Avispa 0 : 0 FC Gifu
The last time I saw Gifu at Level-5 they beat us 2:0, so I suppose I could be pleased we came away with a point, but in fact this game felt even worse.
Gifu turned up without even being able to name a full bench, and with a goal-keeper who looked very dodgy, even in the warm-up.
With what could be argued to be Maeda’s best team it looked like we should be able to get a fairly comfortable win. What happened was anything but comfortable, and Gifu are probably the more disappointed team after hitting the bar, having a ball cleared off the goal-line, and 2 goals disallowed.
In reply Avispa didn’t manage a single shot on target against a team which started the game with a 4141 formation and their 3rd choice goal-keeper.
Again the problem for Avispa was in midfield. Time and time again the ball was being passed from left-to-right-to-left across our defence, sometimes with Okada and Sueyoshi dropping back to leave absolutely no-one in the centre.
After a couple of minutes of this a long diagonal ball would be played to Jogo who with no support in midfield had no options but to pass back to the defence. We must have had 65% possession at least and didn’t create a single clear chance all match.
As soon as Gifu’s defence got the ball they would pass forward, usually into a big open space in the middle of the pitch. If the ball did end up being turned over to Avispa they had nothing to fear as it wouldn’t result in an Avispa attack, just more sideways passing.
As I said in my preview we needed attacking fullbacks to allow Jogo and Naruoka to push a little narrower and have options on the outside. It would have been unfair to drop Omata as he was probably our best player, and the one player who you could see was getting frustrated by our inability to pass forward.
As the match wore on Maeda made some attacking substitutions, not with any real change in plan, just hoping something might happen. Ishizu looked good when he came on for Yutaka, deserves to start on this evidence, running at defenders and adding some energy.
Nishida didn’t change much, and Samir had no time.
I feel this should be Maeda’s last game, he has certainly lost the crowd, and has created a system which is boring to watch and produces few chances. Looking at the last few games (of which we should have won all of them)…
vs. Tochigi SC : never looked like scoring across a game played on 2 different days.
vs. Kateller Toyama : Scored in the last 5 minutes to sneak a win after creating nothing all game.
vs. Fagiano Okayama : Lucky to get a draw, boring home game with very few chances.
vs. Thespa Kusatsu : Lost, never looked like scoring.
vs. Giravanz Kitakyushu : Lucky to get a win. Scored our only chance.
vs. Matsumoto Yamaga : Scored 2, but both were freak goals not from our good play.
vs. Gifu : 0-0 draw having failed to get a shot on target.
The formation is wrong. The players aren’t working. We are in danger of finishing in the bottom half of the table which could damage us for the next 3-4 seasons.