Monday, August 29, 2011

Dive! Dive! Dive!

Looks like Tom Daley (British Olympic Medal Hope and All Round Good Egg) is going to have a bit of a challenge on his hands with the news that Shohei Takahashi has been called up to the U-22 Olympic Squad.  Just don`t touch him Tom, don`t shake his hand by the pool else he`ll have nailed his double somersault, tuck with pike before you`ve even took your vest off. You have been warned Daley.

Back with a bit of a...

Verdy 5 - 2 Kumamoto 

Maranhao scored the first two, Kobayashi, Kawano and Ishikawa!!  Kumamoto scored two as well

Verdy 0 - 2 Tosu

Nothing to report here, move along please, nothing to see here.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bag Up Campers It`s Summer Holiday Time!!

Tokyo Nerdy, Sir Cliff Richard and his "Bag" have booked a Summer Holiday. We`ll be back after the Kumamoto game.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Maki Signs

Ex Japan international Seichiro Maki signs for Verdy. More to come later.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Shootin` Fish In a Barrel Fagiano 0 - 4 Verdy

Takuma Abe pictured at Tokyo Fish Market Ka-Boom!! Eat My Goals!!
Four goals,  a million chances and 3 points. A nice easy win for Verdy this week and a pair of 4-0`ers over Fagiano for the season. The goals were slow to come but the chances weren`t; the game was only 2 minutes old when Maranhao was clean through with........and you know the rest. This time Takuma Abe had intercepted a back pass and layed up Maranhao with just the keeper to beat from the edge of the box. Maranhao easily beat the keeper by sending his chip way over the top of the goal too. Nice.
Anyway, far too many chances to go into detail with all of them but Kawano was unlucky not to score  from 6 yards his shot taking a last gasp deflection up and onto the bar and clear. If the first half saw Verdy on top then the second was a free for all. Shot after shot after shot and finally in the 56th minute goal number 9 for Takuma Abe. Takuro Kikuoka put him through with a perfect slide rule pass, Abe having timed his run to perfection was left with easy task of flicking the ball past the keeper and into the net.
Number two for Abe and Verdy came 15 minutes later with Abe finishing this time from the six yard box scuffing a shot to deflect and trickle in the far corner following some neat passing in the area from Kawano, Iio and Maranhao. At the half way point in the season Abe now has 10 goals for the season the same mark as 2010 top scorer Kazuki Hiramoto finished with. Things are indeed looking bright for Abe.  At 2-0 Fagiano were to score to bring the game back to 2-1 and Verdy could possibly have been on the ropes but luckily the flag went up for offside and Tiago`s perfectly legitimate goal was ruled out. Nice.
So then came number three finished off by a busy Hiroki Kawano. Kawano was all over the place today, tackling, crossing, terrorising an being a general pain for Fagiano all afternoon. Iio broke down the left, fed Maranhao who turned to set himself up for the shot and Kawano sensing the danger of Maranhao actually  shooting steamed in and blasted the ball into the net himself. 3-0 and game over with Shohei Takahashi`s late header from a Kajikawa corner the icing on the cake. Verdy back among the goals and back on the winning trail. Onwards and Ka-Boom Wards The Boys March On!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Three Shiny White Sticks Verdy 1 - 1 Kyoto Sanga

