Saturday, 1 September 2012

Urawa Video Highlights


Sunday, 26 August 2012

Vegalta Sendai Video Higlights


Saturday, 25 August 2012

FC Tokyo Video Highlights


Sendai Preview

So after all our moaning here on GGOA Omiya came away from FC Tokyo last weekend with a win, pulling themselves out of the relegation zone in the process. Milivoje Novakovic scored a cracking winner, Hiroyuki Komoto made his debut as substitute and helped shore up the defence as Tokyo pressed for an equaliser, while Yosuke Kataoka had the game of his life. With a home game to come on Saturday night against out of form Vegalta Sendai, are things actually looking a little rosier now in le jardin de écureuil? 

Well, yes and, to coin a phrase, nope. The Squirrels just about deserved the three points at Ajinomoto, Novakovic producing the game's one moment of real attacking quality as Kataoka performed his heroics at the other end... and what an unusual combination of words that is. But the distance between success and failure was very, very narrow: if FC Tokyo had had a bit more luck, a bit more incisiveness and someone else instead up front of the completely anonymous Edmilson, they could easily have won.

And if Zdenko Verdenik is relying on this Ardija back four to keep the opposition out, he's going to need Komoto to take a starring role... and a lot of luck. On the two other occasions Omiya have kept clean sheets since Verdenik took over, the defence worked astoundingly hard against a Sanfrecce Hiroshima side having a serious off-day, and then Koji Ezumi shone against a poor Shimizu S-Pulse. These things don't happen every week. Make no mistake about it, the Squirrels are still deep in a relegation fight.

But they actually might happen tomorrow. Novakovic's goal was a massive confidence boost for the squad and although the veteran Slovenian is some way yet from full match fitness, Yu Hasegawa has also found the target a couple of times in recent weeks. In other words it's possible that we might score against Vegalta Sendai, especially if the massively underachieving Cho Young Cheol remains on the substitutes' bench. 

Komoto meanwhile looks set to make his first start in an orange shirt, although there are dispiritingly large question marks over where he might be deployed. The former Vissel Kobe man is an experienced central defender and God knows there's a need for improvement in that part of the Omiya team; but then again we don't have a dedicated right back at all, and at FC Tokyo he came on for regular first choice left back Takumi Shimohira. Wherever he ends up playing against Vegalta, let's hope he's lucky.


Sunday, 19 August 2012

A First Chance To Say Super-Nova

J1 Game 22/34, Sat 18 Aug

FC Tokyo 0-1 Omiya Ardija

0-1 Novakovic 78'

GK Ezumi
DF Watabe
DF Kataoka
DF Kikuchi
DF Shimohira (Komoto 76')
MF Watanabe
MF Aoki
MF Kanazawa (Suzuki 87')
MF Carlinhos
MF Higashi
FW Hasegawa (Novakovic 65')

Subs not used:

GK Kitano
MF Ueda
MF Cho
MF Kanakubo


Y Higashi 33'


Saturday, 18 August 2012

FC Tokyo Video Highlights


FC Tokyo Preview

Enthusiastic for the remainder of the J-League season? You betcha. Here at GGOA Towers we just can't wait. And it's guaranteed to be an exciting few months for Squirrels fans. Goals aplenty? Mm, probably, in a sense. A roller-coaster ride? Well, not sure about the ups, but from here it looks like the year could end in a great big down. And it all starts with Saturday's game at FC Tokyo! Great! The team - er, one of the teams - that always seems to beat us!

They certainly beat us on the opening day, a relatively even match at NACK5 seeing Omiya fail to get past the impressive Shuichi Gonda, while at the other end Lucas' superb piece of snap shooting was enough to take all three points for the reigning J2 champions. So how are the eleven players that started for the Squirrels that day doing now? Let's take a look...

1. Goalkeeper Takashi Kitano has been injured for a good proportion of the year and seems now to be second choice behind Koji Ezumi. Oh.

2. Kazuhiro Murakami has either been playing out of position at right back, or injured. Ow.

3. Kosuke Kikuchi's confidence as a central defensive organiser appears totally shot. Bang.

4. Kim Young Gwon, never particularly impressive during has year and a half at Ardija, has been sold. Almost immediately after leaving Omiya he went on to shine for South Korea in the Olympic Games. Guh.

5. Takumi Shimohira has been an ever-present in the league, but... before we get too excited, let's remember that he came to Ardija having failed to become a regular in Gamba Osaka's defence. Ouch.

6. No matter who the coach, they all seem to appreciate Daigo Watanabe. He's still around, mostly being mediocre on the right-hand side of midfield. Zzzzz.

7. Carlinhos works hard and is always at least trying to create something, however uncooperative or immobile his team-mates might be. At the moment it's hard to look anywhere else for Player of the Year. Woohoo!

