Thursday, 29 January 2009

The Daigo / Stabaek Connection

More on the potential transfer of Squirrels star midfielder Daigo Kobayashi to Stabaek, which is covered on the Norwegian champions' website, here. Commentator Kaare Hilt Ingvaldsen, based in Norway, has been kind enough to provide GGOA with this local perspective on the deal:

"Obviously the possible move is interesting to the Norwegian media. For a small league like the Norwegian one, it's rare to bring in established players from bigger leagues, and especially a team's star-player. The fact that Stabæk's coach Jan Jönsson spent several years in Japan both as a coach and a player and therefore speaks Japanese fluently, means Kobayashi would have an easier time adjusting to European football than other Japanese players trying their luck. Fans on one of the Stabæk forums were really excited about him, saying, "it was too good to be true".

"Stabæk officials said in an interview with the Dagbladet newspaper that Kobayashi would join them on a training camp at La Manga in Spain, where they will play a handful of matches. They also stated it was not a trial, as Kobayashi didn't have to prove himself as he is already an established player.

"Apparently, Frode Johnsen - the Norwegian striker formerly with Nagoya Grampus and who recently moved to Shimizu S-Pulse - recommended Kobayashi to Jan Jönsson, as well as some of his contacts/scouts in Japan. Stabæk deny that a formal bid has been put on the table yet, but insists that Kobayashi is a player they would love to have on their team. His stay with them at La Manga is first and foremost to check out the club and players."



Omiya Fan,  29 January 2009 at 10:48  

Frode Johnsen - you will be booed at Omiya Park next season!

Omiya Fan,  29 January 2009 at 14:21  

Another point - Norwegian League = step down! Fair enough they are in the Champions League but they are not a big team.
I'm just bitter!

Furtho 29 January 2009 at 14:51  

Norwegian champions Stabaek have just completed a new 15,600-capacity stadium, which is due to open next month.

Rosenborg have performed well in the Champions League in recent seasons and are regulars in the group stage. Going to Stabaek with the main motivation of thereby getting the opportunity to play CL football is a very high-risk strategy, in that the chances of them getting knocked out in one of the preliminary rounds by a team from Romanis or what have you are, I would say, good.

But being in Norway would arguably provide a better shop window for other European clubs than being in the J-League. Plus, he's had three years at Omiya and I wonder how far he can really go with the club now.

Furtho 29 January 2009 at 14:58  

This article in Nikkan Sports would seem to suggest that a loan deal for 2009 would be on the cards, with the freedom to accept an offer from Europe having been included in Daigo's contract since he came from Verdy.

Lars 29 January 2009 at 22:40  

As a supporter of the Norwegian team Stabaek I welcome Kobayashi, and promise him memorable moments at our new arena. Our team is very different from what the stereotype norwegian football is known for. We play possesion, and the ball moves through the midfield and not over it. With a couple of new class players, we will qualify for CL.
Alltid. Uansett.

Furtho 30 January 2009 at 06:12  

Lars, welcome and thanks for your comment. It is hard to make a prediction about Daigo that will be useful for you, because Japanese players who have come to Europe have had very mixed success. But he has talent and after three years at Omiya I think is probably ready for a move. It could be that Stabaek is an environment in which he can shine. If he comes to Norway, we would like to know your opinions about Daigo - so please stay in touch.

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