The team was changed for the 2nd half but the formation stayed much the same. It started to look a little more like a 4231, but close enough to suggest we’ll be staying set up similarly to last year. We now have numbers at centre back to make 3 at the back possible but things were kept more straightforward for the first run out.
Team for the 2nd half:
Shimizu / Kasagawa
Oh. Seon. Yamaguchi. Abe.
Jogo. Morimura. Mitsunaga.
Park started in what i’m increasingly seeing as our crucial position for this season in front of the back 4 and while he didn’t excel in the role he was the first player of the day who looked like he really wanted to play there. Surprisingly it was the tackling and heading part of his game which looked weak, and his passing from possession which looked better. I hope it is because it was a friendly against kids which took away some of the at times hard tackling we saw last season. I now think with his youth to learn the position and experience at centre back he might be our best option.
Mitsunaga had a run on the left wing rather than full back and looked like someone who had plenty of running and liked to get forward. His pressure created the first goal of the game as he caught a defender in possession and calmly rounded the keeper to score.
Puni was playing like someone who really wants to score but didn’t manage it again. He couldn’t have got much closer hitting a shot against the right post from outside the box. He still strikes me as a player who might not stop scoring once he gets a goal or could do something crazy like get 5 in a game but for now he might be trying a bit too hard at times.
It is good to see him try to help the young players at times, but is something in japan he needs to be careful how he approaches. There was one time in particular in this game when he tried to get a pass from Mitsunaga but was offside the whole time,
At the back Seon looked very good until he threw himself at a ball and hurt his left knee. He is a very big guy and the way he was going for everything I can predict he might be our best player, and possibly top scorer via headers at set pieces, in games which he plays but may also pick up injuries.
Kazuki did quite well alongside him and while i like some of his crazy bursts forward if Park is there to cover he has to avoid trying to pass.
Abe looked a better footballer than Takeda, but less inclined to get forward.
Up front Jogo was playing the match like a full league game and going into tackles like a man who wants the season to start next week.
A player who has gone under the radar a little after arriving early is Morimura. I thought that along with Seon and Hirai he looked the best of the new players and he didn’t stop running trying to chase balls and give options all half. Along with Park in midfield and the new kid Mitsunaga I think he offers Pusnik the biggest opportunity to really make a player, in the way he has coached the best out of Mishima.
He was rewarded for his efforts late on as he knocked home a ball in the box to make it 2-0 for the half.
As first games go it was a good run around, certainly better than losing to a korean university team like last year, with lots of things to now work with in training.