The Ball Goes In Here
Football is supposed to be a simple game. You kick the ball between the three shiny white sticks at the end of the field more times than the other team and you win. It really is simple. Brian Clough`s tactical advice to Roy Keane general workhorse and midfield engine of his Forest side? "Get a hold of the ball and pass it to a red shirt". Simple eh. Nice and easy and could be one of the reasons for the popularity of the game worldwide. Not a million rules, no need for tons of expensive equipment. Just the simple job of kicking the ball between those shiny white sticks.
Which begs the question as to how Tokyo Verdy can make such an easy task look like the equivalent of climbing Mt. Bloody Everest!!! Yesterdays game was a masterclass in wasted chances after a first half of utter domination and a second half of a touch more parity. Verdy could and should have been 5-0 up at half time with the points in the bag and cigar cutters on standby for the second half. As it was, Verdy can only blame themselves for blowing the points AGAIN. In fact no that`s not quite true, they can blame probably the striker who has missed more open goals, failed in more one on ones with the keeper and generally been the biggest flop since another Nottingham Forest "Legend" Jason Lee whose shooting so famously terrorised the home supporters standing right at the back at the top of the Trent End in the early 90`s. We are of course talking about our good friend and Kofu loan-ee; (for the love of God please let Kofu  re-call him) Maranhao. I`m getting tired of saying it but he couldn`t hit a cows arse with a banjo.
Jason Lee Pineapple Like Buffoon 
The Through On Goal and Yet Didn`t Score Count for yesterdays game? TWO in 60 minutes of action. The first came from a long punt from Shibasaki in goal on 12 minutes. The ball was flicked on and as Maranhao came into the box he delayed just long enough for Saito to come in to make the block for Sanga. He followed up with a shot on the rebound but again had it blocked.
Verdy were to utterly dominate the first half with Sanga`s only two attempts a weak effort into the side netting and a blast over the boar from distance. Verdy`s goal came on 25 minutes with Takuma Abe again on target for his 8th of the season. Abe took his chance well squeezing his shot between two defenders and the keeper after cutting into the box on a fast break and feed from captain for the evening Kazunori Iio.
Maranhao should have made it two on 28 minutes when he was clean through with just the keeper to.....etc etc. Hiroki Kawano was to have another busy evening looking every bit as dangerous as he did against Oita. Kawano had a stonewall penalty turned down after leaving defenders in his wake going into the box he was felled no doubt but not given this time. Just before half time Kensuke Fukuda (in for Mori at right back) also had a bottom corner bound grass cutter tipped round the post to leave the score at  1-0 at the break.
Into the second half and Kawano carried on where he left off with a cross cum shot coming back of the joint,  the woeful Maranhao got taken off for Hiramoto who didn`t offer much of a threat and looked fairly ring rusty following his long lay off failing to read a flick on from Abe that would have sent him home clear. Verdy were to rue their missed chances and probably ensured Maranhao a round of Chinese Burns, Towel Whips and Neutron Nipple Twisters when Kyoto were to score the equaliser in the 64th minute. Kyoto broke from defence and as Dutra went to pull the trigger from the edge of the box Takuya Wada just got his block in in time to send the ball for a corner. Wada was called up for U-22 Japan Squad this week and if Japan are to win anything at next years Olympics then Wada will have to defend his corners better than against Kyoto. The ball came in from the resulting corner and Jun Ando was left completely unmarked with a free header at the near post.
Doesn`t grab the headlines like the Millwall Brick but still knackers when administered correctly.
The coverage then cut to a crowd shot of ex-JEF United and Japan striker Seichiro Maki in the crowd, rumoured to be incoming to Verdy following stints in the Russian and Chinese Super Leagues. If Mito can get a washed up former Japan striker then why not Verdy?  Takayuki Suzuki is already off the mark for Mito so let`s just see how we go if Maki does come in. He HAS to be better than Maranhao that`s for sure. In the last 20 minutes Verdy had Abe chip straight at the keeper, Abe round the back for a cross to Hiramoto blocked at the last minute, Fukatsu headed over with a clear sight of goal, Abe had an effort fly just wide, Mori sent one over the bar for Kyoto and Abe even had time to have a flying header tipped over by the Kyoto keeper.  93 minutes of football with six or seven CLEAR chances on goal which Maranhao and others fluffed completely. An eye poppingly depressing 3,007 were there to see it. Are you sure you want to come Maki?? Horror show.
Onwards and Seemingly Nowhere The Boys March On!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Naoki Matsuda 34 YEARS OLD.

BOOM GONE....A lot of other 34 year old  and way younger guys with wives, kids and loved ones will have also died today in traffic accidents, health related problems, trampled by elephants or just never woke up this morning. To be a football player is no more or less valuable than the bloke who sweeps the street, serves the burgers in McDonalds or heads the biggest of the biggest global conglomerate. People are people and when one goes before their time it`s not right in any way shape or form.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Lonely Reunion by Captain Agent Steve Orange Green Reporting For Duty Sir, Yes Sir!

