The lead to Pecnik turned out to be false, or as with Inamoto we may have been gazumped in the deal as JEF United appear to have officially announced that he will be playing for them next season.
I am still quite optimistic that despite missing out on both these players we are at least being linked with midfielders who would probably command ‘Key player’ type wages.
While that deal didn’t come through the first players for next season have been announced:
Ryuichi Kamiyama – It was fairly predictable that he would be staying at the club, he has been ranked as the best goalkeeper in J2 for the last 2 season by J-League Labo so unless he wanted to leave we were always going to offer him a deal, and he has been at the club for longer than anyone else.
I think he is a decent enough J2 keeper, but don’t agree with the hype which seems to suggest he is good. While goal-keeping stats track saves made they don’t tracks blunders, missed crosses or balls parried back into the middle of the box. They don’t track goal-kicks kicked straight into touch. All of these things Kamiyama does at least 2-3 times every game.
I’m clearly not alone in thinking this; in the time I have supported the club he has been dropped for Rokutan (twice), Kawata, Mizutani, and Shimizu. None of those goal-keepers are very good, but at one time or another, by many different managers they have been preferred to Kamiyama.
Personally I hope he is our #2 Goal-keeper this year.
Eita Kasagawa – The only goal-keeper that Kamiyama has never been dropped for is Kasagawa. I think he has little things which make me think he could be ok, but then seems to make even worse mistakes, more often than Kamiyama.
This is his last chance season. If he doesn’t break through this year then he never will.
Taku Ushinohama – I was a little worried about Ushinohama. With all the hype around Kanamori he turned into a little bit of a forgotten man at times, but never let the team down for heart when he got chances.
It isn’t his fault that he doesn’t have the same impact as Kanamori, but I think he is still a useful player. Seems to have a knack of being in the right place at the right time, and I get the impression he probably does better in a match than he does in training.
Would be good to gain some muscle but after playing a quarter of the games for Pusnik he should now be looking to step up as a regular player from the bench, and play with the energy needed to stay a fan’s favorite when he does get chances.
Yuta Mishima – I’m not really sure what happened to Mishima last season. I was looking to him to step up from his rookie year and become a key player for us, but then he just seemed to stop playing with the same heart.
He isn’t the best player, but he has a good engine and when he is fully committed he can do well at J2 level. If he loses his enthusiasm then he has very little, and his inability to cross is a huge frustration.
I would hope that he has spent every day of the off-season training on his own putting crosses into the box, and chugging whole boxes of protein shake to build up some muscle mass. Unfortunately I think he might be another kid who gets to an average J2 level and thinks he has achieved all he can or needs to.
Yuya Mitsunaga – Now this is the player I want to see in 2015. People talk about Kanamori, I think Mitsunaga has the potential to be even better.
The way he covers the ground reminds me of Gareth Bale, almost floating across the pitch when he runs, and he has the skill and intelligence which means he is probably already the best crosser of the ball at the club.
I have only seen short cameos by him, and training games, but this kid is the one to watch in my opinion.
Unfortunately we have just lost our manager who was brave enough to play young players. With Ihara a new manager himself I don’t think he will be brave enough to play younger players, or to drop those with more experience.