Kamiyama – 5 Didn’t make a save all game. Didn’t look very solid when punching a couple of crosses, and his kicking has gone bad. Will say he was unsighted by the wall for the free-kick, but there can’t have been many in the stadium who didn’t know where Omae was going to try and put it.
Kim Min Je – 7 Probably Avispa’s best player again. The main attacking threat coming from left-back and put in a couple of good crosses having got an overlap.
Tatsunori – 7 Also solid at the back and trying to get forward. Could have score a goal after a ball was allowed to bounce in the area but his looping poked finish went just wide.
Daiki – 6 Would have got a 7 as he looked ok for the most part, and was getting the better of the Shimizu strikers, but then gave away the stupid free-kick which lost the game.
Yamaguchi – 6 Not as bad as I feared he might be, but was giving away a free-kick every time the ball was knocked long to the Shimizu #19 Takahara.
Sueyoshi – 5 Absent for long parts of the game. Playing on top we needed someone to offer something going forward, and if he is staying back needs to put his stamp on the game. Played at friendly pace at times.
Nakamachi – 7 Was trying to hold things together in the middle, and was probably the best midfielder for either team on the day, but also guilty of giving the ball away at times. Nearly scored with the short corner routine.
Yusuke – 5 Missed his chance to make himself the first choice for right wing. Seems to have put on some weight and lost a yard of pace. Should have done better with best chance of the game.
Matsuura – 6 Difficult conditions for a technical player, but didn’t manage to beat his man through other means. Linked well with Kim Min Je and put in a couple of crosses which someone should have been on the end of.
Hideya – 6 Playing in another new position behind Jogo. I don’t know what he feels is his best position but if he wants to play central he needs to be breaking into the box more. Managed it a couple of times, and was the only player I could imagine scoring at times.
Jogo – 6 Had a few efforts on goal, 2 off target from his head and 1 on target with a shot from outside the box. 3 for the match; same old story. Didn’t play badly but shouldn’t be being asked to lead the line.
Shigematsu – 6 did very little after he came on, nothing to show he should be starting against Kashiwa.
Suzuki – 5 Came on with 5 minutes to play and gave the ball away immediately. Nothing else of note.
Yutaka – 5 Unlucky not to be playing after good performances during the break, but looked ineffective when on. Caught offside a couple of times in a manner which belies the fact he has been playing as a striker for over a decade.
Shinoda – 5 The team should have won from their first 65 minutes, but from then on it seemed obvious they wouldn’t. the substitutions did nothing. Having had a month of watching some of the younger players do better than the older ones why didn’t they play? Similar to the match against Roasso last season, why was the team playing short balls out of defence in the middle of a storm?
Shimizu 1 : 0 Avispa Fukuoka
7 Shots 6
4 Corners 7
23 Free kicks 12
0 Yellow 0
0 Red 0
A massively disappointing result, made all the more worse by the general performance of the team. I feel like I could have written the match report before the game as it was again a case of not having a striker on the pitch coupled with a lack of quality in the final third which denied Avispa all 3 points.
Both teams suffered from a serious lack of quality in the first half which saw only 5 shots on goal, only 2 of which were on target. Hampered by some heavy rain play was disrupted by both teams giving the ball away every time they tried to attack; either by some appalling first touches or wayward passes any time they tried to go forward. It was perhaps best summed up by Kamiyama’s kicking which seems to have deserted him and saw the ball going straight into touch several times.
Avispa had the best chances to score, Jogo forcing a regulation save after hitting a ball first time from outside the area after being fed by Kim Min Je, and then heading over from a position he should have done better from (or left it for the incoming Nakamachi to head) from the same left wing.
The closest either team came to scoring was from the familiar short corner routine which Nakamachi hit well, but was too close to the keeper and could be palmed over the bar.
Matsuura was looking ineffective on the left, Yusuke seems to have lost his pace on the right and the central 4 seemed to be playing as we were still playing friendlies at times. Yamaguchi was giving a free-kick away every time the ball was played long to Shimizu’s Takahara and it might be the first time I have ever seen a referee blow for half-time before 45 minutes had been played.
