The squad is now starting to take shape with movement from 3 more players, all of which look like good moves for Avispa in my opinion.
Some people might be surprised to see us let Mizutani go, he is potentially the best goal-keeper in the division and he won us a few points on his own last season with some excellent shot stopping displays before the summer.
I’m surprised that he is leaving because he only had one game back after badly injuring his Achilles, and is at an age where that sort of injury can be a big problem, especially coming as it did in a non-contact situation just running to take a goal-kick.
I would expect that he was one of avispa’s bigger wage earners, maybe behind only Koga and Sakata, and didn’t think another club would take him off up with his injury record.
Having said that if he plays 35 games for Toyama next season then they will have got a very good deal. The danger being he he gets injured after 12 games as he did for us. In our financial situation that is a gamble we can’t afford to take.
It will be very interesting to see how the wages saved on his contract are now spent.
As one keeper looking at the 1st team leaves it opens the door for another to stay as Kamiyama agrees to stay and maintain his position as avispa’s longest serving player.
Everyone knows he has his limitations, these were quite painfully shown when we went to J1, but he does also have lots of positive qualities.
His shot-stopping is generally excellent, and has actually made lots of improvements to his game this season. He has started coming out for crosses more regularly, has physically improved by losing 5-10kg, and with our game now building from the back doesn’t need to kick so often.
He actually got some recognition at the end of the season being the highest rated keeper in J2 (Jogo was the lowest rated!), and played as avispa’s representative in the off season charity game a couple of days ago.
I always expected him to stay, but it is good to get confirmation through, he became an important player for us last season.
He is our most intelligent player and is capable of following a plan and trying to play between lines, and try to conduct play.
He might be the player which the team now gets built around.
Last season he was playing as the deepest midfielder for us, and as I said in a previous post I’d like him to now be pushed into the middle with a dedicated pit-bull behind him.
He plays a Xavi type role for avispa where he tries to keep the ball moving, and can use his quick feet to keep possession well while drawing a player towards him before playing his pass out.
He tackles enthusiastically, but it isn’t his best skill, and I feel that being played box to box he can use good stamina to play where he is needed without always worrying about being the last man back.
This also allows him to run with the ball a little freer, which he did well but rarely last season, and to always be available for a long shot on the edge of the box which he started to do well last season.
At times his shots looked more NASAhara than Nakahara as he sent them into near earth orbit, but they got better and he strikes me as someone who would put the hours into training to practice this more if he knew it was a position he would often be in during a match.