Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Cold Wind Blows Down The Funakoshi Corridor....

That`s right folks, the mentally retarded looking great lump in the centre of the picture has left. Possibly the most obviously limited footballer ever to pull on the Green, Yuzo "I`m The Tallest Player in the J-League" Funakoshi has signed on for SC Sagamihara, Winners of the Kanagawa Prectural 3rd Division in 2009. Kanagawa Prefectural 3rd that must be an absolute dogshit level of football. Played 38 games in 3 years, scoring 9 in the process. Best remembered for his inability to win a single header in 3 seasons despite being the "Tallest Player in the J League", a crab like ability to pass only sideways and the pace of a stoned arthiritic snail.On the plus side his enthusiastic and urgent pointing and clapping ......along with his two goal performance to clinch promotion back to J1 2007 will live long in the memory of even the most cynical of the Verdy ranks. The Funakoshi Corridor still stands at Verdy HQ, a permanent reminder of the The Donkey`s greatest achievement.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Cunning Plan Derived From A Game of Three Halves....

Well the pre-season friendlies kicked off this afternoon with a visit to Verdy Grounds from Hosei University. A game of three halves...Verdy played a stronger line up in the first two periods and scored through Inoue. They switched things round and put in a few fringe/youth team players for the final period and gave away two goals. Who cares it`s just a friendly against some crap university.......that we couldn`t beat...even though we had close to a starting line up against them for two periods.
I have a plan that`s as cunning as as a fox that has just been appointed the Professor of Cunning at Oxford University........Why don`t we swap our youth/university players for theirs??

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Nerdy Years (Part 3)

I swear this is the same damn bus!!! Pye Green. ..The Pied Piper Chip Shop, possiblty the finest purveyor of chips in the West Midlands!! 
Righto, so if you are still with me....Wolves went down to the Fourth Division in England and following on from the Bradford Fire Disaster (RIP) had had two sides of their ground closed down due to new fire safety regulations. At the age of about 13/14 myself and some mates had started going to games pretty regularly, I was a Wolves fan along with another couple of lads but two other mates were Bluenoses; Birmingham City who were pretty poor at the time too. We`d all get the legendarily shite Green Bus Service to Cannock, where the Wolves lads would stay on and journey on to Wolverhampton and the Blues  and ocassional Villa lads would then then split off on different buses. One to Birmingham and one to Wolverhampton. Sometimes I`d go along to the Blues if Wolves were away and (maybe once or twice) they`d come to the Wolves (if they had nothing better to do). A trip to the Wolves in those days meant standing on the South Bank which at the time was one of THE biggest terraces in the UK.... with enough space to set out a BBQ, a few deckcahirs even a sun lounger or two. Sod could have invited a load of hippies, their caravans, Bob Dylan and all those hairy women along and the bloke next to you wouldn`t have noticed; the place was that empty.

Luckily for the Molineux faithfull, a player came along to virtually single handedly change Wolverhampton Wanderers beyond all recognition.. You can read about the goal scoring prowess of Steve Bull here....all I can say is I was there as an impressionable young lad to see it and after years of misery, it was fantastic to witness (especially leaping off my bed when he scored on his debut for England v Scotland after coming on for John Fashanu....he was playing in the 3rd Division at the time!!!). Supporters everywhere want to see a sucessful team and he brought that (relative) success.As a football fan the thing that makes us go to the games is the wish to see something special. We can all boot the ball in from the edge of the six yard box with our mate in nets, but can we bulldoze our way past an entire professional midfield, break to the by line and bang a pinpoint cross in for the No.9 to bladder on the volley into the top corner?? Can we bollocks!!Exciting forwards and exciting times are the be all and end all.
In the Nerdy Years, teamwise we have never been that good. Ocassionally able to give the big boys a game and sometimes able to batter a midtable side, but generally over a course of a season struggling at some point or another; or relegated. However, one thing that we do love at Verdy is a good striker. Up until 2009 season we usually had at least one exciting player. 2009 was the one of the few seasons in the Nerdy Years where Verdy didn`t have an EXCITING forward.
Just to re-call a few, Edmundo, strolling around the place like he owned it, not lifting a finger except to stroke the ball home with a young  Marquinhos (currently Kashima`s chief onion bag botherer) doing his donkey work.Following him came Big Pat  who had ripped up the league YEARS previously. He was running on fumes when he got to don the Green but when he was on, he was on 18 in 35 and not many tap ins.  After that came Big George in tandem with Takayuki Morimoto (who was disregarded as a big fuss about nothing at the time, he might be scoring a few for whoever in Serie A now but he wasn`t up to much back then). Big George probably scored more goals than any other forward ever to get relegated from J1. Spods???? Next came Hulk...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Verdy!!

