Archive for December 2012

Jogo Stays.   Leave a comment

I was quite surprised that Sakata stayed at the club, I’m even more surprised that Jogo stayed for another year.

It makes total sense, but as a highly admired player he definitely would have had offers to move clubs; he was linked to FC Tokyo, Ventforet Kofu, and strongly to Sanfrecce Hiroshima at various times, but has stayed for another year at his hometown club.

I think it is a very good idea for Jogo. At Avispa he is idolised, and will be even more so after staying for another year, and the crowd will defend him pretty much regardless of what he does on the pitch.
He is an amazing talent, and his stats for last season were his best ever (12 goals in 41 games) but he can sometimes go missing from games. While Avispa fans can forgive this as they know what else he can do, I don’t know if fans at another club would be so understanding.

As someone who can go missing from time to time he is a bit of a luxury player, which will be absolutely fine if he has players around him to ‘carry the water’.
Last season this didn’t happen as Suzuki Jun also wanted to be indulged, as did Naruoka. With Suzuki Jun gone there is more room for Jogo, and I would also now say Naruoka is also too much of a luxury (although Okada staying for another year makes me think Naruoka will too).

The other small problem with Jogo now staying is where to play him. Scoring 12 from the right wing it would seem to make sense to keep him there, but that then makes the midfield light. Playing up front he tends to drift out to the wing, which can leave a blunt edge up front.

Jogo staying is a huge positive, but I think the formation now has to be built around him, and where he can do what he does without damaging the structure of the team.
For me, he think he has to play as an inside-right type winger, which brings me back to the Mourinho-esque 433 formation I thought was what we needed for all of last season.

It means that some of the strikers are going to be disappointed to be on the bench, and that there is a greater need to now get central midfielders, but I am sure that this is the formation to get us promotion right now.

Use this formation please!


Bench: Kamiyama…Ushinohama…Ishizu…Nishida

Posted December 30, 2012 by avispafukuoka in News

Okada stays.   Leave a comment

Ryu Okada has had his loan extended for another year and will stay at Avispa for 2013.

He wasn’t great in 2012, and certainly didn’t look like a J1 player, but did seem to know his limitations by trying to cover ground in midfield and not play stupid passes which were never going to work.

Not an inspiring player, but one who could work well with the correct player alongside him. The correct player alongside him is not Sueyoshi, I don’t know how good Nakahara is, but he would need to be energetic and able to control a ball to play in a midfield 2 with Okada.

His best posession looked to me to be as a defensive midfielder playing behind 2 central midfielders who could maintain possession.

Possible team.


Posted December 28, 2012 by avispafukuoka in News

Suzuki Jun leaves, Sakata stays.   Leave a comment

A busy day for deals, but they need to start happening quickly, quite a few good players are starting to get signed up now and Avispa are looking a little thin (Shigematsu to Ehime?? I’d have loved to see him back at Level-5).

I’m still waiting for player movement which will make me think someone at the club doesn’t know what they are doing, as again both these deals are ones which I think are really, really good for the club.

Suzuki Jun
This is the deal which some people are going to be upset about as Jun has been at the club since he was a kid, and was even given the Captaincy for the second half of last season.
He’s a player who has promised so much, and along with Jogo is one of the homegrown players, but I feel he hasn’t really progressed.
He leaves to go to Tokyo Verdy, and I’m not sure if he is going to find life easy up there.
2 seasons ago I was calling for him to get more chances as his left foot is capable of greatness, but he hasn’t really matured the rest of his body to go along with that. Physically games pass him by, and I think the only way to make up for his lack of height and pace is to add some bite into his tackles. At the moment he seems to look at himself as some sort of Iniesta type creator, but he just doesn’t have the skill unfortunately.
It means we have even more need to buy 3 solid central midfielders, but at least they don’t have to compete against a home-town boy who thinks he’s better than he is.
Leaving quote: I’ve decided that next season I’ll play at Tokyo Verdy. Avispa have helped me for the last 15 years since joining the club as a 9 year old, with 6 years as a professional. It wasn’t an easy decision to choose to leave the club which helped me for so long.
I am very thankful for the great stadium, warm support from the fans and colleagues who have fought together. I want to thank everyone for the 15 years together at Avispa.
I hope for the future development of Avispa Fukuoka.

