Tuesday, 17 November 2009

The Should They Stay Or Should They Go? Debate, pt 4

Furtho and Agent Orange continue to cast their critical eye over the Squirrels' squad of 2009. Now it's the turn of the forwards to feel their wrath.

9. Naoki Ishihara

AO: An afterthought in the off-season pick-ups, Ishihara has been a dark horse candidate for team MVP and the most tireless worker on the squad. The guy gets hammered every game and still puts out a decent ninety minutes. I'd like to see him finish better, but it's been a really good debut season. I'm worried that if Shonan gets promoted, he might be wooed back but I hope he is a fixture for Omiya for years to come.

13. Yoshihito Fujita

He's had some flashes this year but otherwise has had a disappointing time. That being said, he is very athletic for a big striker and I think he has as much upside as anyone on the squad. Letting him go because Jang Wae Ryong hasn't figured out how to use him would be ridiculous.

16. Rafael

That'll teach us to laugh at Youtube highlight films with 80s coming-of-age synthesizer soundtrack music. Where would this team be without him right now? Sixteenth, that's where. Keep him... and give him Japanese citizenship to go along with the eight other countries that are claiming him.

10. Denis Marques (on loan)

He is a guy that needs other guys to be good. He really short-circuited the offense and did too much one on one stuff. Get what we can for him and get out is the best option... preferably not to Gamba Osaka.

19. Dudu

Possibly the most disappointing player in Omiya history. Based on his past K-League exploits and his flashes of competence it baffles me how bad he's been. That being said, I still think he could be a difference-maker for Omiya. I'd rather have a presence in midfield with that foreign spot, or a left back - but I think we haven't seen a fully fit Dudu. I'm on the fence on this one.

27. Masahiko Ichikawa

Before the injury it looked like he would be a real player. I think it'll take another five or six months for him to get back to full speed again. Of course I'm keeping him.

30. Daisuke Watabe

AO: If Jang comes back next year, I loan the kid out to Tochigi or Verdy or somewhere where he will get some minutes because Jang has completely wasted him. He had one bad performance and was banished for some reason. Not a real great statement for our coach - that all the under 20s have been buried on the bench - especially for someone gunning for a job where he would develop young talent. Depending on how many people flee Chiba, that might be a good place for him to cut his teeth.

I'd have to say that this has been arguably our most productive year in terms of forwards. Unless there is a superstar dying to come here, I'm not too concerned about this part of our line-up. A better midfield would go a long way in improving our offense.

I think so too. I mean I'm probably a little bit disappointed at how few goals Fujita and Ishihara have managed to score and if forced to express an opinion, I'd probably say that Fujita is not really up to J1 standard - aside from that extraordinary goal at Nagoya, his finishing isn't that good and he misses a lot of chances. But then again, over the years a lot of Ardija strikers haven't been up to J1 standard and at least the pair of them bring movement and incredible workrate to the team.

I have a real soft spot for Ichikawa and really want to see him make the grade. He is clearly absolutely desperate to succeed and occasionally that works against him, with the odd snatched shot or missed half-chance. Nothing could please me more than Ichikawa scoring in the home game against Reysol, because that's what he wants the opportunity to do. He's got to stay.

When Dudu and Rafael joined in the summer it definitely appeared as if Dudu was the star buy and Rafael the long shot, but wow has that impression been proved incorrect. It must a thankless task being a striker working with the meagre pickings which the Squirrels' midfield are typically able to provide and Rafael does his best to make it count. He's pretty quick, willing to shoot and has a decent level of ability. All in all he's probably the most dangerous Omiya forward since Bare, whereas Dudu just feels like another letdown in a long list of disappointing foreign strikers. I hope you're right, AO, and that it's a question of some problem with his fitness that has really stopped him from making an impact.



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