It has been a big week for Avispa with the news that the club has been crippled by financial mismanagement in recent years finally breaking to the press. It would seem that it is impossible for Otsuka to remain at the club after his official statement, and there is a general feeling around the club of not knowing exactly what will happen next.
The players have the opportunity to show that regardless of what mess is being made off the pitch there are reasons to be optimistic about next season, and that they are still capable of doing the job asked of them even if the office staff have brought the club to it’s knees.
They should be able to take to the pitch knowing that a lot of the pressure is now off; our current plight is now not seen as their fault so much and the supporters just want to be entertained.
We welcome a team in a very different situation as bottom-placed Gainare come to visit. They are a club with a huge amount of pressure on the players as they have the remaining games of the season to try and get off bottom spot and avoid relegation to the JFL. The players will definitely be playing as hard as they can, and with the pressure of playing for their professional futures in some cases, so it will be a case of how they deal with that pressure.
will a (hopefully) relaxed team playing mostly for pride be able to beat a weaker team who are playing for their lives?
There will be quite a lot of changes this week as our attack is going to look quite different with Sakata and Kanemori out suspended and Jogo missing with his broken foot. It means Punosevac is likely to start as our main striker, but who plays with him is less obvious.
Nishida might seem the most obvious, but I think those 2 players would try to fill the same space in the team which may work as some sort of 442 formation but is not something we have done all season (and would be something of a step back from out midfield 3 variants we have done this season).
Ishizu is obvious as one of the wing players, but filling the other side is not as clear. Personally I’d set up a crossing drill in practice and put whoever the best player at crossing a ball directly onto Puni’s head from the right wing into that position. The obvious choices are Mishima and Ushinohama, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone like Oh or Tsutsumi was putting in better crosses and I think that would really hurt Tottori and might be an interesting experiment.
Kanakubo will probably come back in as a slightly more advanced midfielder looking a bit more like a 4231, and trying to close the gap behind the high press of the front 3.
Nakahara + 1 will play behind him. Okada or Funeyama, the fact that it isn’t important which one probably says a lot about our season and their performances.
Back 4 could stay the same as last match when they faced a lot of pressure and kept a clean sheet against Kitakyushu.
Tottori’s line-up has one main focus for Avispa fans, Genki Nagasato. This is a guy who should be being shown to players like Ishizu who might think that after a half decent season he could ‘move onto better things’. Genki was incredible for us in 2010, scoring the goals which got us promotion and generally being loved by the fans after being brought from the Verdy substitute’s bench.
Rather than stay with us he left under a cloud and had a year and a half as a substitute at Kofu before being loaned to FC Tokyo and then transferred to bottom club Gainare.
You’d have to ask him if he still thinks it was a good decision to leave Avispa, he certainly looked happy enough about it when scoring against us for Kofu, but now finds himself on the edge of relegation to the JFL.
If I was an advisor to the young players at Avispa I would certainly be telling them that it is more important to get 2-3 years of game time and really establish yourself on the pitch than to make a switch too early and end up getting little bits of games at one of the clubs hovering around the J1/2 boundary.
While Nagasato is likely to get a bad reception there will be a good one for defender Nagira who always did his best before being released in that same season that Genki left.
Avispa 3 : 0 Gainare
I think that if the players can relax we could get a decent result here in a stadium which is going to have a quite strange atmosphere after the news which has come out this week.
It will depend a lot on whether crosses can be landed onto Puni’s head.