Thursday, 3 November 2011

Kawasaki Preview

Been pretty quiet around here lately, huh? Well, there's a reason for that. Having started GGOA in early 2005, I can honestly say that I've never felt so disenchanted and disappointed with Ardija as I do at this moment. As far as I'm concerned the 2011 season, the seventh consecutive campaign in which Omiya have displayed no progress whatsoever, can't end soon enough. Another year in which the Squirrels come into November fighting for their J1 lives. Jun Suzuki may have managed one home win all season, but still club president Shigeru Suzuki - supposedly a breath of fresh air when he came in to replace the disgraced Saigo Watanabe - has reportedly pronounced himself satisfied with how the club is developing. I just want to know who they're going to get rid of in the close season.

Here on GGOA we have made the same sorts of points about the club and team's failings again and again and again and again... because we've pretty much had to. On occasions we've even tried to make them halfway interesting - amusing, even - to the non-Ardija fan, for example Agent Orange's story about seeing a penguin at Vissel Kobe. Come on, that was pretty funny. Well I liked it. But we're banging our heads against a brick wall here. Seven years, it's been. Seven years and still Chikara Fujimoto is club captain, Hayato Hashimoto gets playing time and Yosuke Kataoka is a first-choice defender. Seven years and we still don't have a productive youth system to speak of. That's tough to take when your ambitions are as sky-high as ours. Hell, we still dream of finishing tenth. 

AO feels this team still has a win and a draw in it during the last four matches of 2011. That would be great. A season total of 39 points? Any Omiya supporter would bite your hand off for that. Me, I know that the Squirrels have a strange habit of pulling off those sorts of improved results right at the end of a year. They've done if every time since 2005, so I wouldn't count myself as surprised if they do it again this time too. But equally, I can well imagine Suzuki's team closing out the fixture list with four more defeats. We don't score that many and the defence, with Kataoka and the immobile Yuki Fukaya at its heart, is so weak that it's never going to keep the opposition out unless they themselves are playing disastrously badly. 

Wednesday's opponents Kawasaki Frontale aren't playing in a manner that you'd describe as disastrous, but they certainly have had a poor season and are currently slumped just below halfway in the standings... that's right, in the sort of position Omiya would love to be in. Could the game at Todoroki be the Ardija win that AO believes to be a possibility? It's the same deal as all the last few matches; with minor tweaks, the same as the last seven years, in fact. We need Rafael, Keigo Higashi, Takashi Kitano and Kota Ueda to be on top form and we need Frontale to be inexplicably feeble in front of goal. I guess it might happen. But roll on December, when the action must surely start. 



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