Archive for September 2012

vs. Yokohama FC (preview)   Leave a comment

As the worst club in Kyushu, and the worst team in Avispa’s history there isn’t very much to look forward to tomorrow.
Maeda could play some youngsters and give hop for next season, but he doesn’t seem willing to do that; determined to try and get a few more 0-0 draws and finish 17th not 18th.

The only real point of interest for Avispa fans will be one man; Jumbo Okubo. I wasn’t his biggest fan in his last season at Avispa, but thought it was quite harsh to not offer him a new contract (especially as they kept the less effective Yutaka for another 2 seasons).
He went on to struggle for Montedio in J1 and had to play in an exhibition team to get signed by Yokohama FC this season.
Returning to J2 he has had a really good season, and been exactly the type of penalty box presence striker that Avispa have needed, and scored enough goals to be in the top 5 strikers for the division.

Does this mean Avispa were wrong to let him go? I don’t think so. He looked tired and out of energy in his last games for Avispa, and maybe a change in scenery was exactly what he needed to have this last burst in his career.
I hope he does well tomorrow, and if it means we end up losing I don’t really care at the moment (unless we do play a young team in which case I really want to win).

Avispa Team News.
Please please please play Hatamoto, Ishizu, Ushinohama, Masato, Son, any of the young players!
I don’t care if we end up losing, there is nothing to play for this season. All I want is to see something which will give me hope that next season might be better.
Watching players on loan, or who are definitely going to run next season gives me no hope at all, even if we get a lucky win.

In reality Maeda will play Suzuki and Okada in midfield (because we lost so he changes it), Sakata and Osmar up front, probably Naruoka on the wing. But really who cares. Kim probably back at left-back after Omata didn’t do too well against Kumamoto.
Nishida might get a game against his former club.

Yokohama News
The Yokohama team is really old, and may actually have Jumbo out injured after going off after 13 minutes in his last game. i don’t know what his injury was.
Miura won’t travel, Jumbo will play as striker and they’ll aim balls at his head for a long time.
They are likely to play in a flat 442, which may ease some pressure on our awful central 2, who should be trying to play somewhere other than 3m ahead of the defence.
At centre-back they have ex-urawa defender Horinouchi out suspended.

My Prediction

Avispa 0 – 0 Yokohama

Maeda won’t play a different team. We’ll pass the ball around without ever looking like scoring and I’ll have to decide whether I can be bothered to renew my season ticket for next year.

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Posted September 29, 2012 by avispafukuoka in Preview

vs. Roasso Kumamoto (report / youtube)   Leave a comment

Roasso 3 – 1 Avispa

It’s been 4 days since watching the match against Kumamoto, and seeing the inevitable defeat which leaves us 4 points behind them and with little hope of finishing the season as anything other than Kyushu’s worst J-League team.

Everything about the match was so predictable. The graphic I made bfore turned out to be totally correct, we had no ideas, the ball was passed around totally ineffectively, and apart from a moment of individual brilliance or mistake from Kumamoto we never looked like scoring.

Even my pessimism couldn’t have predicted the start we had as Kumamoto’s makeshift striker (a 24 year old defender) headed home a corner inside 90 seconds.
He was supposed to be marked by Kobara who had come back into the team as a right-back (?) and failed to head the ball away, which is pretty much the only thing I expected he might be able to do.
I have no idea why Maeda put him in as right-back, increasingly it is looking like he is trying a few different people in a few different positions and hoping something comes good. The one obvious thing he misses in doing this is ever giving the younger players a chance who may give some sort of positive to this otherwise awful season.

I stayed with the match, and was surprised to see we actually managed an equaliser. Obviously it didn’t come from us doing anything well, but rather a horrible pass backwards from the Kumamoto #10 which was intercepted by Osmar and scored for his first goal with his feet.
I say it was nothing good from Avispa, but have to give credit to Sueyoshi who was closing down well in a position high up the pitch where he should be trying to play.

That was as good as it got for Avispa as some old striker from Kashiwa Reysol came on for the #3 who had been playing as a striker but landed awkwardly and damaged his ligament.
Apparently this striker hadn’t scored a goal, so who better to play against than us.
A cross from deep on the left aimed at roughly the penalty spot was converted with a really good header leaning back, and guiding it back across goal. It was a good goal, but the striker was about 1.70m, how could he get anywhere near the ball with Kobara, Koga, Kazuki and Omata playing.

The game was finished, I managed to watch the whole thing, but can’t even remember their third goal and can’t be bothered to watch youtube to see what it was.
At a guess I would say it involved our defence watching a ball come into the box after being given away by our midfield playing about 5m outside the box.

