Saturday, 24 October 2009

Urawa Preview

The typical experience of the Omiya Ardija supporter seems to be an odd and unpleasant mixture between listless boredom and palm-sweating tension, with the end of the 2009 J1 season providing an excellent example of this. The tension is straightforward enough: despite Saturday's defeats for both JEF United and Kashiwa Reysol, we're not quite safe. There are still enough points to be won and lost, especially bearing in mind the opposition in the last three matches, for everything to go horribly wrong. In other words, for the Squirrels, J2 football in 2010 is still not outside the realms of possibility.

The boredom is more complex, but it boils down to a sense that seems to have been growing over the last few weeks - that everyone associated with the club is merely waiting for the end of the year and the inevitable departure of coach Jang Wae Ryong. This feeling is nevertheless underpinned by frustration at the gloomy inevitability of the club management failing to make any opportunity to progress during 2009 and that essentially Ardija is still operating as an organisation at the same level as it did when it first come up into the top flight in 2005.

There's always a tension around derby day, of course, but tomorrow's match at Saitama Stadium against Urawa Reds feels more like something to be got out of the way, rather than a fight for crucial league points or even just local bragging rights (note to Reds fans - whatever the score, we're still cooler). At this point, it's difficult not to think back to May and June, a truly bizarre period in the history of Omiya Ardija when the team put in a series of catastrophic performances, including a notorious 6-2 trashing by Urawa in the Nabisco Cup.

This was followed Ardija club president Seigo Watanabe and general manager Haruo Yuuki underlining their support for Jang and for their overall development strategy at a meeting with supporters. Yuuki reiterated on more than one occasion that he trusted Jang to take the team forward. Now, as we come to the end of Omiya's fifth season in J1 and the Squirrels heading for another finish near the bottom of the standings, it's plain to see that the club management were wrong to hold that view. I don't believe in Jang. I don't believe in Watanabe or Yuuki.



Furtho 24 October 2009 at 22:57  

Yahoo predicted starting XI:

GK Ezumi
DF Tokita
DF Kataoka
DF Neretljak
DF Hato
MF Fujimoto
MF Kanazawa
MF Hashimoto
MF Rafael
FW Ichikawa
FW Ishihara

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