Friday, 12 March 2010

Sendai Preview

After the emotional scenes at Omiya Park last weekend, it's on Saturday at Vegalta Sendai that the hard work starts. Ardija have to build upon the stunning 3-0 defeat of Cerezo Osaka; oh, and negotiate their way successfully through the rest of the 2010 J-League season. And an immediate difficulty is that Jang Wae Ryong's team will have to do without two things that worked so much in their favour against Cerezo: star performer Rafael, who looks set to be out for two months with a torn hamstring, plus also the sheer energy which all the players seemed to draw from the presence at the game of Taishi Tsukamoto.

Captain Chikara Fujimoto was quoted after the Cherries match to the effect that Omiya had performed scarily well and he is right to acknowledge that the bar has been well and truly raised. After an encouraging pre-season, we have all seen how the Squirrels can play - with passion, aggression and movement. Of course, this is likely to beg the question for many an exasperated Ardija supporter why the team have not played like that in the past, but it would only be fair to point to the significant contribution made by the new signings, of whom five were in the starting line-up on Sunday.

But Squirrels fans cannot be blamed now for being demanding of the team and of Jang. An Yong Hak has brought steel to the midfield, while sidebacks Arata Sugiyama and Kazuhiro Murakami have pace and a willingness to get forward - as exemplified when Murakami fed Sugiyama for a superb chance that would have made it 3-0 midway through the second half. We have seen Omiya play well in the past, only to be disappointed with their inconsistency. Have Ardija now, at last, made a real step forward in their development as a team and as a club? Saturday gives us our first chance to find out.



fatpapa 12 March 2010 at 04:00  

I remember the 2-2 J2 game played in Saitama rather exciting, 2 pens and a sending off if I remember correctly. I am going for an away win but a 0-0 wouldn't surprise me.

Diego 12 March 2010 at 04:10  

hi, I want to buy Omiya football shirt, Where i can find? i leave in spain.

Furtho 12 March 2010 at 05:00  

Fatpapa - I think I've seen the goals from that game on my promotion DVD (wonder why the club have never made another DVD...?). I'm optimistic that we can stop Sendai scoring, but whether we'll be quite as strong an attacking force without Rafael is another matter.

Diego - there is no official method of buying an Ardija shirt outside Japan. However, if you email this guy:

and tell him that I sent you, he will be able to help with a shirt and other merchandise. He is reliable.

Anonymous,  12 March 2010 at 10:19  

Diego unless money isn't a concern I would strongly recommend the "replica" or what ever it is. It goes for a third of the price. The game jersey will run you about $215 cnd or 20,000 yen umm like 100GBP, plus whatever the commission and postage costs. For some reason Omiya has one of the most expensive jersey/kit in the league.

Furtho 12 March 2010 at 17:23  

The "replica uniform" costs Y15,750.

There is also a "comfort T-shirt", which costs Y4095.

dokool 12 March 2010 at 18:46  

I just tried to follow you on twitter and apparently I'm blocked ;_;

'sup with that?

Anonymous,  13 March 2010 at 07:14  

Ah it's the "comfort T-shirt" which i purchased which wasn't a t-shirt at all it's more so like a jersey or practice jersey. It just doesn't have all the flashy bits the game jersey has.

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