Coach: Ryoichi Kawakatsu (The front of Chofu 7-11)
Def: Masaki Yoshida (Yokohama FC)
Def: Ryo Nurishi (FC Kariushi)
Def: Ryoji Fukui (Cerezo Youth via some University)
Def: Lee Chi Song (JEF United Reserves JFL)
Def: Adigun Adebayor Jr. (Reysol)
Mid: Saeki Naoya (JEF United)
Mid: Koya Shimizu (Sagan Tosu)
Mid: Shinichi Mukai (SC Tochigi)
Mid: Takuro Kikuoka (Mito Hollyhock)
Mid: Takuma Abe (some University)
Mid: Hiroki Ebisawa (Verdy Youth via some University)
Mid: Toshiyuki Takagi (Verdy Youth)

Are they any good?? Judging by where they have come from (the reserves of relegated J1 teams, the bottom end of J2 teams, JFL, universities and Verdy Youth) , I doubt any of these boys will be booking tickets to South Africa in the summer but can they do a job in J2??.For now they get the benefit of the doubt and being as the coach has stated that he is "Just happy to be able to start the season..." and "A return to J1 is going to be very difficult this season" they will get the benefit of the doubt for a tad longer than normal. There have been no grandstanding predictions of a quick return or of steamrollering anyone this season. Survival is the name of the game, ie still being around in 2011. Always good to see young players coming in, let`s hope they can do a job. Also the first foriegner slot has been filled by one Adigun Adebayor Jr. 19 years old Nigerian stopper from Reysol. Welcome aboard one and all!!

In, Out, In, Out, Shake it all about...

The Official Squad list was released yesterday. Not surprisingly given the stated financial condition of the club, the list was bereft of any even slightly oversized signings. A new coach and 11 new players were unveiled including a couple of promotions from the junior ranks of Verdy Youth. The 3 foriegn slots are still open, though I doubt we can afford anyone decent to fill them. I say if we are going to have average players on board, let`s have average Japanese players. They cost less and don`t fill you with any undeserved expectation simply from their country of birth. More to come when time permits......

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Nerdy Years (Part 2)

Wolverhampton...The Lonely Planet people haven`t got a clue obviously.....So anyway!!....on this wild, windswept, windy (as hell) night, why did Verdy become my team?? I`d like to say there was some grandiose reason but unfortunately stripped down to the bare bones; the reason was three fold:
1. They had a FANTASTIC player on the pitch, who I had also heard of which was an obvious bonus. (Edmundo)
2. Their wine bottle Green kit was better than the "first of the morning" Reysol shade of yellow.
3. They were soon to be moving to Tokyo Soccer Stadium, which was just down the road from my place at the time.(as it was known before Ajinomoto).
However, Verdy were not the first team I saw in Japan......I had been taken along by my boss to a J League game the season before but probably didn`t get it. . I went to FC Tokyo v JEF United at The Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.However, when the "Aaaam-ama-ama-ama-ama-ama-ama-ra-a-a-al" (sung to the tune of Culture Club Kharma Chamelion) chant went up from the FC Tokyo end, I knew I was never going to cheer for THEM. There was no one alive in England who`d have Boy George write their terrace anthem.Again though, what counts as normal in the UK, is anything but in Japan.
 For the uninitiated; my team in England Wolverhampton Wanderers (Wolves) have always been shit in my lifetime.. As a lad; my older brother had the fortune to be born near to Liverpool, so growing up in the 80s his team won EVERYTHING. In my family (and in most UK families) the boys support the home town (or closest) league club; regardless of whether they are actually any good or not..I myself, was born in Wolverhampton, just voted (rather unfairly I might add...) on the Lonely Planet Guide Top 5 Shittest Cities in the World..........My earliest football memories are of me diving round the living room helplessly in my 1979 Wolves kit, while my brother slammed ANOTHER one in the bottom corner of the sofa; "post-and-in". This was in the days before video replay, fourth officials and ANY question of my brothers goal line decisions being wrong. In the days when a smack in the gob was fully desereved; as opposed to deserving of a "time out". If Sir Alex had have been in nets in my house, he would have thought twice before questioning  my brothers decisions for one bloody second.
Wolves are similar to Verdy in that once upon a time, they were the best. Also similar in that unfortunately by the time I came along, those halycon days are but fading memory. According to my Nan (and I quote): "Billy Wright was a true gentleman" and according to sports writers everywhere; Wolves were FANTASTIC world beaters  in the 1950s. 60s they were still great, 70`s they were up there now and again, 1980s when it was important??? I remember them getting relegated in 81/82 and crying in the living room when it was confirmed by Frank Bough ( assumingly before his cocaine and prozzies adventure) on Grandstand. Happily, they went straight back up in 82/83 but...I was gutted because they only had a Team Picture and Club Crest (as opposed to the whole team) to collect in Panini that year. And then it happened.......from the (the equivalent of ) J1 to the league BELOW the JFL in three straight years....

