Sunday, May 30, 2010

Crap Hair Day Verdy 1-1 Yokohama England 2 -1 Japan

As the 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.
Finally one thing that must be mentioned is the state of Tulio`s hair. Give it up mate!! Embrace your baldness!! Don`t be ashamed, as a member of the baldy(ing) bretheren myself I implore Tulio to be at one with his slap. If he`s gonna be facing the cameras of the world pointing at the name on the back of shirt in celebration in South Africa he might want to think about the frizzy, Terry Nutkins inspired, shredded wheat, wraparound, alicebanded, undercut monstrosity above the shirt. Preening and posing is fine if you have the hair to pull it off. Nakazawa has crap hair, Okubo too is guilty of crap hair though he is crap as a player too. In fact in a crap hair World Cup I think Japan might outstanding favourites led by the one and only Tulio or maybe this guy......

Friday, May 28, 2010

Double Header!!

Verdy v Yokohama FC and England v Japan!! What a Super Sunday!! "Er...Amazing Jeff!!"

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Band of Brothers....JEF United 2 - 1 Verdy

The run is over, Verdy tasted defeat for the first time in six and it`s fair to say they probably deserved the loss. A Kawano-less Verdy lined to face a JEF tucked into the final promotion spot. The Takagi brothers started the game with Yoshiaki in Kawano`s place and Toshiyuki (with a freshly shorn "do") in for the suspended Iio. A lifeless 10 minutes opened the game with neither side able to offer much in terms of entertainment. Slowly JEF began to turn the screw with their giraffe Neto up top doing his best to throw Tsuchiya about, Tsuchiya was having none of it and clattered the Brazillian a couple of times. Nice!!
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

Verdy 1 - 0 Fagiano.... Pimp My Yankee!! Hiramoto Does it Again!!

He`s definately got a dodgy `tache, he`s probably got a bosozoku bike parked outside his house and more than likely a Mrs who wears trakky bottoms and Kitty-chan slippers 24/7 but who cares??!! Kazuki Hiramoto knocked in another winner this afto and that`ll do us at Tokyo Nerdy. 1-0, five games unbeaten and never came close to losing today. Not a game for the neutrals and nothing to do for Doi today though he may be first in the ice bath after the game with a stiff neck through watching every Fagiano effort sail over the top of his goal. The goal came in the first half resulting from a free kick for a foul on Yoshiaki Takagi. Kikuoka swung in the cross and Hiramoto went up with the keeper, the ball fell kindly for Hiramoto who was quickest to react and stab the ball home from the edge of the six yard box. Takagi was on the end of some rough stuff today but handled himself well, no prima donna acting when blatantly fouled just up and at it again. In all likelihood with a bit more J-League coaching we assume this "problem" will soon be ironed out.....Double sending off in the second half with Iio and the Fagiano Captain both recieving their marching orders. Both players went up for a header and following (I assume) a clash on the ground, Iio kicked out at the defender and was rightfully sent off, the TV replays were inconclusive as to what the Fagiano player had done but he was off too. The Fagiano faithfull weren`t at all happy, but I`ve no idea as I couldn`t see......ah what the hell he deserved it filthy animal!!! So what next?? Well it`s JEF United away next week for a real test.Let`s see how we fare against one of the teams already booking their 2011 awaydays. I tell you what though readers; things are looking a lot rosier than a few weeks ago.....OK, we might very well go and lose but as opposed to a few weeks ago, we DO have a chance of being rolled in the flour, farted upon and given a clue!! We at Tokyo Nerdy wholeheartedly support such opportunities!! Onwards and Upwards The Boys March On!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Run Forest Run!! Verdy 2 - 0 Thespa

