Avispa have now dropped to 14th in the table after an awful week of results, with the gap to the play-offs opened up to 11 points.
The teams in the top 7 have the quality that they are not going to drop a lot of points between now and the end of the season, so in my opinion our chances of obtaining a play-off spot are close to zero.
What I would like to happen is to play a young, hungry team to see who can perform at this level, and see where we need to get new players before next season and who we might be able to remove from the wage bill
In my opinion Ishizu has shown that we can probably save the 15m yen we pay Naruoka and not be much weaker, Hatamoto has shown we don’t need to pay Tsutsumi 12m. Maybe Masato could show that the 12m that Yutaka gets is something we don’t need to pay.
Unfortunately for this to happen it would need Maeda to accpet that this season has been a failure, and to do so would probably cost him his job.
My disappointment with this season can be summed up by looking at last time we went to Yamagata and came away with a 6-0 victory in which Ushinohama scored 2 goals and sold 500 shirts in the process. This season in a division lower he hasn’t come close to playing, Masato the same.
koga will come back into the team to sort out the defence, but now kobara is suspended instead. It is nowhere near as serious, but the question will be who partner’s Koga. I expect it to be Tsutsumi again, but would prefer it to be Hatamoto. Miyaji probably has more chance than Hatamoto due to Maeda’s aversion to youth.
Wada was horrible at right-back. If Oh isn’t good enough to play ahead of him, Tsutsumi, or Miyaji then Maeda doesn’t rate him at all unfortunately. Looking back at his insane debut where we looked like we might have a superstar is depressing.
The midfield needs 3 players. Sueyoshi should come in, but that would need another acceptance of fault from Maeda so he will keep with an ineffective 2 and be swamped by passing through midfield.
Ishizu might play if Naruoka hasn’t shaken off his ankle problem. No big loss.
Yamagata also have a defender suspended which will hopefully help to disrupt their defence a little. I’m sure it will be a bigger loss than Kobara is to ours.
They have a canny, experienced team who score a lot of goals from set-pieces. Pretty much the worst possible team for us to be playing.
No obvious superstar players, but a well organised, well-drilled team who try to keep things simple and direct. The opposite of us basically.
Yamagata 3 – 0 Avispa
3 goals from set pieces, probably all scored from free headers.
i’d be quite happy with a big loss if it turned out to be Maeda’s last game.