Sunday, 6 December 2009

Agent Orange - Safety First

Well, for the third week in a row, we played for a draw and for the third week in a row we got it. So, indeed we met our goal, but the question about yesterday's game at Oita Trinita is, why? That was the perfect game to let some of the younger guys try to redeem themselves, but only one - the useless new kid who will eventually cost us a full Asian player spot if he keeps playing - got the chance. If Park Won Jae is Korean for "Kohei Tokita", then Seo Yong Duk must mean "not good enough to carry Kohei's jock". Seriously, when a player comes in as a substitute and makes me question the taking out of Tokita, well, there is a problem.

And didn't this same coach only give Daisuke Watabe twenty minutes in a game against Kawasaki Frontale, before completely humiliating him by subbing him out after subbing him in? At Oita, Tokita did have the goal of the last five weeks with an absolute bomb that looked like it was possibly planned. In fact he actually had a decent 65 minutes, so I'm wondering what he must be thinking when he has a stretch of bad games and doesn't get pulled - but has probably his best game of the season and gets the hook early. And what does that say about Jang Wae Ryong and his game management style?

And what was the deal with Yasuhiro Hato and Yosuke Kataoka reverting to back-passing to each other in a crowd of Oita players near our goal? What the hell was that - and what the hell was the entire season? I'm more dissatisfied with this one than the Robert Verbeek Back-pass To Oblivion tour of 2007. There were some highlights but for the most part, this was an underachieving team. Arguably it was the most talented Ardija squad ever, but it failed to make even modest gains.

Last week after the Kashiwa game, my feeling was relief - not happiness. And now I go into the next season thinking that, aside from the now-departed Hato and Daisuke Tomita, the team will be generally unchanged from the one that was on the field for the last home game. I'm sure we will go through two months of being linked to some big-name Japanese player, only to be rebuffed at the last minute. I'm guessing that the tabloids should be coming out in the next week or two with rumors of Shonan Bellmare wanting prodigal son Naoki Ishihara back for their J1 campaign.

I'm glad to be done writing about this season and I'm cautiously optomistic about the next. Guess I was a bit off on the predictions.

Season 2010

When you visualize a starting XI, the first thing you need to do is look at what you have and what you want. If we go again with a 4-4-2 [note to coach, other formations are also available - F], this is how I'd slot out the depth chart:

GK Ezumi (Nishikawa)
RSB Tsukamoto
CB (Korean slot) (Kataoka / Arai)
CB Mato (Fukuda)
LSB Alex
RMF Fukai (Fujimoto / Watabe)
CMF Inamoto (Kanazawa / Hashimoto)
CMF Aoki (Foreign slot)
LMF Suganuma (Kanakubo / Uchida)
FW Rafael (Fujita)
FW Ishihara (Ichikawa)

I would have had Hato and Tomita as reserve sidebacks, but with six new players the team is two or three deep at every position. Oita's Shusaku Nishikawa and Junichi Inamoto at Rennes both have been rumored recently to be on the wish list of General Manager Haruo Yuuki, so they are included in this. I don't have a specific Korean player in mind for the center back, but it seems like they are strong in this role. Of the three I picked personally, the JEF United pairing of Masaki Fukai and Alex, plus Reysol's Minoru Suganuma, all have the intangible quality of being able to play in multiple positions - something that Jang has stated he wants in his players.

Alex is a midfielder who has capably filled in at both FW and DF, giving Jang the option to use him almost anywhere on the field. Suganuma as a goalscorer has the potential to be our new Daigo Kobayashi. Fukai is a speed burner and someone that we were pursuing before we went with the slower and smaller version. Do this and we finish top 7. Stay on our present course and we will be in J2, making it difficult to win a J1 title. Let the disappointment begin!



Furtho 8 December 2009 at 07:28  

Inamoto has been told he can leave Rennes.

  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP