool has a little somethin to say about Verdy.

The article is here at the brand spanking new JapaneseSoccer.net (run by a little cabal of English speaking J league bloggers. http://www.japanesesoccer.net/wordpress/?p=435#respond

Not a bad article and the criticism is something I have been harping on since I started writing (Gahhh 3 years ago!).

Three things irritate me though

1. In attempting to claw its way back to the top, the team - again - signed a gaggle of veteran National Team members and Verdy OBs including Yukio Tsuchiya (Verdy Kawasaki member in ‘97-98), Tomo Suguwara (95-98), Kazunori Iio (who’s spent much of the last decade bouncing between Verdy and other teams), Toshihiro Hattori (in the picture), and so onand so forth. While this didn’t really work in 2006 as the team finished a dismal 7th place, a year later Verdy found its rhythm and returned to J1 on the back of its aging core following a 2nd place finish

Just for accuracy sake, Tsuchiya and Hattori didn't sign until 2007. 2006 saw Sugawara and Iio return as well as a ton of bargain basement fringe players and old Brazilians. 2006 saw Koji Maatsura and Shigenori Hagimura get a ton of minutes.

2. lacking a strong youth system

The youth system is one of the more competitive and talented ones in the country. It was just 3 years ago that the team was 2nd in Sahara cup and they are currently in the quarterfinals. The problem is that the young guys aren't being developed once they hit the big team. the youth system is solid.......they just need to use it to full efficiency. That's a problem with hiring short sighted managers like Ossie Ardilles and Rui Ramos who had the pressure to win now. Actually to be fair, Morimoto and Kawano came up through these two and both have promise to be really good......just not for Verdy.

3. let me pose a hypothetical question. You run a team that was once the crown jewel of the Japanese football system, tarnished by a string of poor decisions, lacking a strong youth system and on shaky financial ground. You share a stadium with a team that even in a bad year still doubles your average attendance and has a strong vision for the future. Sure, they’re perennial underachievers, but in the last decade they’ve still won as many trophies as you. After an embarrassing tumble to the second division, you’ve clawed your way back to the top on the backs of aging former stars who are a straw or two short of collapsing. What do you do?

Let me answer with a hypothetical of my own. You are the biggest team in the biggest city in your country. You are backed by an energy company with a big pocketbook and you double your rival in attendance in your worst years. You have one of the best youth systems in Japan and a plethora of resources. Yet you constantly underacheive and have only been able to match your poorly funded, severly mismanaged rivals (fielding an aging bunch of malcontents and has-beens) in trophies in this decade. What the hell are you doing?

I'll give you the next post D.

TAKAGI goes bargain shopping

J League tryouts took place yesterday and today and new head man Takuya Takagi went down to Osaka to check out 124 new prospects.

Here is the list in Japanese

相川 進也(札幌)大塚 真司(札幌)吉瀬 広志(札幌)鈴木 智樹(札幌)富永 康博(札幌)西澤 淳二(札幌)磯崎 敬太(仙台)岡山 一成(仙台)金子 慎二(仙台)佐藤 由紀彦(仙台)シュナイダー 潤之介(仙台)高橋 駿太(山形)内藤 友康(山形)根本 亮助(山形)本橋 卓巳(山形)金古 聖司(鹿島)大橋 直矢(水戸)椎原 拓也(水戸)塩沢 勝吾(水戸)高橋 昌大(水戸)岩田 正太(草津)金生谷 仁(草津)加藤 韻(千葉)熊谷 智哉(千葉)田中 淳也(千葉)照井 篤(栃木)中原 浩介(千葉)堀川 恭平(千葉)松本 憲(千葉)結城 耕造(千葉)横山 聡(栃木)鷲田 雅一(栃木)岡野 雅行(浦和)荒谷 弘樹(大宮)石亀 晃(大宮)西村 卓朗(大宮)若林 学(大宮)池上 礼一(FC東京)小澤 竜己(FC東京)足助 翔(東京V)海本 幸治郎(東京V)園田 清次(東京V)廣山 望(東京V)吉武 剛(東京V)鈴木 達矢(川崎)原田 拓(川崎)中田 洋介(横浜FC)梅田 直哉(湘南)加藤 望(湘南)川股 要佑(湘南)北島 義生(湘南)濱崎 陽平(湘南)三田 光(湘南)井上 雄幾(甲府)鵜飼 建吾(甲府)神崎 大輔(甲府)木村 勝太(甲府)宇留野 純(甲府)田森 大己(甲府)保坂 一成(甲府)山本 僚(甲府)寄井 憲(甲府)北村 隆二(岐阜)河野 直人(岐阜)小峯 隆幸(岐阜)奈須 伸也(岐阜)深津 康太(岐阜)

