If there's one aspect of the team's performances so far this season that has been troubling fans, it's Omiya Ardija's strikers. Before the campaign started, the squad's supposed goalgetters announced that they had a collective target of thirty for 2006, but with seven J1 and one Nabisco Cup matches played so far, this looks a forlorn hope indeed: with 1205 minutes of football played between the five nominated forwards - Naoto Sakurai, Hiroshi Morita, Manabu Wakabayashi, Saul Martinez and Kota Yoshihara - they have managed a grand total of four goals.
When a midfield player is the top scorer, something clearly isn't working as far as Toshiya Miura's frontline tactics are concerned. So in a doubtless ill-advised attempt to find out exactly what that might be, Go! Go! Omiya here takes a statistical at what some lower class sections of the press are already calling the Toothless Five...
Member of the starting XI: Twice Sub on: Four times Total time played: 343 minutes Goals scored: Three
The top scoring Omiya forward, with goals against Niigata, Gamba and Marinos. Hasn't exactly dispelled the idea of his being more interested in the big games, but when he's been given the time on the pitch, he's taken chances. Has admitted to having started the season unusually well and as such probably deserves to be in the starting XI - more than the others, at any rate.
Member of the starting XI: Three times Sub on: Four times Total time played: 326 minutes Goals scored: One
The only Squirrels striker to have played two complete matches this season (Sakurai has managed one; the others have been subbed in or out during every game). His single goal was untypically a header against Jubilo. Possesses a decent enough shot, but for a tall player is poor in the air and seems unable to summon up the muscle to hold up play as a target man. Is Morita good enough for J1?
Member of the starting XI: Twice Sub on: Twice Total time played: 200 minutes Goals scored: Zero
Actually started the season against JEF, but hasn't featured in any of the last three games. Seems tougher than Morita and tantalisingly would appear to have a better idea of where the goal is. Rarely gets the opportunity to lead the line and actually attack the ball. An under-exploited resource?
Member of the starting XI: Three times Sub on: Once Total time played: 156 minutes Goals scored: Zero
Squirrels' number one figure of controversy - almost a forgotten man, but surely can't be considered to have had a fair chance, having played for less time than even the injured Yoshihara. Does Miura know what to do with Speedy? Is the pre-season forecast of a Martinez / Yoshihara pairing still the dream ticket? Has the Honduran got a place in the coach's plans anymore?
Member of the starting XI: Twice Sub on: Once Total time played: 180 minutes Goals scored: Zero
An injury-hit start to his Omiya career, but Yoshihara has looked good since his debut at Kashima. Lightning quick and apparently desperate to score, Miura has shown more willingness to give him a run in the team than his normal rapid use of substitutions - in contrast with the luckless Martinez, say. A goal will settle Kota down, but he looks useful.
A Yoshihara / Sakurai pairing would seem perhaps the best option on paper at the moment, but Miura does like to use one of his bigger forwards - and Martinez doesn't look as if he's going to get much of a chance to impress, especially with Gral on the horizon. So what's the fans' view?