It seems to be different each year but sometimes the players who they know will not return the following season are presented with flowers on the pitch at the last home game and given the chance to wave good bye to the (sometimes) crying supporters.
Maybe with the addition of play-off matches that isn’t possible in the calender any more, but especially with Pusnik now set to stay for 2014 they should be actively thinking about it now.
I had hoped that after the near total change in playing staff for each of the last 4 seasons we may get some stability this year as the manager is staying the same, but the playing staff is currently so weak that again there are likely to be big changes.
1 – Ryuichi Kamiyama.
He is the longest serving player at the club, and never given anything but his best.
He has made some big improvements to his game this season, especially in coming out to catch crosses and communication.
Has been helped by now being asked to releases the ball quickly and short as his long kicking game has always been erratic.
Can make very good blocks and saves, but can also make quite horrible mistakes.
Harry Redknapp once said he’s prefer a slightly worse keeper who was consistent to one who could be amazing but his defence couldn’t totally rely on.
My choice – Keep. But only if his wages are suitable for a 2nd choice goal-keeper. He is an excellent 2nd choice, but not good enough to be relied on each week.
23 – Yuichi Mizutani.
Clearly the best goal-keeper at the club, but also very obviously not fit or able to stay fit.
His injury didn’t come from a collision or stretching for a ball, it came running to take a goal-kick. That isn’t a good sign for a player of his age and he may never get fit again.
The problem for Avispa is that it may not be there choice as to whether he stays or not. I don’t think he would have come to Avispa on a 1 year deal, and we may now be in serious financial difficulty with an expensive goal-keeper sitting in the treatment room.
My choice – Release. Unfortunately we don’t have the money to keep injured players hoping they might get better; I think we are going to have to due to probably giving him at least a 2 year deal.
This should serve as a warning for whoever is signing players for next season.
25 – Eita Kasagawa.
Getting to the point in his career now when he needs games.
Good enough to be an OK substitute goal-keeper, but doesn’t look like he’ll ever be good enough to play regularly for the first team.
My choice – Keep. A tough one, and if Kamiyama decides he isn’t happy to be a substitute keeper then Eita would be a good, cheaper replacement. Otherwise he needs to stay happy as 3rd choice.
29 – Kim Yeoung Gi.
Who knows? Brought in when Mizutani got injured and then never played. Was seen as lower than Kasagawa in the hierarchy even though he has played 90 games at J2 level.
If he is good then it would seem like a good player to have around, but if he is only good enough to sit in the bench and watch Kasagawa throw a couple in against JEF then maybe not.
My choice – Release. He isn’t our player, and would have got a game or spot on the bench by now if he was good enough.
30 – Daiki Kawashima.
It’s good to have a youngster or two around in training to set up more games and give experience. He won’t be costing any money, and is useful to have around.
My choice – Keep. He isn’t a real squad member, but useful to keep attached to the squad.
Who do we need?
I believe we need a decent level first choice goal-keeper. Unfortuantely if Mizutani stays around then there will be too much of the budget already going into goal-keepers to then justify bringing another one in.
It is something of a surprise to me that there aren’t more foreign goal-keepers in the J-League.
It is known that you don’t get many good strong strikers in Japan so teams often try to bring in a foreign striker, but the goal-keepers in Japan are even worse and no-one seems to do much about that.
Maybe it is because people may think that you then need to bring in a goal-keeping coach, and there will be communication problems to the defence, but I think that if you got an established goal-keeper who needed training just to stay in shape rather than be coached better then there would be few problems.
All across Europe there are good quality goal-keepers sitting on benches and in reserve teams who may jump at the chance to come and have a new experience as a first choice goal-keeper ‘star’ in Japan.
Just to pick a name out of the hat there are players like Tomáš Košický at clubs in Europe. I know nothing about the guy, but can see he is a tall European goalkeeper who at 27 has spent most of his career as 2nd and 3rd choice.
Maybe he is still too expensive, but that is the sort of player we could/should be looking at, there will be someone, somewhere who fits our budget and wants to play first team football.
1. European import (27-30, decent salary as a key player for the team)
2. Ryuichi Kamiyama (if his salary fits an obvious second choice keeper)
3. Eita Kasagawa (must be cheap)
4. Daiki Kawashima (good to have 4 keepers around the place).
Unfortunately I think Mizutani will have to stay and that will stop any new top keeper coming in, maybe we could get a loan keeper similar to Kawata to fill the gap.