Archive for February 2013

vs. Consadole Saporro (training match)   Leave a comment

I’m not going to talk about anything specific about the match because there are things I don’t want to help Tokyo Verdy with anything, andthe result isn’t really of importance more what you can learn from the experience.

1) The team needs to stick to the game plan.
In the first 15 minutes of the game Avispa looked amazing. Attacking at speed down the wings, quick interplay between forwards and full-backs and passing around the Consadole defenders.
When Avispa hit the crossbar (Kihara) it didn’t seem to matter as it would only be a matter of time until we did score.

From this good start they seemed to revert back to last season with passes being played around defence, long balls over-hit when in desperation as the got closed down, and high deep crosses.

Watch the video back and see that the game-plan was working, and it needs to be followed.

2) Let Kim Min Je head the ball.
If they need evidence that he can put himself about then watch the challenge on Tele mid-way through the first half.
Against a tall, and wide, foreign striker he challenged and won the header and set off what was out best move of the match between Kanemori and Ushinohama.
You don’t need to get a full clean header on the ball to compete in the air so long as you can get bodies for the 2nd ball.
Tsutsumi moved across for a couple of long balls, but this just leaves a huge gap in the middles of the pitch.

3) Miyamoto is going to have a tough season.
Last season we had no right-backs. This season we have 1 and he is going to have to play a hard pressing game, and be expected to add to attacks for pretty much all of 46 games.
The game plan in place means that last year’s stand-in Tsutsumi is going to struggle to fill that role, and today we ended the match with 18 year old midfielder Mishima playing there.
He looks like a tough guy, going through a really tough hit as he collided body to body with a guy in the air late on. While his opponent was winded on the floor he seemed to shake off what must have hurt like hell. It showed that he he had got injured today what we have done next week?

4) We don’t need #17
There was a trialist playing for us today. He appeared to be a Brazilian guy, and was playing right wing.
He did OK, and was clearly good enough to play at J2 level, but I think any additions to the squad from now should be players who are actively improving the team.
Should this guy come to the club he didn’t look to be significantly better than Jogo, Ushinohama, or Kihara in that role.
If we get anyone else in then let’s try to get a right-back, a central defender, or a tall target striker.

5) Things could be worse.
We could have Consadole’s #19 Tele playing for us as we go into the new season.
I don’t know who this guy is, or where he came from but he was awful; like an overweight version of Ramazzotti.
I don’t know where Consadole are getting their Brazilian lumps from (they can surely still remember Diego), but just because a guy is big and Brazilian doesn’t mean he is Davy.

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Posted February 24, 2013 by avispafukuoka in Opinion

J-League Digest – Formation.   Leave a comment

Each year in Japan they release a digest with player information for every team in J1 and J2.

It has some quite interesting information in it, and ratings for all the players. I’ll probably try and translate some of the more interesting bits about the Avispa players in the week, but before that they also predict the formation and players to be used for each club.

For Avispa they have shown this as the basic formation:

………………….Sakata…………………..
…………………(Nishida)………………..

Osmar……………Ishizu………………..Jogo
(Kihara)…………(Kanakubo)…………….(Kanemori)
((Mishima))………………………………….(Ushinohama)

……………….Okada………….Nakahara………………
………………..(Jang)…………(Funeyama)………………

Min Je……….Yamaguchi………….Koga……………Miyamoto
(Omata)………..(Park)……………..(Hatamoto)…….(Tsutsumi)

………………………Kamiyama………………………….
………………………(Mizutani)………………………..
……………………..((Kasagawa))……………………….

The first thing I’d say about this is that while I’m sure they have lots of experts looking at the squad and players I’d be very surprised if we ever see this team next season.

I’m glad that with the players available the default formation has moved away from a 442. I’d still sooner see a 433/451, but with the attackers we currently have, and a need to control midfield in this tight division I think putting 3 in the middle is important.

There seem to be some strange predictions with the forwards. I can’t see Osmar playing on the left, with both Sakata and Ishizu more suite to do that. Sakata may well have been told he will start with his favored central role, but I’d think that Osmar then had more experience to play centrally.
More than both of them I can’t see anyone other than Kanakubo being played as the key man in the central position.

In the more defensive positions Avispa have again boxed themselves into a corner by giving the captaincy to someone who probably doesn’t deserve to be a guaranteed starter every week. Last year they got stuck with Yutaka, this year it is Okada.
I’d certainly have him starting the season in the team, but as players like Park, Jang, Funeyama and Nakahara all around that position there will be competition. Let’s not forget that last season he couldn’t get in the team ahead of the frankly useless Suzuki Jun and Sueyoshi.
They then list Nakahara as a starter which I think is unlikely to happen for the first half of the season at least.

Defensively the team writes itself. The only real question to be whether to play Min Je or Omata. I would use Omata against the very top teams in the division where we are looking to draw, and Min Je against everyone else.
Hatamoto should be in the team by the second half of the season.