Life absolutely  isn`t a box of choclates in the Green half of Tokyo it`s generally poor but with the ocassional bit of somthing that looks like chocolate these days......The Boys lined up with the same line up as the last two games though Kikuoka was to go off after only a few  minutes following a clumsy challenge in the centre circle. The fans got the chance to get a another good look at Yoshiaki Takagi who gave another solid performance and is definately one for the future be it at Verdy or somewhere else. Result wise it took a while but we got there in the end!! 2-0 was the final and a thoroughly deserved win for The Boys. Echo`s of the Kitakyushu game in that the opposition were poor, with the first half being 80% possesion for the Green`s  but with few clear cut opportunities. Again, Verdy going forward were lacking a finisher. Hiramoto broke through and forced a good save from the keeper in the first half but as with Inoue the other week, a real live finisher would have scored. Second half and Thespa were starting to come back into it, a poor backpass from Tsuchiya left Doi scrambling across to watch a flashing header go wide and another two half chances came and went for Thespa...until THE CAPTAIN came along.....this time not Captain Bird`s Eye either but our very own Seitaro Tomisawa!! Now, we at Tokyo Nerdy 1969 have slated the guy for his mistakes this season and in seasons gone by; but  absolutely credit where credit is due, Seitaro Tomisawa played out of his skin tonight. He showed the forwards how to do it with a lung-bursting run from between his own 18 yard box and the centre circle. It was HE who broke from the within his own half, HE who still had the ball at his feet, HE who reached the 18 yard box and HE who layed the ball off to Hiramoto whose powerful shot rebounded off the keeper.... Who was the one following up to plant in the scissor kick?? I`ll give you a hint and say it wasn`t  ME......Superb!!..Verdy continued with the posession and were to go two ahead on a daft though definate penalty. Hiramoto broke free on the right and centred to Kawano who was brought down in the box even though the keeper would have more than likely have got to the ball first. Very poor defending from the Thespa defender who got a red card for his troubles. Following this Kawano jumped up and calmly slotted the peno away no bother but what happened next is either a stroke of genius?? or the guy is thick as the proverbial pig shit.....He went on to jump over the rather awkward fencing,  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

Nil-Nil-Nil-Nil-Nil-Nil

Sapporo 0-0 Verdy. Same line up as the Tosu game chances aplenty for both sides but nothing doing in the end. Kikuoka had the chance of the match with only four minutes on the clock. Iio had wriggled free on the left squared to Kikuoka who was now on the edge of the six yard box with just the keeper to slot past, the keeper flung himself across to bat the ball out for a corner and leave Kikuoka and the rest of the stadium wondering how he didn`t score. Tsuchiya also had a good sight of goal heading agonisingly wide from a Kawano inswinging free kick. Sapporo were also looking dangerous throughout only to be undone by their archtypal "R.S.M.O.Q.P" Quirino. He had chance after chance today and while he was not without a decent touch in the build up play he either fell over his own feet, blasted into the stands or got tackled when about to pull the trigger. Poor fella had an absolute stinker today.. In the second half Tomisawa had a glorious chance with another free header this time from a corner, again wide, Kawano burst through only to have his shot deflected, Iio had another effort just wide. Again Verdy nearly shot themselves in the foot with two free headers in their own box one looping onto the bar and the other flashing wide. No points today and even more disappointingly the end of Golden Week. The noses of the nation including at Nerdy HQ will be firmly pressed back to the grindstones tomorrow morning. It`s been a great Golden Week at Nerdy HQ, maybe not enough goals from the Boys in Green but sunny skies, more football than you can shake a stick at, BBQ season and another game at the weekend. The Bathroom Boys from Thespa Kusatsu ride into town, flicking each other with wet towels, dishing out nipple twisters to the fat kids and drilling holes in the wall to catch a view of trainer bras next door. Porky`s has a lot to answer for.......

Monday, May 3, 2010

Wise Up Sucker!! Verdy 1 - 1 Sagan Tosu


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

Kim Jong Il`s Omiya Army!!

I had a day of North Korean labour camp style work yesterday involving two trucks of soil, a shovel and wheelbarrow from 7 in the morning until 4.30 in the afternoon but the reward at the end of a backbreaking day was a relaxing trip to one of my favourite grounds in Japan. Omiya-koen was the venue last night for another reminder of what life is like in J1. Omiya v Kyoto was the match up, two teams currently scrapping to stay up and with the 2-1 win Omiya leap frogged Kyoto to climb out of the bottom three. We got to say hello to a couple of old friends too which was nice, Steve from Soilent Green was our host for the evening and we also got to say hello to ex-Verdy midfielder Shin Kanazawa and our favourite lard-ass Diego who was to provide a killer raking cross field  pass for the Kyoto goal, a nice reminder of what he could do in Green a couple of seasons back.
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.