We got the best result of the season last weekend, with Kogo returning to form and hopefully seeing that when he puts the work in and has confidence in his ability he is good enough to be playing at this level.
The game today has Avispa travelling up to Chiba to play Kashiwa who got promotion up to J1 with us last season. On paper that should mean it is one of the games we can be competitive in, in reality Kashiwa are having an amazing season where they look like they might be able to repeat Cerezo’s endeavors in qualifying for the ACL in their first season back.
I’ve seen us play Kashiwa twice now, and while we haven’t been totally outplayed, we have lost both times in a similar sort of match. kashiwa like to play between the middle and final third with their fullbacks pushed up and Leandro Dominguez looking for the final pass.
They do this very well and have beaten far better teams than us doing it, but we have experienced it for 2 years running now and I hope there is some plan to deal with it.
I think it is possible we get a result in the game, but only with sharp tactical discipline. We need Matsuura and Yusuke to both be playing, and to be ready to sprint beyond the full-back at every opportunity forcing them to turn and stop their support to midfield. Previously they have been covered by the centre-backs going wider which opens space through the middle. It is through fast countering that Kashiwa will lose their shape in my opinion.
The other thing which I really want to see is Sueyoshi kicking Leandro Dominguez somewhere in the centre circle. The guy is prone to losing his head and doesn’t like being kicked. Sueyoshi is in the team as a defensive screen, but picks up all his yellow cards for shirt-pulling. Accept a yellow card, but make sure Leandro knows he has no time.
Sueyoshi will return to the team after Suzuki Jun got suspended.
Kashiwa 2 – 0 Avispa
I think we can win this game, and have suggested the tactics to do so, but don’t think they will be followed. Key player today is Sueyoshi, if he can close the space on the edge of the final third then our wingers should be ready for a diagonal pass and can score.