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Stackin` Boxes, Dodgin` Coffins in The Dead Pool

Everybodys Choice Pick in The Dead Pool 2010 TokyoVerdy; have officially been given permission to play in J2 next season after securing 540,000,000 yen in sponsorship, thus enabling them to complete their allocated fixtures.By my understanding the minimum required to get to the starting line is 500,000,000. If my thinking is correct this means we have an operating budget of 40,000,000 yen (about the equivalent of 10 first year players salaries.....) plus what we can make from season tickets,shirts, pens and teddy bears on match day. The men in the suits are predicting another rough ride financially for 2010 with expenditure still outweighing income. Anyhow, financial meltdown has been avoided (for now at least).....The Green Rollercoaster is up for another lap!! Tak-tak-tak-tak-tak as she climbs up for the first drop!!

There IS a God!! Leandro also packs his bags...and Kawano Stays??

Goodbye and Goodnight!!

TokyoVerdy Offical Mard Arse of the last two seasons has also left. No real surprise here but there will be dancing in the streets living room tonight!! Back in his basket!! Utterly useless and one of the most irritatingly petulant players ever, must rank near the top of The Ramdom Samba Merchant Of Questionable Pedigree lists. Goodbye Leandro!! You were TERRIBLE!!

A further peice of good news this morning reader(s)!!According to the ever reliable sports papers of the nation; Verdy have managed to hang on to starlet Hiroki Kawano despite offers from Cerezo, Vissel and local dirtbags FC Tokyo. Is he the smartest peanut in the turd?? Clearly not, but he is certainly the best peanut winger in the turd of Green. Apparently after considering the offers he thought, and I quote "Yappari, I like Verdy". Well thanks Hiroki, me too. Glad to have you aboard!!  Time IS on his side. He had an unfortunate year with injuries in 2009 but when on form he is one of the few bright lights in the team. Let`s hope he can turn it on in 2010 and single handedly fire us to J1 and be sold for a quadrillion yen in December.

By George!! Takagi`s Gone!!

Mr. Bush for once is right. Presidenting is indeed hard work. Suffice to say as President (and possibly only member) of the VERY recently formed Yoshinari Takagi Goalkeeper Fantastico Memorial Association, it is with a heavy heart that I have to announce that our stalwart keeper has upped and gone to Nagoya Grampus 8.  To be fair, why sit on the bench in J2 when you can sit on the bench in J1. The seats are probably a bit more padded. Maybe Stjokovic has got some Recario jobs in  from Europe!! . Must be great to sit in those. Have to say if I was on the bench on one of those I`d take along a PSP, crash helmet and driving gloves, strap myself in a do a few laps....Daytona USA, bit of Outrun, Colin McRae Rally and the like. "Prost... Senna... Mansell... Nerdy!! Neeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaauuuuuuummm!!!

Takagi (Not So) Pretty in Pink after being blitzed by Reysol to be sent crashing to J2 for the first time.A game we had to win and lost 5-1.....

On a slightly serious note, I can honestly say I`m pretty dissappointed to see him go. He`s been around since day one of  the Nerdy Years.Fully understand his reasoning though: WE LICKED BALLS for the entirity of last season and he still didn`t get a game. Two years on the bench is enough for anyone to take (unless they have the Recario seats of course). Overall on his best days , a semi decent keeper, good shot stopper but generally and overall D-O-D-G-Y. Scored a goal once and also gave away a terrible penalty in the last minute only to get up and save the spot kick. Also probably the only reserve keeper to have his own seating area named after him. Former sporter of  THE worst pissy yellow dandelion "do" in the league and his trademark pink goalie top to boot. Jesus!!That just about sums us up.......

