Sunday, 24 October 2010

Kawasaki Preview

I don't know how the Omiya players feel, but to be quite honest Sunday's game against Kawasaki Frontale is one I could hardly be less enthusiastic about. It's not that I don't care about football and it certainly isn't that I don't care about Ardija, because I do. A lot. But that's what tends to happen when you learn that the president of your club, whom previously you had considered to be pretty incompetent but broadly speaking well meaning, has demonstrated himself to be not only incompetent, but also dishonest and a flat-out liability.

It's also what tends to happen when it becomes clear that your team could conceivably end what was until 2nd October just a regular, typically disappointing Omiya Ardija season (10th In '10? Oh, I wish) with no money (because we could get a huge fine), no sponsors (because we could have angered them so much that they don't want to be associated with us anymore) and no J1 place (because even if we do end the year higher in the standings than Vissel Kobe, we could get a points deduction big enough to relegate us).

All these possible punishments as a consequence of Crowdgate are ifs and buts and maybes at the moment, however, which means that coach Jun Suzuki has had to prepare the Omiya squad for the Frontale match under a huge great big thundercloud of uncertainty. The misadventures of Seigo Watanabe and the resulting media attention must have affected the Squirrels players; it would hardly be a surprise if most of them now had half an eye on obtaining a contract for next season at another club, in particular the senior members of Suzuki's squad.

In which case, the road to a brighter 2011 for those Omiya players begins on Sunday, with the opportunity to showcase their skills, physical prowess, tactical knowhow and stamina against a Kawasaki side who in chasing an ACL spot have in their last two J1 away games recorded victories of 4-0 and 6-1. The Squirrels are without Mato Neretljak as a consequence of his sending off against Gamba Osaka, but otherwise it looks as though Suzuki can pick from a full-strength squad. I hope they win. The three points could come in handy at the end of the year. 



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