Sunday, 8 May 2011

Agent Orange: Happy Mother's Day!

If you decided to take your mother to Saturday's game against Albirex Niigata, shame on you! Seriously, taking your mother out in that kind of weather to what shall be known from hereon in as Orange Clusterf%^& is inexcusable, especially on her special day.

Unless, of course, you bought her a delicious Munch Burger. I don't remember if I mentioned this before, but my favorite food service is the rarely seen but always wonderful Munch Burger. Unlike your average fast food burger, Munch is fresh and moist, dripping with juice. I always go for the Tomato Cheese burger myself. Magnificent! Coincidentally, over the past two years, we are undefeated when the Munch truck is around.

No, I'm not getting paid by the folks at Munch, I just don't have that much to say about Saturday's game. We played about the same as we did throughout the week. Our defense was fine - got lucky on a couple of occasions but put up the second clean sheet of the season and kept the first half no-goal record intact. The offense was erratic in front of the box, shying away from what looked like good shooting opportunities to dribble away from the box and take a much harder shot, or pass back into traffic, or make pinpoint cross attempts to no-one in particular. The second half saw us abandon trying to get past defenders when we had them isolated, pulling it back out and waiting instead.

Usually at this point I would do the Eleven Things I Learned schtick, but I didn't really learn anything.

1. We need to shoot when we have the opportunity, especially in bad weather conditions.

2. Make the keeper catch a wet and slippery ball. Kick it right at him and put some spin on it.

That's all I got from Saturday. I was very wet and not very happy.

A Reason to Hate George W Bush

1. He couldn't name the gopher Red?

Yamagata in Five Easy Steps

Next up in the ever-expanding quest for goals and victory is a trip north to Yamagata and our fourth road excursion in six games. Montedio sits near the J1 drain in fourteenth place with a -6 goal difference and a league-worst ten goals allowed. However, all that is a little misleading. Yamagata has been pretty decent in two games at home, only allowing one goal and getting a results against league leaders Kashiwa Reysol and a tie versus Cerezo Osaka. Add to that, we haven't scored there since Ardija and Yamagata were both in J2. So what do we do to win?

1. Test Yuki Uekusa early. You have to put up shots against this team, something we aren't doing well. Uekusa is a relatively inexperienced keeper (seven games played) who is coming off a 4-0 shelling by Jubilo Iwata on Saturday. Get him to make a mistake early.

2. Don't get outshot by them. One team lost to Yamagata this year: Kashiwa. One team got outshot by Yamagata this year: Kashiwa. Yamagata doesn't put up many shots and that's an understatement. They don't shoot at all, really. In their five games, they managed 3, 3, 7, 8, and 6.

3. Don't give up free kicks near the box. It's a little out of our control but Montedio really has trouble scoring in open play. Of the five goals they scored against us last year, I think that one was a throw-in that we completely botched, two were off of PKs, one was a fantastic free kick near the box and one was off a corner. It depends on the official, of course, but don't make mistakes in our area with bad fouls.

4. Cut out the backpasses. Montedio is disciplined and will play long stretches of hold and counter. Don't make stupid backpasses, push it forward. Actually just be careful with the passing.

5. When you see a gap, take it. Don't pull the ball back out and let them set up their defense. That's what they want. If you have an isolation, especially on the wings, push it forward fast. Make them do something fantastic defensively.

I'm hoping some goals are scored because I'm getting on a bus again and I'd like to see some offense by us. Munch Burger won't be there so it's the game or nothing I suppose.

Squirrels climb trees! And they shoot as well!! Happy Mother's Day, mom!!!

Please let us have a glorious blowout win.

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