Coming out for the second half Avispa continued to attack on the left wing should have taken the lead several times in the first 10 minutes. Matsuura trickled a ball along the 6 yard line which was able to be cleared with time to spare due to our lack of a striker, and Hideya then managed to find Yusuke coming in from the opposite wing who hit the ball straight at a diving defender when he really should have scored. Both opportunities coming from Shimizu defenders being too hesitant on the ball. It looked like the only way either team would score was from a mistake from the other team.
At the other end Avispa were not really being troubled at all, which sod’s law dictates they were going to concede. A new Australian player came on for Shimizu and seemed to make a difference as they retained the ball better and started to play in the Avispa half.
With only 10 minutes left to play a fairly innocuous ball from midfield was needlessly handled by Daiki right on the edge of the area. he probably couldn’t have had too many complaints if a penalty had been given. It didn’t matter in the end as the Shimizu #11 Genki, who along with Takahara had been their most effective player, dinked a free kick over the wall and inside the near post.
Shinoda brought on some attackers, but it was Shimizu who came closer to scoring a 2nd as they rattled the cross-bar with a volley from outside the area after Avispa players had again given the ball away.
Another defeat when they really could have got a valuable away win. From today’s performance I think both teams might be in trouble, with Avispa in it deeper and in serious need of Naruoka to come back and provide a little bit more class in the final 3rd.
A long way overdue, but my computer was broken for a month, here are my average ratings for the season.
I gave ratings for all players I watched in games which I watched live so it isn’t entirely fair as I missed most of the games when Jogo was doing his heroics away from home in August.
Players with less than 3 games are not taken as serious averages.
Kamiyama = 7.33
Rokutan = 7 (1 game)
Tatsunori = 7.18
Nakajima = 7.18
Miyaji = 6.5
Yamaguchi = 7 (1 game)
Lee = 8 (1 game)
Daiki = 7.38
Makoto = 7.58
Nagira = 6 (2 games)
Hiraishi = 7 (1 game)
Sueyoshi = 7
Nakamachi = 8 (Highest average = My player of the season
Suzuki = 7.1
Abe = 6.5
Genki = 7.83
Hideya = 6.73
Yusuke = 6.6
Kudo = 7
Jumbo = 5.58 (Lowest average = Worst performer)
Jogo = 6.75
Yutaka = 6.71
Oyama = 7.5 (2 games)
So after a gap in posting during the pre-season we return to action after another break due to the horrific events which have been going on in Tohoku.
The problems are still very far from over but the J-League has decided to restart it’s schedule and it will see Avispa travelling up to Shizuoka for their first away match.
It’ll be the first game for me to watch on TV, and it looks like it could be another important one.
After playing well but losing against Niigata the team will be hoping to get something from the only team who fared as badly on the opening weekend (Shimizu losing 3-0 to Kashiwa). Whoever loses this one is quite likely to be clear bottom at the end of the weekend.
Shimizu suffered in the pre-season losing their star player Okazaki to Europe, and also lost other National team players Fujimoto and Honda. They haven’t yet found adequate replacements and it might be a good time to play them before the team is fully bedded in.
Having said that the Avispa team is also very new and it is hard to know which team will turn up. If the team from the first half against Niigata play then they have a good chance of taking the points, if they come out as they did in the 2nd half of that game they will lose. Pre-season has seen the second string players performing much better than the first team and I am hopeful some of them will be rewarded for this (but doubt they will be unfortunately).
I expect Yutaka to play in the hole in place of the suspended Naruoka, and Hideya and Matsuura to provide width. Jogo should be aiming to stay central, if he ends up having to go looking for the ball on the wing then we have no chance of scoring with anything other than a set-piece or wonder strike.
My prediction Shimizu 0-0 Avispa
Both teams are still trying to sort out their attack. I’d love it is Shinoda had some faith in Shigematsu or even Yoshihara and really take the game to Shimizu rather than the “safe” option of Jogo who will help pack the midfield.
After last week’s friendly theer is another chance to watch some cheap football at Level 5 stadium tomorrow as Avispa play arch-rivals Sagan Tosu in a “friendly” game in the round robin of Kyushu matches going on before the J-League resumes.
As far as friendly matches go it is probably likely to be quite heated between two sets of players and fans who are historically enemies. It won’t be played at full blood, but with the 2 teams now in different divisions it might be the last chance to watch this derby for a while.
The game kicks off at 12 midday at Level-5 Stadium, and costs 1000yen for adults and 100yen for primary school kids. Unfortunately I have work so will miss it.