Archive for May 2011

vs. Nagoya (youtube)   Leave a comment

Some really good goals by Avispa, and more horrible goalkeeping. I read someone saying that they think Kamiyama might be the worst goalkeeper in J1 or J2, and on the number of howlers he drops that might not be far wrong. He made some excellent stops later in the game, and still think he is a better option than Rokutan.

Posted May 31, 2011 by avispafukuoka in Match highlights

vs. Nagoya (report)   Leave a comment

Having suggested that the key match-ups in the game could involve Kensuke Nagai and Chiyotanda I was pleasantly surprised to see that niether would be playing against their old teams. I was even more happy to see the team sheet as it seemed like the manager had finally thought that maybe the old guard haven’t been doing too great and it might be worth getting some new energy into the team. Of particular note Shigematsu was starting up front, and Yoshihara and Ushinohama were on the bench; all selections I agree with.

The team started well, and it was looking to be more like the team which put in really good performances against Gamba and Marinos rather than the poor display last week. Chances were falling to both teams, with Avispa chancing things at the back a bit and really pushing on in attack. Exactly what I like to see them doing. Matsuura was having his best game in attack and providing an excellent outlet, holding the ball up well and playing sensible balls rather than trying to beat too many people.

The performance then became really similar to the match against Gamba as Kamiyama again gifted a goal to the opposition. A cross from the right was low but too close to Kamiyama, allowing him to pounce on it. Unfortunately he repeated his trick of spilling the ball straight to an oncoming attacker about 3m out from goal. Josh Kennedy made light work of smashing the loose ball into the net to undo all the good work done by the Avispa attackers.

Having gone behind I expected them to capitulate as they had against Jubilo, but they replied almost immediately. Pouring forward in attack again the ball came to Hideya on the left corner of the box where he turned and lofted a decent cross to the back post. Sueyoshi was breaking into the box and judged to be brought down for a penalty. I think it was a penalty, but have seen referees not give them too us when playing away. Hideya converted the penalty well to go in at half-time 1-1.

Coming out for the second half Nagoya were looking for a goal to take the lead and got it through another goalkeeping howler. Avispa were dealing quite well with the pressure as a ball ended up near the left post byline. Tamada struck it powerfully back across the goal in hope that someone might be able to get in the end of it only for Kamiyama to block it straight into the goal. It has been listed as a Tamada goal, I’d certainly be saying it was a Kamiyama own goal.

Having gone behind and drawn level once I thought it would be too much to do it again, but Matsuura was continuing to play well and in Shigematsu they have a quick striker who plays on defenders shoulders and always gives you a chance of scoring. I really wanted him to get a goal in this game to make it harder for Jogo to come back as striker and he came good to equalise for a second time. Suzuki Jun has the quality to find a striker with a well timed run, and Shigematsu broke off the shoulder to knock the ball off his back and past the stranded keeper. It was a perfect striker’s goal. Not in a perfect position, but finding a way to get the ball on target and give himself a chance. Exactly the sort of thing which Genki was so good at last year and Jogo will never be able to do.

Back at 2-2 we definitely deserved a point again, but it wasn’t to be. As in previous games we conceded within the last 10 minutes to lose the game. In a similar goal to Jubilo’s first last week the ball fell to a Nagoya striker with way too much space on the edge of the box. You cannot give J1 players that sort of time and space in the box and it was blasted past Kamiyama to take the lead for the third time. Potentially he could have saved it, but it would have been a really good save and he wasn’t at fault for this one.

In desperation Yoshihara and Ushinohama were thrown on in search of a late goal in the knowledge that losing 3-2 or losing 5-2 doesn’t make too much difference at this stage. We ended up losing 5-2 with a goal which looked like it should have been called handball by Burzanovic and a goal i can’t even remember by Tamada.

I was past caring by the end, but really hope that it was seen that despite losing 5-2 the performance was really good and some of these younger players should be given more of a chance even if others do come back from injury.