Daisuke Sakata
While Suzuki Jun leaving isn’t good news (or particularly bad news) I think the continuance of Daisuke Sakata is really good news.
He started last season like a train, and was level with Davi for goals until an injury and subsequent loss of confidence stopped his season.
He is a class player who if the team can supply balls to his feet in the correct area will be the best striker in the division.
I’m surprised he stayed as someone of his quality would have had opportunities elsewhere, but he is clearly behind Avispa and the fans will cheer him to goals next year.
He is an option on the left wing, but at this level I still think he should play through the middle as he should be able to score a lot of goals.

2013 team
It means that we are now sorted for goalkeepers (Mizutani, Kamiyama, Kasagawa) and strikers (Sakata, Nishida, Osmar, Ishizu) and now just need to sort out the defence and midfield. A big job.

Possible team from signed players.


Posted December 28, 2012 by avispafukuoka in News

Kobara leaves.   Leave a comment

More player movement, and yet again it is something which I totally agree with.
Am very pleased that apart from the release of Yoshihara and Son at the start of the window, I have totally agreed with all players who have stayed and all who have left so far.

There are lots more players needed to come in, and a lot of the big names still to decide, but so far so good.

Shogo Kobara.
Brought in as a tall centre-back from Ehime for our J1 season he did OK alongside Daiki in his first season, and while our defence wasn’t great it did at least look like he would be comfortable back in J2 the following year.

Unfortunately things didn’t work out like that, and it seems like Daiki may have been doing a lot of organising to help Kobara. He tried to be a more senior player in the 2012 season, and tried to be responsible for distribution from the back.
Unfortunately he was totally incapable of performing this role and he gave away more goals than he helped to stop.

His eventual injury at Giravanz came as something of a relief, and he won’t be missed at the club.

Him leaving is a good sign that we should be getting someone else in to play with Koga, Kazuki and Tokio as 3 centre-backs at the club isn’t enough for the whole season.
If Kobara can get back to his 2011 form he may work out well at Ehime, but things had gone stale at Avispa.

Leaving quote: I am transferring to Ehime Fc at this time. I will come back to Level-5 Stadium, but next time as an opponent. Thank-you for the 2 years.

Posted December 28, 2012 by avispafukuoka in News

Pusnik’s problems #2 – Midfield 2 or 3?   Leave a comment

The biggest problem Avispa had last season was in central midfield.

The defence may have caught the eye more because of the number of goals we conceded, but a large part of this was the almost total lack of anyone playing in the middle of the pitch which allowed opposition teams to make attack after attack.
It also meant that when we did hold possession it was inside our own half, and with players not good enough to keep the ball when we did give it away we were doing so in our own half.

This was caused by having just 2 central midfielders (2 from Okada, Suzuki, Sueyoshi) who all wanted to play a deep-lying, Hollywood pass making volante type role. It didn’t work as they weren’t good enough to make the passes, and weren’t dynamic enough to cover the ground and make tackles when we didn’t have the ball.
The enduring image of the season for me will be an image of Sueyoshi or Suzuki running back towards the Avispa goal, head down chasing an opposition player after continually giving the ball away on halfway.

The choices are: a) play with a midfield 2, but those 2 must be able to cover the ground and quickly distribute the ball to the wings or strikers.
b) play with 3 in midfield to reduce the distance they are trying to pass, and cut the space for opposition to play through.

Option A. Midfield 2. (442)
Suzuki and Sueyoshi cannot do this together. They do not have the energy, ability or dynamism. Maybe 1 could do it next to a very good more experienced midfielder.
Of the 2 I’d take Suzuki Jun, but if rumours of him going to Verdy are true then let him go.
In this formation the team needs to be using the corners more, with good wing play trying to hit the byline, or pull 2 players into the full-back position.
We have players who can do this in Ishizu, Osmar, Taku, Minje. Last year we played with Naruoka and Jogo who weren’t suited to the role so the ball was staying in the middle where we were out numbered.
Might work, but needs a very good experienced central midfielder who the team will depend upon (a bit like Nakamachi).

