Tuesday, 13 April 2010

FC Tokyo Preview

After the total disaster of the second half of Saturday's game at home to Gamba Osaka, it's probably lucky for coach Jang Wae Ryong and for the supporters that Ardija have another fixture so soon. Straight away there's something else to concentrate on, as Wednesday evening sees the Squirrels take on FC Tokyo in the Nabisco Cup - only two and a half weeks after the previous Omiya shocker against the Gasheads, when An Yong Hak and Mato Neretljak were both sent off before half time, effectively condemning Ardija to an inevitable defeat.

Subsequently the J-League handed both players the lightest of punishments, meaning that they were suspended only for the Nabisco Cup draw at Kyoto Sanga. But the fallout from Gamba may for the squad have an impact over a longer period of time. Only three months into his career at Ardija Kazuhiro Murakami reportedly blanked Jang after being substituted and has made no comment on his blog, while another newcomer, Shusuke Tsubouchi, said that he could understand why a section of the Omiya Park crowd had booed the team off the pitch.

The cracks, in other words, seem to be showing already - which is why tomorrow's game provides Jang with an opportunity to make improvements ahead of the far more important league encounter with Jubilo Iwata at the weekend. Surely the squad cannot be lacking on motivation, a desire to put right what went so badly wrong on Saturday and to have a proper opportunity to beat Tokyo. What Omiya need, then, is some spark of inspiration, creativity or unpredictability in their line-up. We're only six weeks into the season. We must have some hope that the Squirrels can surprise us.



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