Archive for February 2012

Shukan Soccer Digest   Leave a comment

Each year a soccer digest is released in japan which details all of the registered players, and stats for all the clubs in the J-League.

As part of this they try to suggest a line-up for the first team.

I don’t agree with everything they have suggested, but it is quite interesting to see what they expect. Each position has a 1st/2nd/3rd choice, and they think we will be starting the season playing 442.

………………Yutaka……Sakata……………….
………………(Jogo)…..(Nishida)……………..
……………((Yoshihara))………………………

Naruoka………Suzuki Jun……Sueyoshi………..Jogo
(Kihara)……..(Okada)………(Miyaji)……….(Kihara)
((Ushinohama))…………………………………((Sakata))
…………………………………………………..(((Ishizu)))

Kim Min Je……..Kobara………..Koga………..O Chang Hyon
(Omata)……….(Yamaguchi)…..(Tsutsumi)…….(Tsutsumi)
((Wada))………((Okada))…….((Hatamoto))……………..

………………………..Kajiyama…………………….
………………………..(Kawata)…………………….
……………………….((Kasagawa))………………….

I’ve just copied and translated this from the digest, and don’t agree with very much of what it says.

1) I’m sure we will be starting the season 4231. We have experimented with 442 in pre-season, but think it won’t be used straight away.

2) As much as I think it is a good idea, Jogo won’t be played on the wing. It is more likely Sakata will be on the wing and Jogo in the middle, although I don’t agree with this.

3) Ishizu should be seen as a penalty box striker, not a winger.

4) If Naruoka is going to play left-wing it is a position he didn’t do at all last year.

5) My understanding is that Kihara can play in the middle, while Okada is more of a wing player. Shukan seem to be saying the opposite.

6) If we are relying on Miyaji as 2nd choice central midfielder we are in big trouble. He is back-up for all defence. Naruoka, Jogo, Kihara, even Ushinohama will all play central midfield before Miyaji.

7) Ushinohama has played mostly on the right wing.

I will post what I expect as our first XI tomorrow.

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Posted February 29, 2012 by avispafukuoka in Opinion

The expert’s predictions   Leave a comment

Before the start of each J-League season the ‘experts’ at the J-League After Game Show have a sit down and talk about how they think the season will end.

Last year they all predicted that Avispa would finish rock-bottom of J1, so they all got that wrong!

Here is what they predict for J2 this year.
J2 table 2012

It doesn’t look great for Avispa, but with a play-off system in place then finishing anywhere from 3rd to 6th could mean we get promotion (and conversely 3rd means we might not).

For those struggling with the blurry photo we are predicted…
#1 = 8th
#2 = 5th
#3 = 5th
#4 = 6th
#5 = 5th
#6 = 10th
So most experts guess we will have a play-off place at the end of the season.

I don’t have much faith in the guys who think we will finish 8th and 10th. Both of those two also think Kitakyushu will finish in the play-offs.
I guessed they would have a good season last year, but can also see it was a huge over-achievement rather than getting caught up in some hysteria about it. A mid-table finish as a season of consolidation would be good for them this year.

Posted February 27, 2012 by avispafukuoka in News

Final 2 training matches (pre-season)   Leave a comment

Avispa finished their pre-season training with another 2 games in 2 days last weekend as they played Consadole Sapporo and Saga LIXIL on Saturday and Sunday.

As with the games against Marinos and Volca a couple of weeks ago I suspect that these were played as quite close to a first team and second team, but the second string did a lot better this time and will be knocking on the door for the match against Kumamoto on Sunday.

Avispa 0 – 0 Consadole Sapporo

On the face of it I was quite disappointed to get a goalless draw with Sapporo, but then thinking that they are now somehow a J1 club it is actually a good result.
I think we will score a lot of goals this season, and maybe not be so strong in defence, so to get a clean sheet against J1 opposition is actually quite encouraging.

Avispa 6 – 0 LIXIL

Obvioulsy the opposition is of a much lower standard, but you can only beat who you are playing and to do so 6-0 is as comprehensive as you’re likely to get in a friendly game.
Coming off the back of a 4-0 defeat from the last time the second string played ‘lesser’ opposition this is much more promising.

Yoshihara scored the only goal of the first half, and is probably learning more playing full matches at this level than sitting on the bench, and then scored another in the 2nd half to go along with a brace for Ishizu and goals by Kihara and U-18 player Kawakami.

Having scored goals when they have played I hope that both Ishizu and Yoshihara get places on the bench for the match on Sunday.

Striker Watch. The finished table for pre-season. This final friendly against weaker opposition has skewed things a little.

#1 Takahashi – 5 goals
#1 Ishizu – 5 goals
#3 Sakata – 3 goals
#3 Yoshihara – 3 goals
#5 Jogo – 2 goals
#5 Ushinohama – 2 goals
#7 Naruoka – 1 goals
#8 Nishida – 0 goals

From this I would like to see the following front 4 against Kumamoto….

………………Jogo
Sakata……….Takahashi………Naruoka

With Ishizu, and Yoshihara on the bench.

