Saturday, 18 August 2012

FC Tokyo Preview

Enthusiastic for the remainder of the J-League season? You betcha. Here at GGOA Towers we just can't wait. And it's guaranteed to be an exciting few months for Squirrels fans. Goals aplenty? Mm, probably, in a sense. A roller-coaster ride? Well, not sure about the ups, but from here it looks like the year could end in a great big down. And it all starts with Saturday's game at FC Tokyo! Great! The team - er, one of the teams - that always seems to beat us!

They certainly beat us on the opening day, a relatively even match at NACK5 seeing Omiya fail to get past the impressive Shuichi Gonda, while at the other end Lucas' superb piece of snap shooting was enough to take all three points for the reigning J2 champions. So how are the eleven players that started for the Squirrels that day doing now? Let's take a look...

1. Goalkeeper Takashi Kitano has been injured for a good proportion of the year and seems now to be second choice behind Koji Ezumi. Oh.

2. Kazuhiro Murakami has either been playing out of position at right back, or injured. Ow.

3. Kosuke Kikuchi's confidence as a central defensive organiser appears totally shot. Bang.

4. Kim Young Gwon, never particularly impressive during has year and a half at Ardija, has been sold. Almost immediately after leaving Omiya he went on to shine for South Korea in the Olympic Games. Guh.

5. Takumi Shimohira has been an ever-present in the league, but... before we get too excited, let's remember that he came to Ardija having failed to become a regular in Gamba Osaka's defence. Ouch.

6. No matter who the coach, they all seem to appreciate Daigo Watanabe. He's still around, mostly being mediocre on the right-hand side of midfield. Zzzzz.

7. Carlinhos works hard and is always at least trying to create something, however uncooperative or immobile his team-mates might be. At the moment it's hard to look anywhere else for Player of the Year. Woohoo!

8. Takuya Aoki's hopes of playing for Japan in the Olympics disappeared long ago, but he's always in the middle for Omiya. Always.  

9. Cho Young Cheol may be the team's top scorer - with, um, four - but boy has he been disappointing for most of the time since his move from Albirex Niigata. Yeesh.

10. Underperformer of the Year is arguably Keigo Higashi, who has spent 2012 making Cho look like Lionel Messi. Still, he did pretty well for Japan in London. What's that you say? Keigo's big opportunity to get a transfer to Europe? Hmmm.

11. Rafael has gone back to Brazil. Bye bye.

And now the transfer window is closed, meaning that the current squad - including new loan signing Hiroyuki Komoto from Vissel Kobe - will be seeing us through to December. It might be too soon to expect Komoto to be propping up the middle of the back four against FC Tokyo, meaning that some combination of Kikuchi, Yosuke Kataoka and Yuki Fukaya will have the job of keeping out Lucas and Edmilson

Are we going to score? That mostly depends on the midfield's ability to create chances for a likely starting pair of Yu Hasegawa and Slovenian veteran Milivoje Novakovic, the latter set to make his first start in a Squirrels shirt. So hey, that's something to get excited about, right? I don't know what I'm moaning about really.



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