Omiya Ardija have today confirmed that their coach for the vital 2008 J1 season will be ex-Montedio Yamagata boss Yasuhiro Higuchi. As reported here on GGOA earlier in the week, Higuchi was being strongly linked with a move to the Squirrels by the press, after discussions with Takuya Takagi, Hiroshi Soejima and - it is rumoured - former Urawa Reds and national team coach Hans Ooft had ended without a deal being struck.
Higuchi's strong points are an ability to bring through young players and he will point to star international Shunsuke Nakamura as a protege. But after having achieved such mediocre results in Yamagata since taking charge there a couple of years ago, it is very unlikely that his appointment will provoke much in the way of celebration amongst the frustrated Ardija supporters. A long and painful 2007 campaign looks set to be followed by an uncertain close season.