Thursday, 12 November 2009

The Should They Stay Or Should They Go? Debate, pt 2

Here GGOA staffers Furtho and Agent Orange continue their look at the 2009 Ardija squad and ask who should be kept on for next year. Coming under the microscope this time, it's the defenders...

2. Taishi Tsukamoto

AO: For whatever reason, Jang Wae Ryong does not think Tsukamoto is his type of player. My thinking is that he makes as many mistakes as Yasuhiro Hato, Hayato Hashimoto or Chikara Fujimoto but gets the hook far quicker than the rest. I don't get it. I think he is one player with tremendous upside and screwing with his confidence is not the best way to get him to realize his potential. I will leave you with this stat: his record as a starter this year is 7-7-7, including four games with three or more goals allowed. Jang's apparent favorite on the right of defense, Kohei Tokita, has a record of 2-0-6 including four games with three or more goals allowed.

3. Mato Neretljak

AO: No need to state this case. Twelve goals scored in all competitions and a rock in the middle. If we can, let's keep him.

4. Yasuhiro Hato

AO: My favorite whipping boy has had probably his best year as an Omiya player. He is starting to break down, doesn't cover well, and is still too cautious on attacks. He doesn't really have much to do with creating chances, which is not good for a player who gets as many touches as he does and his crosses are poor. He does provide leadership and stability to a bumpy back four, though, and that outweighs his negatives. They do need to bring in a young left back (and not a midfielder who is pretending to be a left back) to challenge him for the job. Unlike last year, I would bring him back for 2010.

5. Daisuke Tomita

I'm sure he's not thrilled with the new role, but having him be the utility defender is perfect for Tomidai. He is on the lower end as far as starters but he has the capability to play all four spots on the back line and gives a lot of options as a bench player.

6. Yosuke Kataoka

AO: If he had stayed a midfielder, I would have cut him in a second. As a central defender, he is a far more natural fit. He does not have to make as many decisions and he can use his physical attributes to keep people out of the box. I still want an upgrade here, but I am not so down on him as earlier in the year.

19. Yusuke Murayama

AO: Allowed two or more goals in every meaningful game he appeared in. Omiya was doomed to J2 until he was pulled late last year. As long as he is on the roster, he is a threat to play. As a practice player who can fill in on the back line he is OK - but we have guys with more upside who aren't getting the chance to play satellite games due to him on the roster. I'm on the fence on this one.

25. Kohei Tokita

AO: He's a midfielder and not a very good one at that. He was responsible for the Sanfrecce goal and he kills the offense. I hate dumping on young guys, but I have my doubts about him being a J1 player and I'm not willing to sacrifice more seasons finding out for sure. Rent him to a J2 club and let him learn how to be a defender on their time. Not here.

28. Shunsuke Fukuda

AO: First year... no real future as a striker, but I think he will be a player in the back... if he can get some time on the field. It was criminal that Murayama was getting Nabisco Cup minutes when Shunsuke could have used the time.

29. Haruki Nishimura

In practice games, I have liked what I've seen. It would be nice to see him actually play once.

Furtho: Well, to start most obviously with Mato, I was told pre-season by one of my mysterious Korean-based contacts that he would be popular with the Omiya fans and so that has proved. He is an immensely imposing player, arguably the best-quality performer that Ardija have had in their squad since promotion to J1 and I would be delighted if he stayed with the Squirrels for another year.

It seems a bit odd to complain about a lack of goals from a defender who is actually our top scorer, but to be 100% honest I was hoping that he would be able to be a bit more successful with headers from set-pieces - that was always a real disappointment about Leandro's play and although Mato is without doubt an improvement, well... I thought he might be even better, in particular when you remember what a big guy he is.

By the way, though, AO, I have to say that your about-turn on the subject of Yosuke Kataoka has left me stunned. I agree that to an extent his limitations are less exposed as a defender than when he was playing in central midfield, but with your new friend Six-pack alongside Mato maybe you could say that we're not the quickest in the middle of the defence. Ideally we would be able to bring someone new in alongside Mato, but to be fair to Kataoka he has taken his chance well enough following the downturn in form of Daisuke Tomita and he certainly deserves another year's deal.

Like you I simply cannot make up my mind about Yusuke Murayama, that is to say it's impossible for me to decide whether he is the most limited player on the squad by some distance, or... hmm, actually, the simple writing of those words has by some mysterious process enabled the truth to become apparent. He is indeed the most limited player on the squad by some distance.

And you've been foaming at the mouth about Kohei Tokita for most of the season. I think the best use of him in the squad would be as a kind of flying winger who could be used as a substitute to create a bit of panic on the wing (that's the opposition wing, in case I am being unclear) and maybe get lucky with a goal or an assist once in a while. That seems to be about the limit of his capabilities and using him as a right-sided defender seems madness.



Omiya Fan,  12 November 2009 at 22:07  

Jang has not been the best manager considering how much autonomy and resources he has had compared to previous regimes.

Can we keep Mato? Will Daigo be mad enough to come back?

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