Posted May 31, 2011 by avispafukuoka in Match Reports

vs. Nagoya (preview)   Leave a comment

After last week’s demolition things aren’t going to get any easier for Avispa as they travel to see the reigning league Champions Nagoya Grampus.

It would seem to be very likely that they will suffer an 8th straight defeat for the start of their season because as well as facing far superior opposition the midfield is going to be an entirely new one with Nakamachi probably still out injured, and Sueyoshi suspended (I think). If this is true then I don’t know who will be playing in the middle.

The other interesting thing about the game will be the first time that Kensuke Nagai faces the club he started his career with, and could have joined at the start of the season. Having played in the Nagoya first team he will probably feel vindicated at his decision to go there, but I do wonder where Avispa would be now if they had a top striker having come so close in so many games.

I expect Makoto to retain his place despite his poor showing last week, but don’t think Rokutan will keep his with Kamiyama coming back in. Shigematsu should start, but obviously won’t.

Key Match-ups

Nagai vs. Tatsunori
Obviously Nagai is going to be causing problems for the centre-back pairing throughout the game, but I think a more key battle might be from when he starts running from an inside-left/right position. Tatsunori is the guy (along with Kim) who might have the stamina to stick close to him when he does this.

Chiyotanda vs Jogo

Another old boy coming home, and probably one who the fans will have even more of a memory of, will see Chiyotanda facing Avispa. Nagoya are very strong defensively, and probably better in the air than they are on the floor. We won’t be sending many high balls into the box, if Jogo can conjure something and make them come at us we could get a point.

My prediction
Nagoya Grampus 2 – 0 Avispa Fukuoka
I don’t think there will be another blow-out like last week, but I can’t see us getting anything either. We might be able to get a goal in spite of their strong defence as the goals we have scored this year have been of the unstoppable type rather than well-worked goals or goals from defensive errors.

Posted May 28, 2011 by avispafukuoka in Preview, Uncategorized

vs. Jubilo (Ratings)   Leave a comment

Rokutan –4 Don’t think he made a save during the game. Conceded 4 goals, at least a couple of which he should have done better. Kamiyama might make a few horrible blunders but at least he sometimes makes a save too.

Kim Min Je – 6 Probably Avispa’s best player again, but not saying much really. Could have got closer for the 2nd goal, not much chance in attack.

Wada – 5 Still not showing why he was signed. Clearly a back-up player, but no better than Nagira was. How bad must Kobara be to be being kept out of the team.

Daiki – 5 Couldn’t deal with the movement, and was made to look like a bit of an idiot for the 4th goal. Kept the team playing as Captain despite being 4-0 down.

Makoto – 4 Looked really short of match fitness and caught out at the back repeatedly. Won’t have enjoyed his homecoming.

Sueyoshi – 5 Was trying in midfield, and picked up another yellow, but the whole midfield was being totally out-muscled by Jubilo and needed someone to put the boot in, rather than get a yellow for pulling someone back.

Naruoka – 4 Don’t know if he is still short of match fitness, but he showed Jubilo fans they were correct in letting him leave.

Matsuura – 5 Couldn’t beat his man today. Had the only chance for Avispa in the first half but hit straight at the keeper. Won’t be having his loan recalled.

Hideya – 6 Probably the best of the Avispa attackers. Kept himself busy and was rewarded by a nice goal.

Jogo – 5 The ball was rarely getting out of the Avispa half so he wasn’t seeing much of it. Had his head split open when challenging for a header in a defensive position.

Yusuke – 5 Another game where he fails to make things happen. Put in one cross which I remember, but other than that didn’t do much.

Shigematsu – 6 Looked pretty lively when he came on, and will be disappointed that after he got in a position to score he left the ball behind.

Yutaka – 5 No point in bringing him on in games like this, in fact it is starting to look like there was no point in renewing his contract. Would much sooner see Yoshihara be on the bench.