Option B. Midfield 3 (4231,4141,433,352,etc.)
A much more modern formation, and in my opinion a much better option.
As part of this there could be a role for Suzuki and Sueyoshi playing as they have this season, but contains a 3rd midfielder to take some of the pressure off and hopefully provide a passing option which doesn’t involve them trying to do something they saw Steven Gerrard once do on TV.
I still think 2 new midfielders would be better than keeping with Suzuki and Sueyoshi, but there is less pressure to be the key player on whoever comes in.
The big losers in this woud be Naruoka and Jogo as I don’t really see where they would fit. Jogo has played as a lone striker, but I’m not sure how much he liked it, Naruoka doesn’t have the discipline to stay on the wing, Jogo scored a lot of goals from the wing in the season just gone…

Personally I still think 433 is the way to go. Ishizu can be a star this season coming in from the left in front of a confident Minje, 3 midfielders is important to stay competitive in all games in this tough division, we have a rotation of strikers who can be told to go and give 60 minutes of hard running every game.

Tricky winger……………..Tricky winger
……………..Defensive midfielder…….
Attacking FB….Solid CB….Solid CB…Attacking RB

Posted December 27, 2012 by avispafukuoka in Opinion

Kawata leaves.   Leave a comment

After the arrival of Mizutani, and Kamiyama and Kasagawa both signing for another season it is no surprise at all to see that Kawata is returning to Gamba Osaka after his season on loan.

Kawata made his league debut, and got 10 starts at the end of the season to make his loan season worthwhile and I hope that he goes on to have a successful career as he never did anything but try his best for Avispa.

With Gamba dropping down to J2 next season we may well see him again soon. He is definitely good enough for J2 level, albeit an average keeper who makes few mistakes than one who regularly produces man of the match displays.
I’d expect a club of Gamba’s standing to use him as a substitute keeper, unless they are trying to cut costs for the coming season to suuport Endo and Leandro.

To move forward I think Kawata needs to get a bit more bulk on him. He isn’t very big for a keeper, and especially at J1 level where he would regularly be coming up against combative, tall foreign strikers he needs more presence.
Beyond that his shot-stopping and catching is all adequate, without being special, and he should get better with more experience.

Leaving quote: “I’m sorry we couldn’t produce the results which everyone was expecting this season.
It was just a short stay of 1 season, but I’m very grateful for the support I received.
After leaving Avispa Fukuoka I hope to improve further. Thank-you.”

Posted December 27, 2012 by avispafukuoka in News

Kamiyama and Ishizu sign for 2013.   Leave a comment

Two more players re-sign for the 2013 season, and as with all the players who have been given contracts so far they are both positive signings.
The dealings in the off-season so far have been very good, and the management structure seem to be on the ball about who stays and who goes at this time.

Ryuichi Kamiyama
After the arrival of Mizutani earlier today i thought that it would probably mean that Kamiyama would be leaving the club. Not because I thought he should, but because he has been scape-goated a few times, and ended on the bench for each of the last 2 seasons.
I thought he was our best player for the first half of last season after recovering from a fairly awful time in J1 where he took a lot of stick after some high profile mistakes.
He will still make some horrible mistakes and needs to be more commanding at crosses, but is one of the best shot-stoppers in the division.
Certinly a very good back-up keeper, and one who I have no problems as first choice if something happens to Mizutani.

Daisuke Ishizu
I always expected him to stay at the club, but after a good breakout season where he caught the eye in several games there was always a fear he could get his head turned.
In a bad season for the club last year Ishizu was the biggest positive. Coming into the club from University he was used mainly as a sub on the left wing where his directness, and willingness to run with the ball changed games when he came on.
Scored goals, and clearly showed that he cared about the results even when others around him had seemed to give up.
Has a lot of work to do to keep getting better, he sometimes makes the wrong decision on his final ball and tries to do too much, but that will come with games and I expect him to be one of the main players at the club next year.

Possible team.
Team made up of players who have signed up to now.


Posted December 25, 2012 by avispafukuoka in News