Posted February 27, 2012 by avispafukuoka in News

Player targets 2012   3 comments

Always nice to have some targets in your job. These are the targets I set for the players in the Avispa squad, if they meet these this year then I reckon they will have done ok.

Kamiyama = Start and finish the season having stayed as first choice keeper in the League.

Kim Min Je = Get 8 assists for the season.

Okada = Play well enough in one position to make it clear whether he is a full-back or a winger.

Wada = Finish the season without the disappointment of relegation or missing promotion.

Koga = Get 30 games in the season and prove he is here to play rather than retire back in Fukuoka.

Yamaguchi = Limit the goals we concede from set-piece headers to under 8.

Sueyoshi = Run over 10km a game as a box-to-box midfielder.

Suzuki Jun = Have at least 1 long shot in every game he plays.

Jogo = Mix his movement so he is sometimes running towards passes rather than onto them.

Yutaka = Score over 15 goals.

Kobara = End the season as clear first choice at centre-back.

Kihara = Force his way to getting 5 first team starts.

Sakata = Be in the top 10 scorers charts for the division.

Ishizu = Score a goal after playing from the start for the first team.

Chang = Become first choice as right-back at some point.

Nishida = Get 5 goals as substitute.

Naruoka = Be in the reckoning for J2 Player of the Year.

Miyaji = Get 10 substitute appearances.

Omata = Start 10 games.

Kawata = Play all Cup games.

Yoshihara = Score a goal for the first team.

Kasagawa = Be ready as sub for all games.

Son = Make his first team debut.

Hatamoto = Make his first team debut.

Ushinohama = Be happy to play as substitute and make a difference against teams with 15 minutes left to play.

Tsutsumi = Be first choice right-back by the end of the season.

Not all of these targets are going to be possible. For some people making theirs will stop others from making theirs, but if players finish the season reaching these targets they can be satisfied.

Posted February 19, 2012 by avispafukuoka in Opinion

vs. Oita Trinita (training match)   Leave a comment

Oita Trinita 3 – 4 Avispa Fukuoka

As little as can be read into pre-season training matches Avispa have to be happy after getting another win, to leave them with just the single defeat when the second string lost to Kagoshima.

Last year we were made to look very ordinary in pre-season as we got beaten by Oita, with their big striker Morishima tearing our defence apart for the 2nd time. At that time I wished we could have him at Avispa, and wasn’t too sure why he wasn’t destroying J2, and it appears the same may have happened today as he scored a goal in each of the 1st 45 minutes.
With history again repeating itself from last pre-season Yutaka seems to have played very well for Avispa having also got a goal in each half to make the ‘1st game’ 2-2. I’m not particularly pleased that Yutaka has been made Captain, and will presumably start most games, but maybe he has 1 more season left in him.

The 3rd 45 minutes was the only one which didn’t end 1-1 as Sueyoshi got another goal to take a lead into the 2nd half. I’m glad he is scoring goals, it is something he needs to add to his game as I think he will be a better box-to-box midfielder than defensive role he currently seems to occupy.
Ushinohama claimed the 4th Avispa goal before Oita got a late consolation.

Striker Watch. The decision to make Yutaka Captain could come good as he moves into a clear lead from pre-season goals.

#1 Takahashi – 5 goals
#2 Ishizu – 3 goals
#2 Sakata – 3 goals
#4 Jogo – 2 goals
#4 Ushinohama – 2 goals
#6 Naruoka – 1 goals
#6 Yoshihara – 1 goal
#8 Nishida – 0 goals

Posted February 18, 2012 by avispafukuoka in Match Reports

Japan Stars (Suzuki Jun’s goal)   Leave a comment

Comes from at the end of last year, but I only just found it on youtube, here is Suzuki Jun’s goal from the tsunami charity match in December.

Interesting to see him cutting in from the left (where I have wanted to see him play for a while), and in a more advanced position than the middle 2 at Avispa (where I have also wanted to see him!).

Hopefully it will give him the confidence to swing his left foot through a few this year. I think he should be targeting 10 goals this season.

Posted February 17, 2012 by avispafukuoka in Match highlights

vs. Fukuoka University of Education (training match)   Leave a comment

Avispa 5 – 0 University

A training match back in Fukuoka saw Avispa take an easy win against more University opposition. Played up at the training pitches there were 4 30 minute quarters, and I would guess that most players got a bit of a game, much like against Oita last season.

The 4th quarter had the most goals, but that may be because the Uni team was getting quite a bit weaker rather than Avispa were playing any stronger.

1st quarter 1-0
24′ Koga
2nd quarter 0-0
3rd quarter 1-0
1′ Jogo
4th quarter 3-0
7′ Yoshihara, 23′ Son, 26′ Son

Nice to see Son getting some time on the pitch and goals. He is someone I want to see play more (along with Masato).

#1 Ishizu – 3 goals
#1 Sakata – 3 goals
#1 Takahashi – 3 goals
#4 Jogo – 2 goals
#5 Ushinohama – 1 goal
#5 Naruoka – 1 goals
#5 Yoshihara – 1 goal
#8 Nishida – 0 goals

Next match is against Oita in Oita on Saturday.

Posted February 15, 2012 by avispafukuoka in Match Reports