Go! Go! Omiya Ardija
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PROFILE
This site is produced by a dedicated team of contributors and is compiled by Furtho.
  • This site is produced by a dedicated team of contributors and is compiled by Furtho.
  • Go! Go! Omiya Ardija provides up-to-date English-language news, views and comment on Japanese football club Omiya Ardija - direct from the heart of the Squirrel Nation.

    If you'd like to get in touch, you're welcome to post comments (see the Posting A Comment category on the right-hand side for help), or to email furthoAThotmail.com

    **************

    Ins Winter 08/09

    Coach Jang Wae-Ryong, Incheon United
    GK Takahiro Takagi, Sapporo (loan end)
    DF Shunsuke Fukuda, Hosei University
    DF Haruki Nishimura, Takasaki (loan end)
    DF/MF Ryohei Arai, Omiya Youth
    FW Naoki Ishihara, Shonan

    Outs Winter 08/09

    Coach Yasuhiro Higuchi, Yokohama FC
    GK Hiroki Aratani, Sapporo
    DF Akira Ishigame
    DF Tatsuya Kawahara, Kusatsu (loan)
    DF Leandro
    DF Takuro Nishimura
    MF Naoya Saeki
    FW Hiroshi Morita, Kofu
    FW Naoto Sakurai
    FW Manabu Wakabayashi
    FW Kota Yoshihara

    Ardija Squad 2008

    GK 1 Hiroki Aratani
    GK 20 Nobuhisa Kobayashi
    GK 21 Koji Ezumi
    GK 31 Keiki Shimizu (r)

    DF 2 Taishi Tsukamoto (r)
    DF 3 Leandro
    DF 4 Yasuhiro Hato
    DF 5 Daisuke Tomita (v/c)
    DF 18 Takuro Nishimura
    DF 19 Yusuke Murayama
    DF 22 Terukazu Tanaka
    DF 26 Daiki Niwa (n)
    DF 29 Tatsuya Kawahara (r)

    MF 6 Yosuke Kataoka
    MF 7 Naoya Saeki
    MF 8 Daigo Kobayashi
    MF 11 Chikara Fujimoto (v/c)
    MF 15 Masato Saito
    MF 17 Hayato Hashimoto
    MF 23 Shin Kanazawa
    MF 24 Takaya Kawanabe
    MF 25 Tomoya Uchida (n)
    MF 28 Kohei Tokita (r)
    MF 32 Yoshiyuki Kobayashi (c)
    MF 34 Takuya Aoki (r)

    FW 9 Kota Yoshihara
    FW 10 Denis Marques
    FW 13 Pedro Junior
    FW 14 Hiroshi Morita
    FW 16 Klemen Lavric (n*)
    FW 27 Masahiko Ichikawa (r)
    FW 30 Naoto Sakurai
    FW 35 Daisuke Watabe (r)

    (c) = captain
    (n) = new for 2008
    (n*) = signed during 2008
    (r) = rookie
    (v/c) = vice-captain

    Loans Out until

    DF Tatsuya Kawahara, Kusatsu 31 Jan 10
    DF Daiki Niwa, Fukuoka 31 Jan 09
    FW Pedro Junior, Vila Nova 31 Dec 08

    Ardija J1 Games

    09 Mar H v Niigata 2-0
    16 Mar A v Kyoto 1-2
    30 Mar A v S-Pulse 0-0

    02 Apr H v Nagoya 1-2
    05 Apr H v Oita 2-0
    12 Apr A v JEF 4-2
    20 Apr A v Urawa 0-0
    27 Apr H v Kashima 1-1
    30 Apr A v Gamba 3-2

    03 May H v FC Tokyo 0-3
    06 May A v Marinos 1-1
    10 May H v Sapporo 1-2
    17 May A v Kawasaki 3-2

    28 Jun H v Verdy 2-0

    05 Jul A v Kobe 0-1
    12 Jul H v Jubilo 1-2
    17 Jul A v Kashiwa 0-1
    21 Jul A v Nagoya 0-4
    27 Jul H v S-Pulse 0-0

    09 Aug A v Sapporo 2-1
    16 Aug H v Gamba 2-0
    24 Aug A v Oita 0-1
    28 Aug H v Marinos 1-0

    13 Sep A v FC Tokyo 1-3
    21 Sep H v Urawa 0-1
    27 Sep H v Kobe 0-2

    01 Oct A v Kashima 0-2
    04 Oct H v Kashiwa 0-4
    18 Oct A v Verdy 0-1
    26 Oct H v JEF 2-1

    08 Nov H v Kawasaki 2-1
    23 Nov A v Niigata 2-2
    30 Nov H v Kyoto 1-1

    06 Dec A v Jubilo 1-0

    J1 Scorers final

    8 Denis Marques
    5 Lavric
    3 Fujimoto
    3 Kobayashi D
    3 Kobayashi Y
    2 Leandro
    2 Morita
    2 Pedro Junior
    2 Saito
    2 Tomita
    2 Yoshihara
    1 Kataoka
    1 Tokita

