Some promising performances on the first day of the season, unfortunately mostly from the new players rather than from guys stepping up from J2.
Kamiyama – 6. Made a couple of good saves after making himself big, but was mainly helped by them not being hit very well by Niigata strikers. At fault for the 2nd goal after first coming out for a cross and then going backwards to leave a free header.
Kim Min Je – 8. A really good debut. Linked very well with Matsuura in the first half and maintained his pace through the whole game to remain Avispa’s best attacking threat. Allowed #9 to get goal-side for the first goal.
Tatsunori – 6. Looked solid in the first half, but wasn’t so good in the second as he allowed #9 too much space, especially for the 2nd goal. No attacking threat.
Daiki – 7. Excellent in the first half, being in control of Bruno Lopes and looking to play the ball out of defence. Needs to stay close to the target man.
Makoto – 6. Also excellent in the first half, but when you are relying on making key tackles one on one you will always miss a few. Lost Bruno Lopes on the 2nd goal, but it may have been as a result of a call from Kamiyama.
Sueyoshi – 7. Playing at J2 level in the first 10 minutes, but quickly learned not to lose possession so easily and grew into the game with a couple of shots from outside the box. Uncomfortable at right-back.
Nakamachi – 7. Needed a big game from him today, and it didn’t really arrive. Good throughout, but not the key player he needs to be. Many, many times the ball was headed clear from the Niigata box and there was a big space for Niigata midfield to play in. Him, Naruoka and Sueyoshi need to work out how to fill that as a key factor on whether 4231 can compete with formations using a stricter midfield bank.
Matsuura – 8. Really exciting player. Wants to beat his man all the time, and seems to have the skill and strength to do that. Intricate passing with Kim was the highlight of the game. Showed Hideya and Jogo the intensity you need at J1.
Hideya – 6 Not a bad game, but nothing special either. A surprise choice for right wing ahead of Yusuke, and I’d be more surprised if he was still there next week. Could have changed the game with the best chance for Avispa early which was hit weakly.
Naruoka – 6. Would have got a 7 if he hadn’t got sent off. The sending off wasn’t entirely his fault, but he should be experienced enough to know not to give shit referees a chance. Had chances and will get better, but will now have to wait before he can gel with the team through suspension.
Jogo – 5. I understand he is playing as striker when that is probably not his favorite position, but as such he needs to start leading the line a bit better. Did lots of things well, but lacks confidence to be highest up the pitch. Dummied the ball at times he could shoot, and turned to hold up the ball when he just needed to test the keeper.
Shigematsu – 7 Looked energetic and not scared to shoot. I’d definitely have him starting ahead of Jogo up front, but the whole team will need to be adjusted with Naruoka’s suspension.
Suzuki Jun – 6 Only had 10 minutes, and didn’t do anything great. Playing very deep while he is better suited to be up field where he can shoot at goal and try to create.
Yusuke – 6. Had a shot on the break after a good pass from Daiki. Would have hoped to do better, but the game was already gone at that point.
Shinoda – 7. The team was set up well, and I like that fact that Hideya was playing, presumably as a reward for a good pre-season rather than the biggest names. Needs to sort out the big space in the centre of the pitch, both in the opposition penalty box where a striker with presence is needed, and in midfield.