長谷川 太郎(横浜FC)山田 卓也(横浜FC)海本 慶治(新潟)諏訪 雄大(新潟)寺川 能人(新潟)渡邊 圭二(名古屋)森野 徹(磐田)石井 俊也(京都)大久保 裕樹(京都)田原 豊(京都)伊藤 博幹(G大阪)千葉 貴仁(C大阪)山本 浩正(C大阪)伊藤 将大(神戸)木下 真吾(神戸)栗原 圭介(神戸)曽我部 慶太(神戸)豊満 貴之(神戸)増田 清一(神戸)関 隆倫(岡山)阿部 祐大朗(徳島)石川 裕司(徳島)入船 和真(徳島)河野 淳吾(徳島)小山 拓土(徳島)柴村 直弥(徳島)島津 虎史(徳島)高橋 健史(徳島)玉乃 淳(徳島)古田 泰士(徳島)本間 康貴(徳島)松本 昴聡(徳島)神丸 洋一(愛媛)笹垣 亮介(愛媛)星野 真悟(愛媛)南 祐三(愛媛)宮原 裕司(愛媛)横山 拓也(愛媛)本田 真吾(福岡)石田 博行(鳥栖)加藤 秀典(鳥栖)鐡戸 裕史(鳥栖)長谷川 豊喜(鳥栖)山城 純也(鳥栖)河野 健一(熊本)小林 陽介(熊本)斉藤 紀由(熊本)佐藤 祐介(熊本)鈴木 祐輔(熊本)関 光博(熊本)町田 多聞(熊本)川田 和宏(大分)河原 正治(大分)根本 裕一(大分)

I'll talk about 5 guys I like who are in this heap later.


Anonymous said...

"The two teams became a study in contrast - while Verdy continued to lean on its aging stars and high-price imports (Edmundo, Mboma etc), FC Tokyo developed a youth program that is considered to be one of the best in the league."

Paulo Wan(leg)chope of course is a fine example of the exact opposite of an aging high price import......who in fact turned out to be shit whereas Edmundo and Mboma BOTH ensured Verdy finished higher than they would have done had they not been present. Seems the "the always accurate" RSN let you down with that piece of history there.....

dokool said...

Figured this would come around =P

The 2006/2007 was admittedly bad writing/phrasing, but my main point was that all of those signings came at the cost of not bringing up younger players, which surely you agree with.

I'm not totally as up to date with youth systems as I should (then again I'm pretty sure being up to date with youth systems means that you care way too much about this sport), but point taken. In any case a youth system that isn't being strongly utilized has about as much meaning as a Magnum-sized condom in a salaryman's sock drawer. Sure, it's capable of doing amazing things, but if it's never going to be used then what's the point?

The hypothetical thing is really a matter of perception - if you'll be so kind as to let me make a baseball comparison, I'd compare it to my hometown Phillies (who have been perennial underachievers until this year) and the Yankees (who have been underachievers since their last WS win).

Nobody expected the Phillies to go anywhere because there was an unspoken understanding that they'd have a strong lineup with great players that would inexplicably play mediocre-or-worse baseball for most of the season, then get hot in August/September and just miss out on a playoff bid. But this is the first team in pro sports to get 10,000 losses, only one WS, yadda yadda yadda. So the fans kinda shrugged and said "maybe next year."

Yet, by buying up high-priced superstars every offseason, the Yankees created the expectation that they were the inevitable champions. But they still flopped in the playoffs every year, creating an aura of failure. This aura stands out even further when compared to the Yankees' historical success.

tl;dr, the bar of expectations is much lower for FCT than it is for Verdy. Not saying it's fair or deserved, but it is what it is.

Wanchope was, admittedly, a flop, and to their credit the players you mentioned did help Verdy out, but J2 has much more of a chaos factor than J1 in terms of who ends up on top in the end.

In any case I believe there's still two more parts of the article to be uploaded so I hope y'all will enjoy the rest of it.