Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Agent Orange Reports: Ten

Today marked a key moment in the eleven-year history of J2. Well, not so much J2 today - more of its past. The match-up in the Nabisco Cup final featured two of the founding ten members of the second division. It also marked the first time that a cup would be passed from one founding J2 member to another and give the original ten their third title all time.

I would talk about the game itself, but FC Tokyo won and I hate FC Tokyo, so screw it and them. My only silver lining in all of this is that they have to go to LA for their off-season and prepare for 2010 by playing the likes of the Fresno Fuego and the Southern California Seahorses before losing three starters to injuries after playing a 1-0 game to Chinese Super League team of your choice in the consolation game. Congratulations to the new Oita!

Anyhow, let's look at the original ten members of J2:

10. Sagan Tosu - The only one of the ten never to have a sniff at J1. Therefore they are last. I have mentioned the baby nursery uniforms before. What I have not brought up is their system, which seems to make adequate strikers look like superstars. Hiroshi Morita, Tatsunori Arai and Yoshito Fujita all came from the system and have had less success at other teams. The new star striker is Mike Havenaar, who is Europe's answer to Sergio Escudero.

9. Vegalta Sendai - I am seriously so over their glorious fan base, the best fans in J2, blah blah blah. And that Emperor's Cup game at the weekend was one official gifting them free kicks in dangerous chances, two nice set plays and 119 minutes of them crashing into people like Wile E Coyote into a brick wall. Look, every year they find a way to screw up promotion and then their fans throw a collective tantrum. One year they threatened to kill their coach. So yeah, I guess we won't notice Kashiwa Reysol is gone.

8. Consadole Sapporo - Two-time J2 champion, a record matched only by Kyoto Sanga and Kawasaki Frontale. Our own coach Jang Wae Ryong managed to get them relegated once, as well as former head man Toshiya Miura. If Nobuhiro Ishizaki gets them promoted and quits, I am sure Robert Verbeek can come up and get them demoted as well.

7. Montedio Yamagata - Yamagata have managed to stay up in J1 by setting the game back about fifty years, with a brand of football that makes Pericles Chamusca grimace. Seriously, who thought they would put up half their shots on the season against Jubilo Iwata alone? That is a fact!

6. Ventforet Kofu - War Hiroshi Morita! I never thought I could like a team led by Satoru Sakuma... maybe I just feel sorry for them. Anyhow, if I have to pick between them and Shonan Bellmare, I choose them because they did not give Tuto a paycheck.

5. Omiya Ardija - Kind of the perfect place for us, considering we are the most average team of a mediocre group. With four games to go, one more win guarantees us our sixth straight year of being in J1 - or as Furtho likes to put it, being less crappy than three other teams for the fifth straight year. Actually I just made that up, but he will take credit for it [Yup. Although to be fair to myself, I think I have at least thought that at some point or other - F].

4. Albirex Niigata - Niigata was us before we were us. Orange and mediocre, they still have a chance to drop into the bottom half of the table. For a while there, with Jun Marques Davidson and Pedro Junior, if you squinted just right you would think they actually were Omiya.

3. Oita Trinita - One year after winning the Nabisco Cup, they are going to J2. They have a sponsor who is less than legitimate, they are taking a huge bail-out from the J-League because they are haemorrhaging money and all their promising talent is set to leave for brighter pastures. Oh yeah, for a time their stadium was shuttered because the groundkeepers made their field into a mess. There are worse things than being boring and mediocre. This season has been so bad that I feel sorry for them. Not really though.

2. Kawasaki Frontale - Best team never to win a trophy. What a crock. In 2004 they won the J2 championship, so that whole talk is a lie. They also won it in 1999, so they also matched Sapporo and Kyoto. WHY FOR THE LOVE OF GOD IS KAWASAKI WASTING TIME IN J1? There is a J2 trophy right there for the taking. Here is a good tip: you are most likely not to get hit by a soccer ball if you stand between Juninho and an open net. That is another fact!

1. FC Tokyo - Two Nabisco Cup titles. I think Mario Urawa put it best on his Twitter page when he said, "As a Tokyo citizen... I so don't care". Finally, Saitama is united in something.

Anybody else want this season to just get done with? I have gone into a malaise of epic proportions. Ardija are gonna win next week and be poised to climb up into the top half of the table and then we will go to Yamagata and come out flat as hell. I guarantee it. And I am not even going to talk about Emperor's Cup match, because Dudu was the best player on the field. And they decided to go an extra thirty minutes. Sixty of which was without Dudu, who was the best player on the field, until he was not.

Oh well, I sure was not going to Bangkok on a Wednesday to see us play a 0-0 tie against Tobacco Monopoly next year and judging by our Akita turn-out, neither were most other fans.

Orange! Mehhhh!



richy 7 November 2009 at 11:26  

Say all you want about Vegalta, but compare their fans to Kashiwa??!!!??!!
You can't get more insulting than that! (Maybe you could say Urawa but...)

And even if the fans were shit, man this team and its fans keep the J2 alive! Struggling clubs like us at Gifu rely on teams like Sendai to bring their fans to our stadiums so that we can make money and escape financial debt!

Maybe you forgot about life in the J2 with mediocre crowds at most games. A team that can bring a load of supporters with it and not boo all the time like Urawa is appreciated and something we all look forward to!

Yes we will miss them when they go back to the J1 next season. J1 will only have shitty Urawa fans to worry about, we get the fun of those hooligans from Kashiwa and Chiba. I'm looking forward to it.

Kashiwa fans = Sendai fans??
thats basically like comparing Urawa fans to Omiya fans mate.
good vs evil.

Kashiwa my arse...

Agent Orange,  7 November 2009 at 14:34  

Sendai is Urawa before everyone got annoyed with them. The only group of fans that I have seen gone batshit crazy and storm the field in person was Vegalta.

Your argument about them saving the J2 is the same argument that was made about Urawa and J1 a few years ago.

I actually kinda like Kashiwa fans BTW.....OF and I had a pleasent conversation in Kashiwa with one of em in 2007. Next year you watch their presentations and demonstartions and tell me they dont resemble Vegalta.

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