    J1 Cards final

    YYY Kataoka
    YYY Kobayashi Y
    YYY Lavric
    YYY Morita
    YYY Tokita
    YY Murayama
    YY Pedro Junior
    YY Uchida
    Y Fujimoto
    Y Hashimoto
    Y Saeki
    Y Saito
    Y Tomita

    **************

    Emperor's Cup Games

    02 Nov H v Cerezo 1-0
    15 Nov H v Nagoya 1-2

    Emperor's Cup Scorers

    1 Lavric
    1 Uchida

    Emperor's Cup Cards

    Y Fujimoto
    Y Lavric
    Y Uchida

    **************

    Nabisco Cup Table final

    1. Marinos 12 (+6)
    2. Oita 11 (+4)
    3. Niigata 4 (-4)
    4. Omiya 3 (-6)

    Nabisco Cup Games

    20 Mar A v Niigata 2-2
    23 Mar H v Marinos 0-0

    16 Apr A v Marinos 0-4

    25 May H v Oita 1-2
    31 May H v Niigata 1-1

    08 Jun A v Oita 0-1

    Nabisco Cup Scorers final

    1 Denis Marques
    1 Kobayashi D
    1 Morita
    1 Pedro Junior

    Nabisco Cup Cards final

    Y(YY=R) Denis Marques
    YY Leandro
    Y Kanazawa
    Y Kobayashi D
    Y Morita
    Y Niwa
    Y Pedro Junior
    Y Saeki
    Y Tanaka
    Y Tomita
    Y Yoshihara

    **************

    J1 Table final

    1. Kashima 63 (+26)
    2. Kawasaki 60 (+23)
    3. Nagoya 59 (+13)

    ----------------
    4. Oita 56 (+9)
    - - - - - - - - - -
    5. S-Pulse 55 (+8)
    6. FC Tokyo 55 (+4)
    7. Urawa 53 (+8)
    8. Gamba 50 (-3)
    9. Marinos 48 (+11)
    10. Kobe 47 (+1)
    11. Kashiwa 46 (+3)
    12. Omiya 43 (-9)
    13. Niigata 42 (-14)
    14. Kyoto 41 (-9)
    15. JEF 38 (-17)
    - - - - - - - - - -
    16. Jubilo 37 (-8)
    ----------------
    17. Verdy 37 (-12)
    18. Sapporo 18 (-34)

    Last J1 Games 06 Dec

    JEF 4-2 FC Tokyo
    Jubilo 0-1 Omiya
    Kobe 0-2 Kashiwa
    Kyoto 1-3 S-Pulse
    Niigata 3-2 Gamba
    Oita 0-0 Nagoya
    Sapporo 0-1 Kashima
    Urawa 1-6 Marinos
    Verdy 0-2 Kawasaki

    Next J1 Games tbc

    **************

    J2 Table final

    1. Hiroshima 100 (+64)
    2. Yamagata 78 (+26)
    -----------------
    3. Sendai 70 (+15)
    - - - - - - - - - -
    4. Cerezo 69 (+21)
    5. Shonan 65 (+20)
    6. Tosu 64 (-1)
    7. Kofu 59 (+9)
    8. Fukuoka 58 (-11)
    9. Kusatsu 53 (-7)
    10. Yokohama FC 50 (-5)
    11. Mito 47 (-18)
    12. Kumamoto 43 (-26)
    13. Gifu 42 (-28)
    14. Ehime 37 (-27)
    15. Tokushima 29 (-32)

    Last J2 Games 06 Dec

    Cerezo 2-1 Ehime
    Fukuoka 3-1 Shonan
    Gifu 1-0 Tosu
    Hiroshima 3-0 Tokushima
    Sendai 1-0 Kusatsu
    Yamagata 1-0 Mito
    Yokohama FC 0-0 Kofu

    Next J2 Games tbc

    **************
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2007 - The Story So Far
After the departure of previous coach Toshiya Miura, Omiya Ardija supporters were hopeful but uncertain as to how Robert Verbeek would fare as his replacement. Three-and-a-half busy weeks and five games in to the new season, though, it now seems like the right time to step back and briefly consider how successful the Dutchman's first steps into the world of the J-League have been.

