First training session.   Leave a comment

As I was driving out to IKEA I thought I’d call in to watch the first training session of the new season, and was quite gald that I did in the end.
I was expecting something very easy as the first session back after Christmas and New Year, but in fact after 30 minutes of warming up the squad split into 2 teams and played quite a competitive game. It was really good to see, and was played with good spirit with nearly all players taking it seriously, I guess as a chance to prove something to the new boss and new team-mates.

Pusnik wouldn’t have had enough time to make his mark on th eteam, but already things were looking different to last year.
There was a yellow team playing a pink team and they both lined up looking different to the 442 which was used so ineffectively for every game last season.

The yellow team looked a little stronger in a 4231, with what might be considered the first team back 4.
Min Je….Kazuki….Koga…..Miyamoto

The pink team had a younger look, but were playing in the 433/451 formation I have been saying we should be using for a long time.

I was a little bit worried as it looked like the yellow team were going to far stronger, which could then push 4231 forward as a more effective formation.
I needn’t have worried, the pink team dominated the first half.

The new, young midfield 2 of the yellow team (Nakahara and Wan) had some very nice touches, and certainly looked more forward-thinking than the players of last year but with Funayama’s advanced role keeping him out of the action a bit they were up against 3 midfielders who could easily play around them.
I thought Okada was outstanding in his role of shielding the back 4. He had a tough time last year (doing what Nakahara and Wan were being asked to do today) but as someone who can concentrate on just breaking attacks and playing easy balls out to skilled players ahead of him he played a ‘Deschamps’ type role very well.
Ishizu ahead of him looked the best player of the day, full of running, an ability to turn quickly both ways into space, and directness at goal.

Ishizu opened the scoring when Wan got caught in possession and the ball was played on for Ishizu. Running at goal he took an early shot which beat Kamiyama to his left.
It was a timely reminder about being caught in possession in midfield and having Koga and Kazuki being left to deal with a quick, younger player running straight at them.

A second really important reminder about last year was when Ishizu scored a second goal. The yellow team had a corner which was overhit towards the back post with the resulting throw-in being moved at great speed to the other end while the defence hadn’t fully recovered.
As Ishizu was fed by a nice piece of skill and pass by Kanemori, he thraked a shot into the stanchion past Kamiyama.
A goal after losing possession in midfield, and a counter after a corner. Pusnik couldn’t have been given a much better review of last season.

Beyond this the first half had: Kihara not really causing his full-back problems by going in field instead of round the outside; Min Je getting forward well, but over-hitting crosses; Jogo being almost totally anonymous; and Hatamoto and Park looking very solid against some very experienced strikers.

2-0 at half time the yellow team had Koga and Wan taken off and changed to a 442 with Sakata and Jogo playing up front.

Things got a little better for them, and Jogo showed a little of what he is about by continuing to be missing, but then smashing an unstoppable shot to score with his first clear chance.

Okada was continuing to break attacks through the middle of the pitch, and with 2 eager runners with the youngsters on the wing could easily release the ball into space. Either to one of the wingers, or to one of the more advanced midfielders who had space made by the wingers stretching play. It was (and is) exactly how the team should be playing, (especially if Okada can play like this every week).

Both youngsters had time to score the goals they deserved, both in farily similar circumstances.
Mazy runs across the box went half-challenged and after initial blocks from Kamiyama the youngsters each lifted the ball calmly to score the 3rd and 4th goals for their teams.


Posted January 14, 2013 by avispafukuoka in News

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