Kamiyama – 6.5 Conceded a goal but actually did more than against Kyoto with a couple of saves. They went straight at him, and were saves he should make but he still made them. Could have been a bit more dominant for the goal.
Mishima – 6 Didn’t get forward as much as he has done previously. This is something he has to do as he isn’t yet solid enough defensively to be in the team on merit for that, as shown by the huge gap left for the Ehime goal.
Abe – 7 I’m starting to think he is a good player. Has a very cool head at the back, gets caught out at times when going forward, but always offers options. Unlucky not to score a wondergoal and should keep shooting.
Lee – 5 Looked a different player from the Kyoto game. He was the player who needed to win the aerial battle against a fairly limited Watanabe, but again he bullied us at times.
Tsutsumi – 5.5 We need him to be our Captain at the back and lead by example, being aggressive and ordering the players in front of him to move. I think his long passing is better than Nakahara’s and he needs to start making these passes, or up to Park/Nakahara on halfway; not allow those players to stand 4m from him and give them the ball to pass.
Park – 5.5 We need him to play well to make the whole team play well. Quiet in this game. He’s gone 2 games as anchor without picking up a booking, or getting a serious last warning, has to start putting a physical impact on the midfield.
Nakahara – 5. Dropped too deep and gave up possession as often as he found a runner. Has to understand his role this season is to recieve the ball in the centre-circle, and to keep moving to make that option for Tsutsumi or Park. In this game he dropped right back to get the ball which Ehime were happy for him to do as he could do no damage.
Jogo – 6. Got the goal, but otherwise made little impact on the game. Not enough for our “star” player. I actually thought he played best after he had been put behind Kanamori as it forced him to be involved and 1-on-1 with opposition players he doesn’t let himself lose battles. Played further forward he can avoid battles at times.
Sakata – 6 Kept running and had a couple of good chances, 1 with his head where he should have done better, 1 from range where the keeper spilled the ball but none of the 3 players around him were following up.
Punosevac – 6 I thought he was doing ok in the first half as someone who was making the defenders uncomfortable and would have taken Ishizu off myself. Showed why he starts games by making the first goal with his work to close down and dispossess the defence. Without that single action we lose this game.
Ishizu – 4.5 Worst game I’ve seen from him in a while. Decsision making was very bad; stopped when he needed to pass, dribbled down dead-ends, and as the paciest member of the starting XI needs to be making runs off shoulders and between defenders all match to increase the space when we have possession.
Hirai – 4 Showed why he isn’t starting. The fans chanted his name, and I myself thought he should probably start. I was wrong; he plays to score goals and that isn’t enough in J2, it’s a luxury we can’t afford. Had a chance to be the hero again and missed it. If he isn’t taking chances when they come to him then he doesn’t offer anything to the team.
Morimura – 5. Full of running, but his confidence looks shot. Had a decent chance to win the game at the end but plays like much of what we already have rather than being the player we need (which isn’t his fault). Needs a confidence boost.
What went wrong? Entirely mental in my opinion. I don’t know if teams in Japan use sports psychologists but Avispa need one.
We were so much better than Ehime, but seemed to choose to play the game in the wrong part of the pitch having started looking like we would win by 3 or 4. A total lack of confidence.
Once the referee started to influence the game then we were finished. The players looked like they were resigned to the fact that with the referee making decisions against them (again) there was no way they could win.
From the moment we had about 3 fouls on the edge of their box not given and the referee went to talk to Pusnik for 3 minutes (I’ve no idea what for apart from to try and get his face on TV) the players looked in a state of shock.