Saturday, 24 July 2010

Kobe Preview

Only time for a brief preview this week, which is unfortunate because Sunday's visit to Vissel Kobe constitutes a crunch match for coach Jun Suzuki and his Omiya Ardija side. Crunch matches - by which is meant crucial fixtures in the fight against relegation - are of course normal, regular elements of any Squirrels season and 2010 is proving no different in that regard. After all, Suzuki experienced a must-win game the very first time he took charge of an Ardija side and on that occasion he did indeed get the right result, albeit in a particularly scrappy manner against another poor team in Kyoto Sanga.

Since then, however, Suzuki has failed to bring about real improvements and last weekend's loss at home to Nagoya Grampus was disappointing indeed. Omiya still can't score and the lack of co-ordinated width evident against the Red Whales was extraordinary to see. Agent Orange wrote on this site about Chikara Fujimoto's feeble contribution that evening, but the Ardija captain's partner on the right, Arata Sugiyama, was slow to spot opportunities as well as being physically sluggish. The combination of those two players rendered Omiya's attacking threat from that side of the field practically zero.

In contrast with Sugiyama, youngster Daisuke Watabe picked up rave reviews for his brief substitute appearance and there are suggestions that Watabe may have done enough to earn himself what would be a first J1 start following his conversion from striker to right-sided defender. Given that Sugiyama's confidence seems to have drained clean away, Watabe seriously cannot do much worse. Former Vissel player Norio Suzuki looked energetic enough on his debut and deserves to continue on the left against his old team. But can he create a goal? Can he score a goal? Can any of them?



Johan 24 July 2010 at 13:08  

Hi guys. Why hasn't Mato been starting. I thought he was your best defender.

Furtho 24 July 2010 at 14:17  

Welcome, Johan.

There's been no indication from the club or Jun Suzuki about Mato, so whether the player has been a substitute because he hasn't been completely fit or because Suzuki wanted to try a different combination of players in the middle of defence is not clear. Let's hope Mato is back against Kobe.

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