Suzuki – 6 Was better than Naruoka after he came on, but gave the ball away just as much. If he is going to remain as undynamic as he is he needs to never give away possession when he does have the ball.

Shinoda – 5 Was just up against a better team today and couldn’t do much about it. I think he needs to start giving the younger players a run out. Both to see if they can change the slump, and to build for next season with some experience.

Posted May 24, 2011 by avispafukuoka in Opinion

vs. Jubilo (youtube)   Leave a comment

Painful watching, but here are the highlights from Saturday.

Jubilo’s 1st half performance in this game was the best I have seen this season, and would be an excellent video for the Avispa players to watch over and over again. They weren’t trying to run past 3 players, weren’t trying to score Goal of the Season, weren’t trying to play Hollywood passes trying to unlock the defence in one move, and weren’t knocking the ball across the defence and inviting teams to press them. Simple, fast moving passes with players always trying to get into space and provide an option.

Posted May 23, 2011 by avispafukuoka in Match highlights

vs. Jubilo (report)   Leave a comment

Jubilo Iwata 4 – 1 Avispa Fukuoka
5′ Yamazaki
32′ Maeda
35′ Yamamoto
49′ Maeda
86′ Hideya

Having had 6 games on the bounce where we have been able to say that we played well, didn’t get any luck, and ended up with no points, there was always going to be a game where we played badly.

Having seen us get demolished by Oita Trinita in the tsunami fund-raiser I am surprised that it took this long for us to have a stinker of a match, but up against a really well drilled Jubilo Iwata game we got thrashed this week.

As I had expected Naruoka Sho was brought into the team in place of Suzuki Jun who has sadly been pretty ineffective having come in for the injured Nakamachi, and it was nice to see Tanaka Makoto back into the team in place of Yamaguchi; both players presumably eager to face off against their old clubs and show the fans that they could still put in a performance.
They didn’t get much of a chance as Jubilo put Avispa behind after just 5 minutes having relentlessly attacked direct team attacks. There team is summed up by Ryoichi Maeda the National Team player who has socred as many goals as anyone in the J-League in recent years. Not trying to do anything too flashy, but working very hard to get the ball back off the opposition and then getting into space to provide an easy pass for their team-mates. It was an easy tactic, but one which needs a very well disciplined and well drilled team, Avispa just couldn’t cope.

The first goal came after a flick-on by Maeda found young striker Yamazaki on the edge of the box. Hitting a fairly speculative shot towards goal it should probably been saved by Rokutan who had come in for Kamiyama and instantly proven he wasn’t a better solution as keeper.

Having gone ahead Jubilo refused to lower their pace, and were getting the ball back off Avispa while it was still in the Avispa half by pressing fast into players and taking advantage of loose first touches. Avispa had one shot on goal after a long diagonal ball towards Matsuura, but deservedly went behind by more as a long punt upfield was headed down to the winger by Maeda where a chip cross was easily flicked inside the far post by the same player. It was 2-0, could have been 4-0, and Maeda was tearing us apart by the effective simplicity of his game.

As Avispa pushed up to try and get anything from the game Jubilo killed it as a contest with a fast counter from the back. Kobayashi ran from half-way, and while it looked for a moment like he might replicate Usami’s goal from last week, it was in keeping with the game so far that he played a simple pass cutting through the defensive line for Yamamoto to score easily.

Things got no better after the restart as another long ball forward towards Maeda resulted in another goal. I’ve known for a while that Daiki would be caught out by diving over as soon as he gets touched by a chasing attacker, and so it happened in this game. Being hustled by Maeda on the turn he went to ground in search of a free-kick allowing Maeda to run into the box and strike past Rokutan with the outside of his boot. Hopefully Daiki will depend on the referee to make a call a little less in future games as I have seen this one coming.

