Saturday, 26 September 2009

Kyoto Preview

Ardija's gloomy September can't end soon enough. Two games, no points and no goals against either Shimizu S-Pulse or Nagoya Grampus mean that the sensational, incredible, miraculous triumph over Kashima Antlers now seems like a distant memory and Jang Wae Ryong's team lie dangerously close to the relegation zone. Just like Omiya always seem to be at this time of year. Meaning that Omiya have spent all that money and really not improved at all.

Back in June, Squirrels president Seigo Watanabe and general manager Haruo Yuuki were keen to stress how much they trusted and supported the under fire Jang. The Korean was appointed on a year's contract with the target of delivering ACL football to Ardija next season and while blistering performances such as that against Kashima make such a prospect seem tantalisingly realistic, in fact Omiya can only very rarely indeed conjure up that sort of display. Most of the time, Jang's Squirrels are just as lacklustre as Yasuhiro Higuchi's Squirrels were last year.

On Saturday Ardija go to Kyoto Sanga, a mid-table side who have achieved their relatively comfortable position off the back of a reasonable home record, although they did pick up a 3-0 thumping at Jubilo Iwata last weekend. Jang will be without one of his apparent favourites, midfielder-cum-makeshift right back Kohei Tokita, due to suspension although presumably Shin Kanazawa will return to the starting line-up after missing the defeat by Grampus. At present it seems as if the Squirrels coach knows that the midfield is the weak link of the team, but he doesn't know what to do about it.

If he gets lucky and Kanazawa, Hayato Hashimoto et al hit their occasional bout of good form, the Squirrels can with Rafael up front win the game and thereby complete a welcome double over Sanga. But the midfield is so rarely able to dominate matches, Chikara Fujimoto another example of a frustratingly inconsistent figure who is nevertheless guaranteed a place in the starting XI whenever fit. So who knows what could happen against Kyoto? One indisputable fact, though, is that Jang and Omiya could be down to a single point above the relegation zone by Sunday evening.



Furtho 26 September 2009 at 07:47  

Yahoo predicted line-up:

GK Ezumi
DF Tsukamoto
DF Kataoka
DF Neretljak
DF Hato
MF Fujimoto
MF Kanazawa
MF Hashimoto
MF Park
FW Ishihara
FW Rafael

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