We are terrible. Please Maeda, play some young players. There is nothing good that can come from this season unless you show someone who might be able to offer something next year.

Posted September 27, 2012 by avispafukuoka in Match Reports

Pre-match team-talk   Leave a comment

As far as I can tell this is what Maeda has been telling the team to do.

Maeda: “To get back in J1 we need to have defenders who can pass, have you seen Barcelona?”

Suzuki Jun: “Cool! I’ll be Iniesta. I can use the outside of my foot (my left foot)”

Maeda: “Great! We don’t need a midfield as our defenders can pass like midfielders already.”

Kazuki: “Errr…”

Tsutsumi: “I don’t care what we do so long as I can wear my tight shorts and muscle shirt.”

Ushinohama, Hatamoto, Masato, Son, Ishizu: “It sounds fun! Can we play?”

Maeda: “No. Kihara, Tsutsumi, Omata
and Okada have to go back to their clubs soon, we need to give them time to practice before they do.”

Sakata: “Are you sure Yutaka will be able to head balls on to me against much taller defenders?”

Naruoka: “I’m not sure if no midfield is a good idea boss.”

Maeda: “Shhh. In games against Toyama, Gifu and Machida we are unbeaten this season so something must be working.”

Posted September 23, 2012 by avispafukuoka in Opinion

vs. Roasso Kumamoto (preview)   Leave a comment

While we were drawing against bottom team Machida last weekend Roasso were beating promotion chasing Oita Trinita.

The win means they overtook us in the league, and we are now the lowest place team in Kyushu. With 4 teams above us (Tosu, Kumamoto, Oita and Kitakyushu), this could be seen as something of a new low as it hasn’t ever happened before.
I’m sure we have a bigger wage-bill than Kumamoto and Giravanz, are quite likely to pay more than Oita, and may well even be close to Tosu in the top half of J1. The situation is a joke.

The last time we played Kumaoto away (2 years ago) was the first real time I had see us having the problems we are still having now. In the pouring rain, while chasing promotion, we tried to pass the ball around with next to no final product and were easily beaten by a Kumamoto team who let us try to pass around with an ineffective system knowing that their chance would come.

The team has got considerably worse since then, but the same problems exist.
I’d love to talk to Maeda and ask him to describe exactly how Avispa will score against Kumamoto. Obviously not all our goals will be scored that way, but every team needs to have at least some sort of plan.
When I look down the team sheet, and who we have in different positions I just can’t think how we will score, except for moments of brilliance which happened at the start of the season, but quickly emerged that you can’t rely on these.

Avispa News.
Suzuki Jun comes back from suspension, and I guess will come straight back into the team in place of Tsutsumi. Tsutsumi hasn’t done badly, but it isn’t his natural position (at the moment). He should still be on the bench ahead of Sueyoshi in that role though.
Kim is also available, but after being our best player against Machida, Omata doesn’t really deserve to be dropped.
I hope Sakata and Osmar will start up front, with Jogo and Naruoka on the wings, but against his old team Yutaka might find a way of getting a start.

Roasso Kumamoto
With no suspensions of their own, and coming off the back of a Kyushu derby win I expect Roasso to stay unchanged.
A win against us here would put them 4 points clear and hopeful of staying ahead until the end of the season for a small moral victory.

They don’t really have any strikers, but that is just going to encourage Koga and Kazuki to pass the ball between them until one of them kicks it straight to a Roasso player. In the absence of real strikers they have been throwing defender Takahashi forwards, but it is winger Takatomi who offers the real goal threat and is going to be a nightmare running at Wada.

My Prediction.

Roasso 2 : 0 Avispa

We have a useless midfield even at full strength, and Takatomi is going to run rings around either fullback to give away so many set pieces.

Posted September 22, 2012 by avispafukuoka in Preview

vs. Machida Zelvia (report)   Leave a comment

Avispa 1 : 1 Machida Zelvia

The SVOLME derby came to Avispa, and it would be interesting to see which club is feeling the curse of svolme the most.
From their very short history of sponsoring clubs svolme have seen a club get relegated from J1 after losing their first 14 games, may now sponsor the first club to get relegated from J2, and in Avispa this year have a club suffering their worst ever season after starting the season very hopeful of promotion.

Avispa had 2 changes to their starting XI from the Tokyo game with Omata coming in for suspended Minje (and playing well on return from injury), and Naruoka adding some creativity on the left with Sakata moved up to striker and Yutaka dropping to the bench.

