Friday, 3 July 2009

Marinos Preview

As our very own Agent Orange commented in his report on last Saturday's JEF United match, the fan protest over club management and coach Jang Wae Ryong all of a sudden seems a long time ago. Wins against Kyoto Sanga and JEF - the latter providing arguably the best example of a truly dominant Squirrels performance since they arrived in J1 - have done much to quell the discontent felt by many Ardija fans following the trio of catastrophic Nabisco Cup matches against Sanfrecce Hiroshima, Yokohama F Marinos and Urawa Reds.

Tomorrow provides an early opportunity for revenge against Marinos, Omiya going into the encounter with the proud boast of never having lost a league fixture against the Sailors: blasts from the past Tuto and Naoto Sakurai were the scorers in the first such match in 2005, a 2-1 victory, and overall Ardija's record stands at five wins and three draws. While we are on a statistical tip, less positively it is not since the end of 2006 that the Squirrels have won three league games in a row. Consistency, or at least consistent success, is not something that Omiya have ever had.

The same could nevertheless also be said of the majority of teams that occupy the middle ground of the J1 table, which is a key reason as to why it is such a notoriously close competition. Marinos are hardly exempt from this, which is why they can beat Kawasaki Frontale one week and lose to Kyoto the next, although fans who worried that the club were headed for a season of relegation struggle will presumably be sleeping easier than expected. Young forward Kazuma Watanabe has emerged as a key player, while former Ardija transfer target Yuji Nakazawa is still more or less holding together the defence line.

Omiya meanwhile can take comfort from the fact that they have a good record against the teams currently occupying the bottom three positions in the league: Oita and JEF have been beaten comfortable and only an injury time disaster by reserve defender Yusuke Murayama enabled Kashiwa Reysol to get a draw. But Jang knows that it's only another win tomorrow that can go towards stabilising the club and getting the fans further on side. As such, a Marinos league game is the perfect opportunity to measure the progress made over the last few traumatic weeks.



Daniel,  4 July 2009 at 12:20  

I'll be up early tomorrow morning to watch the RedScum game. Unfortunately I can only find one live stream from JLeague, are there any others out there? I would prefer not to be watching Urawa but I'll take what I can get.

Big game tomorrow as Marinos are only a point behind.

C'mon you Squirrels!!

Furtho 4 July 2009 at 14:10  

Get a Twitter account and then around or just after kick-off time, do a search for whatever team you want to see. That usually throws up a few links.

Furtho 4 July 2009 at 15:52  

Line-up predicted on Yahoo, in a 4-3-3 formation:

GK Ezumi
DF Tsukamoto
DF Tomita
DF Neretljak
DF Hato
MF Kanazawa
MF Hashimoto
MF Park
FW Fujimoto
FW Fujita
FW Ishihara

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