Things got marginally better for Avispa after the totally ineffective Naruoka was replaced with Suzuki Jun, but Hideya’s classy late goal (curled in over the keeper in a manner not disimilar to Sueyoshi last week) was never anything more than a consolation for the travelling away fans who had been a credit to the club, outsinging the home fans for almost the whole game.

Posted May 23, 2011 by avispafukuoka in Match Reports

vs Jubilo (preview)   Leave a comment

On the face of it Jubilo would seem to be the sort of club we should be hoping to get an away point from. They are an established club in the top flight, but one which is unlikely to ever scale the top of the table again as they don’t really have the number of fans or infrastructure to compete with the big city clubs.

The most interesting part of this game will be that we have taken two players from Jubilo in January (Matsuura and Naruoka) so it will be their first return. In the game last week against Gamba both Daiki and Hideya provided their best performances of the season against their old clubs, if the two guys from Jubilo can do the same it might mean we have a game.

We are likely to be starting without Nakamachi again, but may see Naruoka in midfield rather than Suzuki Jun who hasn’t really done enough to demand to be in the first team.

Wouldn’t be surprised with any result in this game, and it is difficult to call. If the team which played against Gamba last week turns up we will win. If the team from the Shizuoka match play we will lose.

I would imagine that with 6 straight defeats to start the season we are heavy underdogs so would bet on us for the win, but expect a draw is more likely.

My prediction
Jubilo 1 – 1 Avispa

Avispa to go behind and then need to push forward in search for a goal. When we are on the attack we have looked a much better team this season so could score.

Posted May 20, 2011 by avispafukuoka in Preview

vs. Gamba (player ratings)   Leave a comment

Kamiyama – 5 Made some really good one-on-one blocks at the end of the game, but by that point had already let in 3 goals; the first after being duped into a penalty, the second being beaten at his near post, and the 3rd with a total howler.

Kim Min Je – 7 Another solid performance. Had a challenge in the 2nd half against the midget but did alright against pace.

Tatsunori – 7 Did well in attack and defence, probably should have got closer to Usami for the second as there was no over-lap.

Daiki – 9 The best defender on the pitch for most of the game. Gamba might start wanting him back. Was getting forward and looking like he could play a midfield role well.

Yamaguchi – 7 Despite conceding 3 goals this was probably his best game. Would have been an 8, but he backed off so much for Usami’s goal.

Sueyoshi – 9 Lokoed really good in this game. Was playing with some real bite at times, running all over the pitch, and scored a great goal.

Suzuki – 6 Got the assist for the 2nd goal well, but needed to impose himself onto the game more.

Yusuke – 7 Better than in previous weeks in that he is trying to get past his man, but still seems to have lost his pace. Not too sure what else he brings if that is gone.

Hideya – 8 The most important player in holding the play higher up the pitch than in previous games. Was moving across the line and holding the ball well.

Matsuura – 8 His tricky game was working today, and he was playing with the same energy as he did in the first game. Maybe more of a home player.

Jogo – 7 Could have got some points at the end with some sublime technique. Turned to get into the box but shot tamely, scored an amazing bicycle kick but was offside, hit the bar in the last minute.

Naruoka – 6 Looked alright when he came on in a midfield position but didn’t really change much.

Takahashi – 6 Not much of a chance to really change anything

Shigematsu – 6 Didn’t really get much of the ball.

Posted May 20, 2011 by avispafukuoka in Opinion

vs. Gamba (youtube)   Leave a comment

These highlights are really worth watching. Probably the best game I have seen at Level-5 Stadium; not as good as Tokyo Verdy or JEF last year in terms of result, but as a whole game it had nearly everything.

Posted May 16, 2011 by avispafukuoka in Match highlights

vs. Gamba (match report)   2 comments

Avispa 2 : 3 Gamba
18′ Sueyoshi
30′ Adriano (PK)
53′ Usami
57′ Futagawa
62′ Okamoto

Another week passes, and another week of saying that Avispa put in a really good performance, should have got something from the game, but remain fixed on the bottom of the table with 6 consecutive defeats.

