Monday, January 30, 2012

The Magic Roundabout 2012 Part One

Bloody freezing today though on the plus side I bought a new chainsaw and am now in the house with freshly sawn and chopped logs crackling away on the fire. I`m warm, have a can of beer ready whilst I type and am in altogether positive mood looking forward to the new season. Then again, aren`t all pre-season football supporters everywhere? The teams have yet to smash supporters dreams into smithereens, every signing looks a gem and all players transferred out were useless anyway.  I personally love the time before the the start of the new season. Planning games to go to, possible away trips. The day the official fixture list comes out is most definitely one of the best days of the season; signifying the start of what we`ve been missing since December. So who are the runners and riders for Tokyo Verdy this season? To begin with let`s have a look at who has been press ganged aboard the good ship Green and who has been thrown overboard or stolen with promises of riches and glory.
First let`s start with the significant outs:
No I`m not but I know a man who is.
The biggest news in the off season is of course that Hiroki Kawano signed for FC Tokyo to leave an enormous hole in the attack. Kawano leaving the club is not a huge surprise given his obvious skills and to be honest I was surprised he hadn`t been picked up in either of the two previous seasons. However, for him to go to FC Tokyo is nothing short of a poke in the eye with a donkey AIDS infested sharp stick for the Green 11% of Tokyo. I hope he does well in his overall career but would love to see him bomb for FC Tokyo. What a complete TWAT!!!
The problem here of course (as with the Takagi brothers leaving last season) is that clubs will continue to pick off Verdy`s talent as long as Verdy stay entrenched in the shit that is J2. Verdy have had a superbly successful youth squad in recent years to rival any other in the country I would say, but when that youth gets into the first team and performs, the club is powerless to keep the talent when clubs higher up the league come calling. It`s f`in annoying and will only stop (within Japan) if Verdy get promoted.
Other transfers include a surprise in Captain Seitaro Tomisawa going to J1 Marinos. Not quite sure what the Marinos are thinking there to be honest. Surely only signed to make up the numbers and would be massively surprised if he was in the first 11 on the opening day unless Marinos are looking to revive the Yokohama Derby in J2.
As feared Tokyo Nerdy 1969 favourite Kazuki Hiramoto has indeed upped sticks and moved to local outfit Machida Zelvia to be coached by ex-Verdy manager and all round good egg Ossie Ardiles. Gotta love Ardiles. He won the Cup for Verdy and for that reason alone he will always be a hero in my eyes, OK we got relegated and hammered subsequently but I`ll take a cup win and relegation over scraping staying in J1 year after year. Club chairmen go on about the importance of staying in whatever division but ask any supporter and the majority will take a Cup win. A big thank you to Hiramoto for all he did for the club not least scoring in the Cup Final to beat Jubilo on a fantastic afternoon for Greens everywhere on New Years Day 2005. Silverware is what matters to any supporter and Hiramoto and Ardiles brought the only piece of silverware to Verdy in the 11 seasons since I`ve been following. The pre-season Tinpot Mickey Mouse McDonalds Community Xerox Challenge Charity Shield Trophy Cup doesn`t count. Verdy won that too but is it important? Nope.
Other movers include both 2010 first choice full backs Masaki Yoshida and Kensuke Fukuda. Yoshida moves to J2 new boys Matsumoto Yamaga with Fukuda signing with relegated Venforet Kofu. Both should be solid signings for their respective clubs with Fukuda looking for a shot straight back to J1 while Yoshida will be doing his best to keep Matsumoto respectable for their debut J2 season.
Kikuoka`s dad getting everything ready for Takuro`s birthday party.
In the midfield apart from Kawano leaving, uber dwarf Takuro Kikuoka has signed for promotion candidates SC Tochigi. Another disappointing move for the Greens as Kikuoka really came into form in his second season at Verdy after being a fringe player in 2010.  His free kicks, hairbands and having to ask Yoichi Doi to pass things from the overhead shelf on the team bus will certainly be missed at Ajinomoto this year.
Amongst the forwards, another Verdy "legend" has moved to pastures new with Taira Inoue being picked up by FC Gifu following a successful run out at the annual J-League workout for players too old, too young or too shit to be signed or re-signed at the end of their contracts. We will have our work cut out to find a new comedy forward to rank along side such legends as Inoue and Yuzo Funokoshi before him though I`m sure someone will come to the fore sooner rather than later. 2011 Brazilian loan signing Maranhao has left the club and will not be in Green for 2012, Omiya Ardija loanee Masahiko Ichikawa, who along with Apodi did virtually nothing in their 12 months at the club have also returned to their old clubs. In part two we`ll be looking at who has come in to replace the above. Stay tuned!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Kawano Goes......

TO FC TOKYO!!!!!!!!!!!! Ugh!!