financial problems escalate at Verdy HQ The Boys took to the field against a resurgent Yokohama FC. Doi was tested within a minute of the kick off doing well to tip over a long ranger in what was to be a busy afternoon for him. Yokohama have been blowing hot and cold all season and came into the game off the back of a 4-0 thrashing of Sagan Tosu. Much has been made this week of Toshiyuki Takagi`s free kick in the last round but it was to be Yokohama this week who would open the scoring with a well executed free kick from a good distance outside the box. The first half was a lively affair with Doi called upon on a number of ocassions to save the day. 1-0 down at half time and Verdy were to probably shade the second half in terms of posession and the equaliser came from a superbly delivered free kick into the box from Yoshiaki Takagi an inswinger right into the danger zone between the six yard box and the penalty spot. It brough the keeper out but Tsuchiya got the touch first to send the ball goalward and open his account for the season. It seems Tsuchiya is really enjoying his football this season, on two ocassions yesterday he was seen galloping down the sidelines like a man half his age, chasing the ball, beating defenders with his speed(??!!) I kid you not. The game played out to a 1-1 draw but not before Oguro was twice denied by Doi in injury time. The first was a bullet header which luckily was directed straight at Doi and the second a lashing shot from about 8 yards out which Doi reached at full stretch to bat away for a corner. Doi has been excellent recently and is proving there is still a bit of juice left in the tank. With regards to the financial mess that Verdy are in with talk of J-League takeovers, possible relegation to the JFL or a complete liquidation it was great to see the supporters yesterday unfurling a banner at half time lending their support to the club, suggesting they will "always be there no matter what" .The supporters of Verdy have been through the mill this season and still they come, not that many granted but there ARE some who still care. I enjoyed the game yesterday a good tussle between two teams with pretty much nothing to play for which was in complete contrast to the England v Japan game.
England especially had everything to play for as if you belive the press, certain players places on the plane to South Africa were up for grabs. If you want to read a detailed report on the why`s and wherefors of the game then look somewhere else, I`ll leave my analysis at England were poor and if they play like that against anyone decent they will be out of the tournament and Japan will still be on the first plane home even though they played quite well. No forwards + no goals = return flight to Narita.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
JEF altogether were faster, bigger, more accurate passers and had some real quality for J2. Verdy would be lucky to get anything from this game I thought. However, it`s the unexpected that draws us all in really...and the unexpected came in the 30th minute with a goal again resulting from a foul on Yoshiaki Takagi. Currently, it seems the opposition are looking at his age, pushing him about and giving fouls away in dangerous positions. Last week, Hiramoto benefitted and this week it was to be Toshiyuki Takagi who benefitted...and in some style!! Highlights are here.....
Now they love a good hero in a Japan and the Takagi brothers have every chance of being built up as the next saviours of Tokyo Verdy, the next saviours of Japanese football or even be called upon to sort out Kim Jong Il. They are decent, have a famous father and all they need to do now is produce moments on a regular basis like the 35 yard free kick slammed into the top corner yesterday!! An absolute belter that wouldn`t look out of place in South Africa in a few weeks. But this is the point, they are not the saviours of Tokyo Verdy, not the saviours of Japanese football and probably know nothing about Kim Jong Il (maybe a mild appreciation of his haircut aside...). Toshiyuki Takagi overhit 3 corners yesterday while we were trying to get back to 2-2 much to the annoyance of Tsuchiya and Tomisawa and also shot wide twice when in good positions... They show promise but at the moment that`s all. And neither are as good as mystery man Kawano who was AWOL for the trip to JEF....possible transfer in the works?? (GULP!!)
Anyway we got to halftime ahead after Doi had rolled back the years to pull off a wonder save from a blistering volley diving at full stretch to tip over the bar. Superb stuff!! If Takagi`s strike was top class then Doi`s save was equal to it. JEF also rattled the post before going in 1-0 down. The second half was a case of whether we could hang on to the lead and weather the inevitable storm. The Boys battlerd away but couldn`t hold back the tide. Wave after wave of attacks came with Doi having his busiest day of the season and playing well, Tsuchiya and Tomisawa also battled down to the wire and while we conceded two goals in the second half, the first another top drawer finish from the JEF striker after being played through and the second a dissapointing end to a great game of football. The Boys did their utmost yesterday but came unstuck against a better team. We were absolutely battered in the second half but still could have grabbed a late equaliser after a volley from Sugawara in 2nd half injury time. The keeper saved but any kind of touch through the crowd of players it steamed through would have sent it either side of him.
