GGOA has been doing some statistical browsing through the Squirrels' recent results, an initially unpromising activity which has revealed an interesting fact - that it's the team's poor home form that has in recent weeks prevented them from moving away from the bottom of the table. The last half dozen home fixtures have yielded just a single point for Ardija, when Denis Marques' spectacular long-range shot gained a draw with Kashiwa Reysol at the end of August.
Other than that, however, games at Komaba and Kumagaya have been a consistent disaster area for the men in orange, as Gamba Osaka swamped them at the end of June; the two mid-August clashes with Vissel Kobe and Kashima Antlers were awful - and so were the recent encounters with Jubilo Iwata and JEF United. Away from home, though, and things start to look a little healthier. Most recently of course comes the 2-0 triumph over Yokohama F Marinos on Saturday - but ironically the outstanding result of the year took place in an "away" game against local rivals and champions-elect Urawa Reds, beaten 1-0 at Saitama Stadium thanks to Hiroshi Morita's delicious finish.
The low-point of 2007 was the humiliation of a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of a weakened Nagoya Grampus 8 side, but prior to that the Squirrels had on their travels picked up useful and hard-fought points at Shimizu S-Pulse, Jubilo and Kashiwa. So if an improvement is to be made it needs to be at home, with the last Squirrels game to be staged at Komaba first on the list - against Omiya's bogey team Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
Last Six Home Games
30 Jun v Gamba 0-3 15 Aug v Kobe 1-3 19 Aug v Kashima 1-2 29 Aug v Kashiwa 1-1 15 Sep v Jubilo 0-2 22 Sep v JEF 0-1
Last Six Away Games
09 Jun v Kashiwa 0-0 20 Jun v Jubilo 0-0 11 Aug v S-Pulse 2-2 25 Aug v Nagoya 0-5 01 Sep v Urawa 1-0 29 Sep v Marinos 2-0