Avispa started the game brightly again, with their standard long diagonal ball to the right wing putting Tatsunori free and able to cross the ball into the box. It came to nothing but lifted the crowd and the team and led into a period of sustained pressure for the home team in which they seemed to playing a little narrower than usual, and higher up the pitch. This is exactly what they should be doing; having a little faith in the defence to deal with some attacks and taking the game to the opposition.

Endo was being pressed out of the game, Matsuura was providing a constant outlet, and it wasn’t really a huge surprise when Avispa took the lead. A quick reverse pass by Hideya found Matsuura running into space and able to cut the ball back to Sueyoshi on the edge of the box. It seemed they may have allowed the Gamba defence time to get back and get organised, but Sueyoshi struck a sublime shot over the keeper and onto the underside of the bar to score.

Avispa were looking the better team and nearly scored a second when Daiki was found after a marauding run down the pitch but his goal-bound effort was well blocked.

The team have discovered that you cannot give opposition any chances at this level, and they were punished after 30 minutes as the Gamba midfield was invited to try and find a gap through the defensive line, duly did so as Adriano ran off the shoulder of the last defender and was brought down trying to round Kamiyama. It had looked like he might have dithered too long on the ball, but had the composure to flick it past Kamiyama and invite a hand to his angle. Converting the penalty well the two teams went in level.

Avispa had been the better team and it was the Gamba manager who looked to change things by making a double substitution at half-time. The two players he brought on seemed to make a difference, particularly Hayato Sasaki on the right wing who must be the shortest player in world football, but helped to provide an outlet for Gamba as Matsuura had for Avispa.

Gamba would take the lead from the opposite flank as a wonderkid scored a screamer for the second week running against us. This time it was Takeshi Usami who collected the ball on half-way and was allowed to run to the edge of the box as the otherwise good Yamaguchi seemed loathe to make any challenge on him. He had tied Tatsunori up a couple of times, but it was crazy to allow someone of his talent to run without giving him at least a kick, and he duly rocketed one into the top corner to add to his highlights reel before his move to Europe.

Avispa looked a little rocked having bossed the game a bit, only to end up being behind for the 6th game in a row. They then had the worst goal of the season so far as Kamiyama spilled a tame shot under no pressure with Futagawa on hand to rifle home the loose ball. I had said at the start of the season that Kamiyama will make 3-4 horrible errors this season and here was the first.

Having failed to have any answer to going behind so far this season I hadn’t thought the mistake would mean that much, but then Avispa scored another well worked goal. This time starting on the right side of the pitch the ball came to Suzuki Jun in the final third who has the quality to pick out a man. The man he picked out was Hideya who glanced a header perfectly into the far corner of the goal to make the scores 3-2. He didn’t celebrate at tall having arrived at Avispa from Gamba and possibly being a fan of the club. He was having one of his better games overall, as was Daiki who is still registered as a Gamba player and might be back there if he plays as he did today this season.

Needing just a goal to get a point Shinoda brought on Takahashi and Naruoka and pushed everyone forward. I hope that he noticed that when he did this we didn’t concede any more goals, and maybe he should put a bit more faith in the defence to tell the forwards to push up in normal games too. We nearly conceded more as Adriano was put through on goal twice, and really should have scored, but Kamiyama went some way to atoning for his mistake by blocking both.

We came so close to making it 3-3, with 3 great chances falling to Jogo. For the first he collected and turned right on the edge of the box, but shot tamely. The second saw a flighted ball fall onto him in the penalty box where he showed unbelievable technique to volley the ball home, but was ruled out for offside, and then deep into loss-time he got the ball outside the box and curled a shot over the keeper only to see it hit the bottom of the bar and bounce away from goal. Naruoka Sho nearly forced home the rebound, but with luck against Avispa so far this season the bounce took it close to the keeper to jump on.

Posted May 16, 2011 by avispafukuoka in Match Reports