8. Takuya Aoki's hopes of playing for Japan in the Olympics disappeared long ago, but he's always in the middle for Omiya. Always.  

9. Cho Young Cheol may be the team's top scorer - with, um, four - but boy has he been disappointing for most of the time since his move from Albirex Niigata. Yeesh.

10. Underperformer of the Year is arguably Keigo Higashi, who has spent 2012 making Cho look like Lionel Messi. Still, he did pretty well for Japan in London. What's that you say? Keigo's big opportunity to get a transfer to Europe? Hmmm.

11. Rafael has gone back to Brazil. Bye bye.

And now the transfer window is closed, meaning that the current squad - including new loan signing Hiroyuki Komoto from Vissel Kobe - will be seeing us through to December. It might be too soon to expect Komoto to be propping up the middle of the back four against FC Tokyo, meaning that some combination of Kikuchi, Yosuke Kataoka and Yuki Fukaya will have the job of keeping out Lucas and Edmilson

Are we going to score? That mostly depends on the midfield's ability to create chances for a likely starting pair of Yu Hasegawa and Slovenian veteran Milivoje Novakovic, the latter set to make his first start in a Squirrels shirt. So hey, that's something to get excited about, right? I don't know what I'm moaning about really.


Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Ljubijankic & Novakovic Intro Interviews

Brief English-language interviews with new Ardija signings Zlatan Ljubijankic and Milivoje Novakovic.


Verdenik: The Stats So Far

Guess how Zdenko Verdenik has been doing since he took over as Omiya coach eight league games ago? Agent Orange has been busy constructing the table below, which shows how all J1 clubs have performed since the Slovenian's appointment at NACK5 in the middle of June. Ex-Ardija boss Yasuhiro Higuchi has had a fantastic couple of months at Yokohama F Marinos, undefeated and picking up an impressive sixteen points. Reigning champions Kashiwa Reysol have continued their resurgent form, firing in no fewer than 23 goals that includes four in Verdenik's first match in charge.

Having replaced their own coaches at around the same time as Omiya, Vissel Kobe and Albirex Niigata have both moved up the table, the Swans under new boss Masaaki Yanagishita now boasting the best defence in the division - a rearguard that has been further improved by the addition from Ardija of the experienced Shusuke Tsubouchi. Even Consadole Sapporo, rock bottom all season long, have managed good home wins against Nagoya Grampus and Vegalta Sendai.

And Verdenik's Squirrels? We're last in Agent Orange's table. We have the poorest form of any club in J1. Despite some glimmers of hope during a handful of matches in June and early July, we've actually got worse since the departure of Jun Suzuki - a fact reflected in our drop into the relegation places. One of the division's least able defences has grown weaker with the sale of Tsubouchi and Kim Young Gwon. 

Of the defensive players that remain, captain Kosuke Kikuchi seems for all the world a broken man rather than a leader, the crash and burn of his confidence exemplified by a humiliating own goal against Sanfrecce Hiroshima. In fact there's even an argument that game-but-limited Yosuke Kataoka might now be Ardija's best defender - an idea that would have been laughable in 2007 but is less than amusing in 2012. 

No wonder Squirrels fans have been overwhelmed with relief at the arrival on loan of Hiroyuki Komoto, the Vissel Kobe centre back who in the current squad appears to carry the Squirrels' hopes of J1 survival on his shoulders. Welcome to Omiya, Hiroyuki. No pressure.

1. Marinos 16pts (+6)

2. Kashiwa 15 (+10)
3. Hiroshima 15 (+8)
4. Nagoya 14 (+6)
5. Tosu 14 (+3)
6. Kobe 14 (-)
7. Urawa 13 (+3)
8. Niigata 12 (+2)
9. Kashima 12 (-)
10. Sendai 11 (+3)
11. Kawasaki 9 (-1)
12. Gamba 8 (-1)
13. FC Tokyo 8 (-3)
14. S-Pulse 8 (-5)
15. Jubilo 7 (-4)
16. Cerezo 6 (-5)
17. Sapporo 6 (-14)
18. Omiya 5 (-8)


Sunday, 12 August 2012

Another Great Sunday Friendly

2x40 mins Friendly, Sun 12 Aug

Omiya Ardija 2-3 Meiji University

1-0 Kanakubo 14'
1-1 scorer unknown 28'
1-2 scorer unknown 38'
1-3 scorer unknown 57'
2-3 own goal 68'

GK Kitano (K Shimizu HT)
DF trialist
DF Fukaya
DF trialist
DF Suzuki
MF trialist
MF Ueda
MF Lee
MF Hashimoto
FW Kanakubo (trialist 54')
FW trialist


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