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Nerdy Years (Part One)

Apparently Verdy were originally brilliant.Top dogs in the early days of the J League. They have two stars above the Verdy crest to prove it and Mrs. Nerdy to back up all known facts and observations about the exploits of King (Numpty) Kazu, Ramos, Kitazawa and the gimp with the big ears whose name esca....ah no, it was Takeda.
It was 1993 when it all kicked off, Wolves were shite, England were shite and the J League opened it`s every over the hill "superstar" still able to run on fumes...... If you want to read about this part of the story of the J League please look somewhere else because although Mrs Nerdy was here to tell the story; quite frankly she doesn`t care these days.
Fast forward to 2000/1...Rainy season, absolutely pissing down at Tokyo Olympic Stadium, Tokyo Verdy v Kashiwa Reysol. 60,000 ish seater stadium, maybe 5,000 people there. In the home end were maybe five or six people with flasher macs,samba snare drums and a ton of enthusiasm. In the middle were a bigger group of people with bigger drums and maybe better flasher macs. We had got tickets for the game and sat down on the Olympic Flame side of the ground.
We were sat down for about 10 minutes then moved because it was too quiet. We went to the Verdy end first and asked a guy why there were TWO bands??  Apparently there used to be just one band but they fell out. Subsequently  the "splinter band" had been forced to the left behind the home goal...they also only struck up there noticabley smaller "hand held" drums when Verdy were attacking......oh the shame of it all!!. We sat down in the pissing rain watching a game played out between two TERRIBLE teams. The only thing that stood out was one player.....and he was probably the reason (apart from the fact that Verdy`s soon to be new ground at Chofu was the closest to my house at the time...)  that made me choose the currently 25th best team in the J-League........

A load of......Probably at least till after the World Cup anyway!!

The News of The World journalists disscuss the proposed Hulk transfer over breakfast.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hulk on the move??

Verdy Legend and "Offical Tokyo Nerdy Number 1 Random Samba Merchant of Undisputed Pedigree" Hulk;  could soon be upping sticks from the sunny climbs of Lisbon and FC the thoroughly unpleasant UK cesspool, Manchester. Apparently 20 Million quid to the Red side of the city from Porto, pure speculation in UK dirt sheet News of the World at the moment but we at Tokyo Nerdy will be following closely (ish)....Ker-ching!!$$$$

Monday, January 4, 2010

The New Verdy Management Team!!

Verdy have gone for glamour this year with the appointment of ex-Verdy womens coach Takeo Matsuda (centre). It`s a controversial decision but they do say "(Ladyboy) Sex Sells!!" If the new team can get a few extra visitors to the stadium then I`m all for it.

While you were out..

So, what`s been happening in the Green world since we`ve been away?? Well Captain Bigtree got the boot and they brought in Takeo Matsuda to take over the coaching duties. Is he any good?? Well history states that he served his time on the Verdy women`s team (as a manager not as a player involved in any kind of Thai ladyboy hormone pill induced shenanigans). He saw some success as Verdy women (unlike Verdy men) are traditionally pretty strong.
Just run that by me again...So we`ve hired a women's coach with no J League experience whatsoever?? Yes. Righto, now there are 2 ways to look at this:

1. An inspired decision?? This would be the result if we had an enlightened board of directors steaming across the gender divide with forward thinking and bucking the trend of football worldwide. After all, coaching success is all about winning right??? Doesn`t matter if your coaching men, women or trained chimps playing hopscotch. Winning is winning.

2. A desperate decision?? This would be taken by a board of directors who haven`t got two `alfpennys to rub together who have run out of ex-players to step into the breach. This board still want to hire from within...they can`t do it directly so they go sideways.

I`ll go with the latter. Results wise we picked up a touch over the tale end of the season though still finished a disappointing 7th a mammoth 24 points from the promotion places. More worryingly, at no point over the course of the season did we look anything like challenging. There was the run of 6 wins in mid season but the early season malaise had already seen us fall too far behind and when the inevitable slump returned, it was good bye Captain Bigtree.