Cheers Steve.
Hello to Verdy fans from all over the globe, it's been awhile since we spoke last. It's been 2 and a half years since Nerdy started up his blog and I shuttered Soilent Green 1969 although it seems like much longer. In those two and a half years, I've seen the squad play a grand total of two times. The last time was at the end of last year, when Verdy was facing the distinct possibility of having the same fate as....well, as Soilent Green. The team held a "SAVE OUR VERDY" campaign, complete with free green t-shirts and pre-game festivities featuring Verdy legends from yesteryear. Over 20,000 went through the gates to see a tense 2-1 loss. Even though the team was defeated on the field, they did end up ultimately victorious because of earlier news that sporting goods retailer Xebio had stepped in and filled the gaping hole left by the deadbeat mouthbreathers who collect a paycheck from Yomiuri and the out of their depth internet weenies over at Amoeba. It was a decent atmosphere and a very impressive crowd giving a nice glimpse of what could be if things were done right. 
Fast forward to 2011 and the end of July, where I made my second trek to Chofu. Not to offend anyone, but Ajinomoto is probably one of the worst modern stadiums in Japan (barely edging Nissan, who at least has TV monitors so you see the action). It's very tough to watch a game there and when you have 3800 plus people in a 50,000 seat facility, the atmosphere isn't going to be good. Ajinomoto magnifies this by having their stands and playing field be located in different wards. Both sets of supporters did their best to make the place lively but it was really a losing battle. Nishigaoka was the best place for Verdy to play games when I used to attend semi-regularly. It was an intimate little stadium with seats right near the field. Hopefully, XEBIO and a proactive government in one of the 23 wards can get together and make something like this happen. I don't think there is much of a future in Chofu for Verdy. 
The quality of the squad was somewhere between the high flyers in 2007 who stormed up to J1 and the dregs in 2006 who were ghastly to watch. There were some good wing players for both sides but the target strikers (Verdy's sluggish and overtly dramatic  Maranhao and Oita's portly point man Yasuhito Morishima) were horrid. Maranhao did score a goal but shanked a ton of open chances and really killed the chance for victory. His biggest moment came early when he got hip checked out of bounds and flew over the advertising boards along the side lines. Both teams would probably be better served with target strikers who could score.....maybe Yuzo Funakoshi could find his old Verdy jersey and bumble around the penalty area waiting for a fat cross. 
Going into the game, I had mixed loyalties....I was looking forward to seeing old friends (for Omiya fans) Yukio Tsuchiya and Naoya Saeki play and I had faint hope that Masahiko Ichikawa would get a run off the bench (that bastard Kaz Iio ruined it for me.....still ruining games for me after all these years!). I also was looking forward to seeing Omiya rental Kohei Tokita line up as a centerback for Oita. He was a disaster as a sideback but played respectably (except for a shot that landed somewhere in Nerima). 
The real highlight of the game came off the foot of Choi Jung Han, who sent a beautiful shot into the far left side of the Verdy net. He gave longtime former Kawasaki nutter Yusuke Mori fits all night with his speed. Takuro Kikuoka and Hiroki Kawano stood out for the home side and put in chance after chance for the useless Maranhao. 
All in all it was an enjoyable game, complete with two of the national team heroes from Beleza adressing the crowd and giving a wave as well as halftime entertainment from a fairly ordinary band whose name I couldn't even begin to remember. 
I think the highlight for me though ( besides sitting with my blogging protege and making fun of Maranhao) was my purchase of Verdy's shockingly grotesque home jersey. To me it looks like a Celtic jersey and a Chinese restaurant billboard got liquored up one evening and didn't use the proper protection...IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!
Not a bad game and the one bright side to low turnout is that the train ride is bearable. I think it was just a good thing that both teams were out playing. Both Oita and Verdy weren't sure bets for sustainable teams in 2010, so to have them playing and being competitive after turmoil, debt, and wholesale player purges is a good thing. 
It also gave me an excuse to chat with all of you once again.....that's always nice. 
Good luck to Verdy in the future and I hope you don't mind if I pop in again
The Artist formerly known as Soilent Green and now subsequently known as Agent Orange
Steve "Squiggle" Barme