A good game, great entertainment TOP quality goals but the wrong result. Yokohama next week who rather worryingly won 4-0 yesterday.....We`ll be alright!!!
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Beechers Brook like drop and (finally) into the crowd (who are a good 40 yards away from the goal line at Ajinomoto) and earn his FOURTH yellow card and a subsequent one match suspension. Nothing more than exuberant celebration of the wrap up goal you say? But why would you do that if you know you`re on a thin wire?? Why would the best player in the team miss the next game...because in TWO games time we play one of the big boys!! 2nd place JEF United....I`m assuming young Hiroki Kawano is not indeed as thick as pig shit and was taking the chance assuming the Boys can do the business next time out against Okayama. We shall see, but for now Onwards and Upwards!!! The Boys March On!! Been a while since that one`s come out!!
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
Great performnce for 93 minutes though unfortunately the game went for 94 minutes and in the 94th minute we were awful!! Things are looking surprisingly rosy in the Green camp however, OK we dropped two points but we played like we knew how to win a football match (for 93 minutes). As entertainment I`ll take 93 minutes of good attacking, exciting football with a draw than 94 minutes of dirge and 3 points as in the Gifu match. For a do or die result I`ll call for the dirge everytime but I don`t think I could stomach 36 Gifu games in one season.
The Boys started off lively with Hiramoto like a man possessed. He was straight at the Sagan defence right from the first whistle, hustling, bustling, barging and scrapping for every ball that came his way. Ably supported by Kawano, Iio and Kikuoka on the attack easily switching from a two man to a four man wave. This was great stuff!! And more of what we want to see!! The goal was to come courtesy of Hiramoto as he bulldozed his way through from the half way line, (probably) fouled his marker on the way through and slotted past the keeper in some style. Hiramoto is the man with the professional knowhow of how to get into the positions and know what do once he is in the position. 2 in 2 for him and looks like more to come. At the moment as us white, English, middle (ish) aged PLAYERS are so apt to say "He `da man" "He `da man" "Who `da man?" "He da `man" at the moment.
OK, so the last minute we gave away a goal on a free header from a corner what do you expect?? This is Verdy!! So what!! Verdy were entertaining, I enjoyed watching them for two games straight now and long may it continue starting with Sapporo tomorrow!!
Saturday, May 1, 2010
So that`s two weeks running whereby the matchday experience has been better than at Tokyo Verdy for a long time. As myself and my son walked the short distance from Omiya-koen station to the ground we could hear the drums going and the chanting from some distance away. Omiya-koen is a relatively small ground and last nights crowd of 10,000 was not even a quarter of the size of neighbours Urawa last week, but still the noise generated by the Omiya faithfull produced a cracking atmosphere. The ground is set in a park with many of the crowd trundling in on bicycles, parking them up against the trees and wandering on to the game. I`ve moaned on many ocassions about the drawbacks of Ajinomoto Stadium and once more the lack of atmosphere problem came to the fore. In a ground that holds 15,000 with no running track 10,000 people can make a grand old racket. However, transfer that same 10,000 to a 50,000 seater with a running track and the place feels empty. The atmosphere at both Urawa and Omiya have both been great and painfull at the same time in relation to what I get at my own club. No microphones in sight or even required at either place.
Finally, one thing Omiya cream Urawa at is pre-match music!! What better music to run out to than The A Team?? Also mixed in there was bit of Ramones, Blur (Parklife...predictable but I`ll give them the benefit of the doubt, it`s a park after all) and my personal favourite Dr. Feelgood "Milk and Alcohol" which instantly took me back to going to infants school and being in my pork chop bearded dad`s car in about 1980. Quality. A top night all round and thanks a lot Steve!! A true gent.