Sunday 4 September 2022

Vs Shonan Bellmare (away) 3/9/22 J League match 28

Shonan Bellmare 2 - 1 Kawasaki Frontale

Well, our stay at the top of the table was pretty brief, wasn’t it? And the feel good factor hasn’t just been lost, it has been obliterated and the pieces hidden in secret places all over the world in case we get any ideas about trying to get it back again. This was an absolutely awful game for us and we got what we deserved. At the same time, I’m not sure Shonan got what they deserved. When they were drawing but well on top, they time wasted relentlessly even though it would have been easy for them to just stroll through our team and score a hatful more. A fair result in this game would have been some kind of magical score where we lost but they didn’t win. It’s obvious why Shonan are/were in the relegation fight and that’s because they can’t shoot for shit! At this point it seems appropriate to mention that they’ve only scored 22 goals in 26 games. And obviously that fact needs to be followed up by mentioning that they’ve got six of those against us. So basically without our generosity they’d only have 16 goals in 24 games. But I'm not bashing them, just trying to show quite how bad we are when we play them. Our horrible form this year against relegation contenders continues. We’ve taken 2 points out of a possible 12 playing Shonan and Jubilo home and away. This is nothing new really though, we always seem to struggle against teams near the bottom. It’s much more of a problem this year though.

That was a long and off the point intro, but this post will probably be a bit of a mess as I want to get it out of the way and move on to doing something a bit more pleasant. Also, as I went to get a place in the queue so early in the day, by the time the game came around I had hardly any battery left on my phone so have extremely minimal notes and just a few terrible photos (all included here for your enjoyment). We’ve gone from first to third in the league, one point behind Hiroshima and level on points with YFM. Thanks to the efforts of absolute legend Koki Tsukagawa, we could have gone top and taken a significant step towards a third consecutive title. (If we'd won...). We would have been two points clear with YFM having one game in hand. (If we'd won...). Or one point ahead of them and equal on points with Sanfrecce. (If we'd got a disappointing draw...). As it is (after a rotten defeat...), we’re equal on points with YFM and way behind on goal difference instead. So a significant step in the wrong direction. Praise the lord for Tsukagawa though. If he hadn’t scored TWICE we would have been two points behind having played one more. So now we need to wait for at least one major cock up from YFM. It’s not going to happen. Tsukagawa scoring was emblematic of a day where plenty of our ex- or out on loan players scored. Probably most notable was Abe scoring the winner against us. And Miyashiro scored one and set one up. We struggled to keep the ball, or pass the ball. Although astonishingly we had loads more possession in this game. Not loads more goals though. And our one goal came from a Taniguchi header that bounced off Chinen's head and went in. Probably not something we'd worked on at the training ground. They had two shots on target and scored twice. But as I said, if they weren’t so awful at shooting it could easily have been another game where we conceded four.

We were really sloppy and looked really tired. Probably no surprise when you consider that pretty much the same players have been playing the last three or four games. We’ve had three games in eight days with hardly any rotation. They’re tired. I’m tired. And we’re still perhaps feeling the effects of the earlier COVID outbreak. And at the same time we have some players who are fit who have basically disappeared off the face of the earth. I’m not going to start moaning about Oniki again. I’m a calm person now after all. I did say in a previous blog post that he should rotate a bit for this match and rest some of our knackered players. I also said that I was pretty sure he wouldn’t. It’s something of an Oniki trademark to shuffle the magnets to try and find a winning line up and when he finds one, absolutely screw it into the ground until everyone is physically destroyed. Looks like that might be happening again. And who have we got next…? Oh, Sanfrecce Hiroshima who are on a run of seven wins in a row. Uh oh. And we erm… don’t have a plan b and the plan a is lying in tatters again. Damn. Of course if we'd won this game no-one would be complaining about lack of rotation. But the fact is we were so far off winning this game that I'm not surprised people are moaning. But not me of course, I'm calm...

Oh, almost forgot, the penalty looked pretty soft, but Iida is an awful ref so no surprise. And we were crap so it didn’t really matter... Except it did. The view from behind the goal is pretty bad at Shonan but I thought it wasn't a penalty from the stand at other end of pitch. I joked about this at the time but was quite pleased when I saw the replay and discovered that I am a better ref from 100m than Iida is when he's close to the action. (This is a joke before people start quoting it on Twitter). I've noticed a few more videos of fairly dubious decisions made in the game showing up on Twitter since which kind of backs up the point. But the refs are always hopeless aren't they? And VAR doesn't seem to help. This sounds like sour grapes but it isn't. As I've said above a few times, we didn't deserve to win but it would have been nice to be able to mess it up by ourselves instead of having the ref interfere.

Oh well, eh? I have had so much fun recently with some fun wins against detestable teams and have enjoyed posting some crap on Twitter. So I guess now it’s our turn to have some crap posted about us on Twitter and we have to just suck it up. I’m not very confident about the rest of the season. As far as I was concerned, we had to win every game to have a hope of the title and now we’ve lost one, so I'm pretty sure any remaining chance is gone. Damn you YFM for giving us a little hope though. Please keep either drawing or preferably losing. At least that way we can enjoy a bit of Schadenfreude. And it would work for them too as they could enjoy our defeats. Everyone could focus on negativity. That’s probably the best we can hope for now. Joy!

GK 1. Sung-Ryong JUNG
DF 13. YAMANE Miki
DF 7. KURUMAYA Shintaro
MF 14. WAKIZAKA Yasuto
FW 41. IENAGA Akihiro

GK 27. TANNO Kenta
MF 10. OSHIMA Ryota (on for WAKIZAKA 46')
MF 16. SEKO Tatsuki (on for TACHIBANADA 83')
MF 19. TONO Daiya
FW 24. MIYAGI Ten (on for MARCINHO 46')
MF 31. YAMAMURA Kazuya (on for JESIEL 69')

My Frontale Man Of The Match

No even halfway good performance from pretty much anyone. We looked so tired and so… shit. Which leaves me no choice but to give it to….

TSUKAGAWA Koki - I don’t usually give this to players who didn’t feature in the match, let alone ones who’ve been transferred to another team but if you can think of anyone else who might deserve it you are clearly more of an optimist than I am.

CHINEN (Frontale) 26' 0-1
MACHINO (Shonan) PEN 53' 1-1
ABE (Shonan) 90+3' 2-1


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