The opening match of the 2007 campaign, at Gamba Osaka, proved an object lesson in how sloppy mistakes can be punished in J1. A tight, disciplined Squirrels performance looked likely to frustrate one of Japan's most potent forward lines and so earn what would have been an excellent point - until moments from time, when Yosuke Kataoka's lapse in concentration was immediately exploited for Bare to crash a shot past Hiroki Aratani. This heartbreaking defeat was then followed by two poor displays and deserved losses against both FC Tokyo and Oita Trinita, after which Omiya fans could have been forgiven for thinking that Verbeek had brought about no modifications at all to Miura's team.

28 Mar 07 - Squirrels coach Robert Verbeek cracks a joke to waiting reporters

Squirrels coach Robert Verbeek cracks a joke to waiting reporters

For the old problems of 2005 and 2006 still appeared to loom large over the toothless Squirrels: a cautious approach denied opportunities to strikers who in turn seemed drained of confidence and initiative. And the upshot of all this, of course, was a lack of goalscoring threat, frequently enabling the opposition to take the upper hand secure in the knowledge that Ardija were barely capable of putting them under any kind of sustained pressure.

This feeling of a lack of development was heightened by the similarity of tactics adopted by the incoming coach, who - although making a number of changes to the first team personnel - stuck with a 4-4-1-1 formation very much in the image of his predecessor. The one spark of light in those first three games came from the totally unexpected source of a Yasuhiro Hato left-wing overlap and cross that enabled Kota Yoshihara to head in a fine consolation goal in the 3-1 defeat at Oita.

28 Mar 07 - Kota Yoshihara opens the scoring against Kashiwa Reysol

Kota Yoshihara opens the scoring against Kashiwa Reysol

With injuries to Leandro and Seiichiro Okuno almost immediately stretching the available central defensive cover, Verbeek was by then due a bit of luck. This came in the form of a break in the league programme and a Nabisco Cup fixture against crisis club Yokohama F Marinos, fresh from appalling defeats to Yokohama FC and Vissel Kobe. Hato again supplied a centre, with Daigo Kobayashi providing the headed finish to defeat the confidence-free Marinos.

A win, a goal for 2006 hero Daigo and the first team selection of Kota Yoshihara combined to ignite the Squirrels' season, a fact not lost on the away support at Mitsuzawa as they celebrated with the players and their new coach. Verbeek's willingness to reward the commitment and determination of Yoshihara has added further zest to the recent displays of a player left out in the cold by Toshiya Miura - and if the evidence of his late substitute appearance of the weekend's 2-1 victory over Kashiwa Reysol is anything to go by, it has also put a rocket up the underperforming and replaced Enilton. But it was goals from Yoshihara and Chikara Fujimoto that offered the team a huge gulp from the refreshing cup of self-belief.

28 Mar 07 - 2-0 Ardija, courtesy Captain Fujimoto

2-0 Ardija, courtesy Captain Fujimoto

One curious contrast between this season and last is that thus far, no Ardija goals have been scored from set pieces. In 2006, free kicks and corners from the likes of Daigo and Hayato Hashimoto frequently offered a route to goal where otherwise none could be found - meaning that chief amongst fans' favourite fantasies was a team that could engineer goals from open play on a regular basis. The Squirrel Nation's other dream, of course, was a reliable 15-a-season goalscorer, which makes all the more puzzling coach Verbeek's remark after the Reysol game that he was pleased that the team's goals were coming from throughout the side and not just the front players.

All of which means that it has been - understatement coming up - a mixed start to 2007 for Robert Verbeek and Omiya Ardija. Indications are that Daigo Kobayashi's knock against Reysol was not too serious, but on the other hand there has been no actual confirmation that he will be fit to play this coming weekend, when the J-League schedule re-commences with a tough but winnable game at home to Shimizu S-Pulse. Thus far, Verbeek's squad has just about been able to absorb Okuno and Leandro's injuries (together with that of the apparently permanently incapacitated Naoto Sakurai), but it goes without saying that Daigo's loss for any period of time would be of far greater significance to the development of the Squirrels' season.

As for now, however, after the Nabisco Cup games there is at least reason for cautious optimism amongst the orange supporters. Daisuke Tomita has performed solidly in the middle of defence since returning to the starting XI, Hato has managed two more assists already than he achieved in the whole of last year and all the evidence points to Kota Yoshihara being quite simply desperate for the next match to come round, so motivated is he to perform and score. But with the forthcoming return to the bread-and-butter of J1 action, climbing away from the foot of table now becomes the absolute priority.
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【2007/03/28 05:48】 The Squirrel's Eye View | TRACKBACK(0) | COMMENT(0)
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