Naruoka coming into the team had a good result too as he made a little space on the left and headed towards the box, floating a cross at Jogo on the far post to head back across goal for Osmar to bundle home from a metre.
It was a well worked goal, and one which Naruoka can probably take most credit for.

Avispa looked very comfortable, with Tsutsumi again adding some muscle to midfield and Osmar looking lively up front.
Osmar had a chance to score again after pouncing on a mistake to run free on goal, but then drag his shot wide of the far post. As well as he has done since coming in, he has had several one-on-one chances now, and is yet to score a goal with anything apart from headers.

I was thinking we may well get a big score-line, but the team seemed to get nervous, or tired, and the 2 wingers had enough tricks to cause problems and make Avispa get deeper and deeper.
Our defence is terrible and we can’t invite any team to come and attack us, even if they are bottom of the league.

Sure enough after letting Machida play higher up the pitch the defence was caught out by a diagonal ball into the right side of the box where the hapless Wada couldn’t get near #10 (Dimic) who finished well across goal.

When Avispa concede that is pretty much us finished, and we went on to be the 2nd best team in the 2nd half.
I was surprised that the bald striker didn’t start the game for Machida, and he came on before half-time. As in the away game he caused all sorts of problems for the defence, bullying players 10cm taller than him at times.

The 2nd half was very dull, and when Avispa needed to change things they brought on Yutaka and Sueyoshi, 2 players who haven’t looked like doing anything this season, and don’t seem to mind.
I ended up getting really drunk on super-strength chu-hi to try and forget that we were having trouble beating the worst team in the whole J-League, but do remember that we nearly conceded as a pass back to Kawata in goal was toatlly missed as he did an air shot and had to rush back to stop an embarrassing losing goal.

We drew 1-1 with Machida, who weren’t awful, but seemed to be just like Avispa. Somebody somewhere has run a coaching seminar where they have taught coaches (those sponsored by svolme at least) to play a patient passing game, with no real attacking threat in the hope that the opposition team suddenly leaves a big space in defence to pass into.
Unfortunately for both these teams they are finding you need to have a better plan than hoping that the other team will get out of shape for you.

Posted September 18, 2012 by avispafukuoka in Match Reports

vs. Machida Zelvia (preview)   Leave a comment

As Japan enjoys a 3 day weekend Avispa have their 2nd game in 4 days with bottom club Machida coming down to Level-5 stadium.
You’d hope it would be an easy 3 points for Avispa, but after struggling against Gifu and Toyama when they were bottom placed teams, and also in the away game against Machida nothing can be taken for granted.

Avispa have been playing better than previously for the last couple of games, with a win against the University and away draw with Verdy and will hopefully continue to get better here.

Machida have more to play for as they are in real danger of being the first ever club to be relegated from J2, and Avispa will need to know they are going to be playing a team who are playing for their lives.

Avispa news
Suzuki Jun is still suspended so there will need to be a decision on central midfield partner for Okada.
Tsutsumi did OK at Tokyo, and Sueyoshi was poor so it would seem to point towards Tsutsumi, but personally I would stick Naruoka there. We are playing the bottom club, he is our most creative player, and should play well together with Okada.

In addition to Jun being suspended we are also without Kim Minje. I have no idea what the plan will be for that. Miyaji is injured. I guess Wada could play left-back, Tsutsumi right-back, and Sueyoshi in midfield.

Having got Sakata to play on the wing he will probably stay there, with Yutaka playing as target man, as ineffective as this usually is.

Machida news.
Machida have been strengthened in defence since we last played them with a fairly good quality Korean player, but should hopefully still have enough gaps for us to score.

Their best player previosly was the bald guy who plays up front, but he must be suffering from something of a confidence crisis after the season they have been having.

My Prediction.
Avispa 4 – 0 Machida Zelvia

We haven’t seen a blow-out result since Gainare and Tokushima at the start of the season.
The potential is still there, we won’t get a better chance than against Zelvia.

Posted September 16, 2012 by avispafukuoka in Preview

vs. Tokyo Verdy (youtube)   Leave a comment

Some real time footage from the game. Well done to this fan for managing to get both goals.

Avispa 1 – 0 Tokyo Verdy, Koga

A ball played simply to the near side of the penalty area where Koga used his aerial ability to flick a header beyond the keeper and inside the far post.

Avispa 1 – 1 Tokyo Verdy, Nakashima

After coming on as a substitute the teenager is given a lot of space by Wada being out of position and slipping in the box. After controlling well he has time to pick his spot and equalise.

Posted September 16, 2012 by avispafukuoka in Match highlights