Avispa 0 – 2 Kyoto Sanga
After getting rid of Maeda as coach during the week this was the perfect time to show that this season has been a car crash, but that it was all Maeda’s fault, and things will be much, much better from now on.
What actually happened is that things were no better at all, maybe even worse, and some of the players might start having to look at themselves now.
In a line-up which had the incredibly short-sighted decision to keep playing loan players Tsutsumi and Omata, and to drop Ishizu down to the bench, the team and formation looked exactly the same as Maeda would have put out.
The defence have got the most criticism this season (and rightly so at times), but for me it is midfield where we have had the most problems. Again here seeing the slow, small, inadequate pairing of Suzuki and Sueyoshi leaving a huge hole in the middle of the pitch it was clear Kyoto were going to be able to play straight through us.
I assume the idea is that Naruoka and Jogo will play narrow and that gives the numbers to pass up to the box, but it just doesn’t work.
Naruoka gets pulled in, but then has to chase back to try and help on the then unprotected wing; Jogo has no intention of doing anything apart from wait for the ball to be passed in front of him.
At least in this situation we were asking Kyoto to create something, but then as has happened so many times this season we gave them a chance.
Trying to pass out from defence, the first touch of so many of our players is so bad we can be closed down while still in our half.
A ball was played straight between our central defenders for Komai to run 1-on-1 at Kawata. Kawata did well to avoid bringing him down for a penalty as the ball was pushed past him, but Komai did even better to then finish well from a tight angle.
Avispa hadn’t been out of the game, we made a couple of half chances through Sakata working hard on the left and doing some quite nice work with Omata, but to gift a goal away pretty much killed the game.
The game was being summed up by Sueyoshi continually giving the ball away. He seems to look up, see where Suzuki Jun is and then pass to an opposition player. Similarly to only getting 5 points since August, I was glad in a way he was playing so badly as it must be telling the club we can’t go into a new season without a replacement midfield.
The second half started, and Avispa were still trying to push forward with passing moves, which broke down through our total inability to control and pass a football.
When Kyoto got the ball they were showing how it should be done, with fast, direct passing moves made possible by numbers in midfield, and an ability to move into space.
As we pushed for an equaliser (not very hard, but at least the ball was in the Kyoto half) we gave them another goal.
Playing on the dge of the box Naruoka decided it would be a great idea to try and pass it backwards again, even if there wasn’t any player there.
The ball went straight into space where a Kyoto player could pick it up, turn, and run towards Avispa’s goal. Hitting at Kawata from insdie the box the box presented itself at the feet of Nakamura to pass into goal from 2 metres out.
The Kyoto fans could celebrate, for the 3rd week in a row we had helped a club on their way to promotion with barely a fight against it.
The enduring image of the season for me will be one of Suzuki or Sueyoshi running, head down with gritted teeth as they chase after an opposition midfielder after passing the ball straight to him.
i don’t know how after having had this happen 5-6 times every game they haven’t learned to stop doing it. Everything they need to know is there; stop trying to pass in stupid positions, when you get the ball from the opposition run at goal.
After the game the players came round throwing balls to the crowd. They didn’t seem very unhappy at how things were going. Another enduring image could be that of Oh Chan Hyon, laughing as he threw balls to the fans. What on earth happened to this guy, is he injured?