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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Nagoya Preview
So, what should Satoru Sakuma do now? The Squirrels' on-the-field progress since their former chief scout took over as coach has been well documented, but after a promising draw at Shimizu S-Pulse, the team have fallen into disarray with defeats at the hands of Vissel Kobe and Kashima Antlers. The patchy availability of key central defender Leandro has prevented Sakuma from playing a settled side and, while Kota Yoshihara has scored a pair of confidence-boosting goals, it is really only new signing Denis Marques who has emerged from the three August fixtures with any credit.

And although the Brazilian forward is the exception, in making recent additions to the squad the early evidence would suggest that Sakuma has generally repeated his familiar trick of buying players who are not in a position to improve the team immediately - when that is exactly what is required. Takashi Hirano has not made his debut, yet Yasuhiro Hato continues to frustrate Ardija fans with the consistently poor quality of his displays at left back.

Similarly, it is hard to imagine how Yusuke Murayama can make the step up from Shonan Bellmare reserves to raise the standard of even the Squirrels' budgie-hearted defence, while at the age of 20 the promising but necessarily inexperienced Pedro Junior - playing outside his native country for the first time - is a much greater gamble than mid-season transfer target Steffen Iversen would have been.

22 Aug 07 - Atsuto Uchida and Denis Marques fight for possession

Atsuto Uchida and Denis Marques fight for possession

Puzzling over the apparently whimsical nature of Satoru Sakuma's transfer policy is always going to be an unsatisfying business for any Squirrels fan - but how to address the broader problems of team selection at present looks an even more difficult task. In recent days, even the previously untouchable Daigo Kobayashi has come in for criticism from supporters, with questions being asked as to what his best position really is; a David Beckham-esque conundrum of whether the Ardija star man can have a greater impact on the right-hand side of midfield, or whether he has the characteristics required to boss the team from a more central role.

Likewise, some have drawn attention to the unimpressive return for all the playing time that captain Chikara Fujimoto has enjoyed this season. A solitary penalty scored against Ventforet Kofu and a mere handful of assists is not enough from a player who clearly has a good footballing brain, but whose ideas so often seem to fall down at the execution stage. Indeed, these thoughts must be on the mind of coach Sakuma himself, as in the 3-1 defeat to Vissel Kobe last week he took the step of replacing for the last fifteen minutes with fans' favourite - and 2006 J2 assist king - Yusuke Shimada.

GGOA has made the point before that what Sakuma needs most of all at the moment is big performances from his big players. The coach has been unlucky that much-improved goalkeeper Hiroki Aratani has yet to recover from a broken arm; Daigo and Fujimoto, however, have failed to come up with the goods not only in the last three games, but all season long. The former is not a leader by nature, but by virtue of the fact that the former Tokyo Verdy 1969 midfielder is the best player on the club's books, he has to take responsibility for his own performances and also for giving those around him a boost when it is needed.

22 Aug 07 - Frode Johnsen celebrates scoring against Hiroshima

Frode Johnsen celebrates scoring against Hiroshima

Meanwhile, Sef Vergoossen's Nagoya Grampus 8 currently lie in eleventh spot and a couple of bad recent results have seen them fall behind the mid-table pack of clubs. They have in all probability picked up enough points not to be drawn into a late season relegation battle - something that cannot be said for Sanfrecce Hiroshima or FC Tokyo - but at the same time, the team have scarcely built upon last year's seventh place finish.

At the re-start of the J1 campaign two weeks ago, while Omiya were tying with S-Pulse, the Whales picked up a good 3-1 win over Hiroshima with goals from danger men Frode Johnsen and Keita Sugimoto. Subsequently, however, Johnsen picked up a hamstring injury that is expected to keep him out of first team action for a month during a 4-0 drubbing at Albirex Niigata. And in the absence of the Norwegian international striker at the weekend, Nagoya were outplayed in a 3-0 home defeat by Yokohama F Marinos.

Giant defender Takahiro Masukawa will also be unavailable for Saturday's game with a leg injury, meaning that Vergoossen will be missing two key players against Omiya - and that there will scarcely be a better opportunity for Ardija to repeat the win they managed when the two teams met at Komaba in April. Ironically enough, it was another Sakuma misfit signing, Salles, who headed home a Fujimoto cross to beat Nagoya that day. The Squirrels need a similar result on Saturday, but almost equally importantly they must demonstrate to the fans that they have the capacity to recover from a setback; that they have a unity and a sense of desire. Sakuma's job in the meantime is to identify the eleven players who have those characteristics.
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