I would be very surprised if Kamiyama starts the season ahead of Mizutani.

My formation)

…………………..Sakata……………….
…………………..(Osmar)………………
………………….((Nishida))…………….

Ishizu……………………………………..Jogo
(Kihara)……………………………………(Ushinohama)
((Mishima))…………………………………((Kanemori))

………………Kanakubo……….Funeyama………………
………………(Nakahara)……….(Jang)………………

………………………….Okada……………………..
…………………………..(Park)……………………

Min Je………….Yamaguchi…………Koga…………Miyamoto
(Omata)………………………… (Hatamoto)………(Tsutsumi)

…………………………..Mizutani……………………..
…………………………..(Kamiyama)…………………….

With this formation the front players are able to move around a lot, with Sakata comfortable on the left, or Jogo able to play as a striker for example.
In Nishida Go we have a player who offers more of an aerial threat if we need to change the game a bit.

With a midfield anchor it protects the defence, while giving that player 2 central targets to always aim for and move the ball forward quickly.
In addition to these 2 there are quick player on the wings, and at fullback to give additional outlets.

I’ll be watching my first game of the season today as they have a friendly match against Consadole Sapporo. It’ll be the first time I’ve seen the players live since the first training session of the year in January.

Posted February 24, 2013 by avispafukuoka in News

Pre-season matches.   Leave a comment

I don’t really think too much importance can be attached to the results of pre-season matches, and in fact think a bad set of results pre-season can be good for the start of the season, but with a new manager and lots of new players it is probably a good time to get off to a positive start.

25th January.
We started with a game in Fukuoka against Kyunghee University who had traveled over from Korea.
With only a week under the new manager and team-mates it wasn’t the best result:
Avispa Fukuoka 0 : 1 Kyunghee University

30th January.
Things got a little better the following week as the team got a win, but only against students from Kyushu University.
Nishida seems to have continued his bright start after his good showing in the first training session with 2 goals.
Avispa Fukuoka 3 : 2 Kyushu University
Sakata, Nishida 2

2nd February.
The club then moved down to their annual camp at Sea-Gaia in Miyazaki.
It seems like they were coming together well as they hit 4 goals past Honda Lock. Honda Lock are not the best team in Japan, but they do have a history of competing against teams at this level in the Emperor’s Cup.
I’ve heard that Park Gon was played in midfield in this game, and looked good as an anchor.
Avispa Fukuoka 4 : 0 Honda Lock
Park Gon, Sakata, Ushinohama, Nishida.

4th February.
The opposition then took a step up as we played against J1 team Yokohama F Marinos.
While it’s only a friendly game, getting a 1-1 draw after taking the lead has to be good for squad morale.
A goal from Koga suggests that set-pieces might be more effective.
Avispa 1 : 1 Yokohama F Marinos
Koga

6th February.
Played across 3 45 minute periods the team then played against a club relegated to J2; Vissel Kobe.
Drawing 2 of the periods 1-1 and winning the other one the team could maintain they won the match 3-2.
One of the goals was scored by an un-named trainee.
Avispa Fukuoka 3 – 2 Vissel Kobe
Sakata, Trainee, Nishida

9th February.
In another match-up with relegated opposition we finished our camp with a match against fallen Gamba Osaka.
Trainee was back again, scoring alongside Nishida and the 2 youngest squad members (Kanemori, and Mishima) as the team pulled out a 4-2 win to finish camp on a high.
Avispa 4 : 2 Gamba Osaka
Trainee, Kanemori, Mishima, Nishida.

I’ve heard that the team has been playing with variations on 433, 4231, and 4132, which is very promising for the new season.

Posted February 9, 2013 by avispafukuoka in News

Pusnik’s problems #5 – The cult of Jogo   Leave a comment

Having come into any club any sensible manager needs to be aware of the status quo, and make allowances for it within his (her) plans.
There are numerous examples of a manager coming in and trying to make a statement by upsetting the ideas of what has gone before, but I can think of very few which have ended well.

This brings up the subject of Hisashi Jogo. A player so phenomenally technically talented, and able of unadulterated genius that I have seen him admired from followers of the J-League at every level, and even talked about as a player who could play for Japan.
In addition to this praise he is also a 1-club man, a local boy (from Kurume), and someone who has stayed at the club despite known interest from other clubs.

It would seem that he should always be the first name on the team-sheet from this description, but I worry that for a new manager who wants to increase the energy and pressure high on the pitch and play with players who don’t look for time on the ball he could be seen as something of a luxury.

I really hope not, and hope that in training he has been putting the work in to show he enjoys what may be a more drill/formation intensive western style.
But, if he has looked at times like he might not be worth a start I’d say to Pusnik to make space for him. This is someone who can’t be on the bench. If he needs a little extra shield to ‘carry his water’ then find it because Jogo IS Avispa Fukuoka at the moment.

Posted February 6, 2013 by avispafukuoka in Opinion