Thursday, 22 December 2022
2022 season player round up part 1
This is the first of three parts of my 2022 player round up post. Today we're going from Sung-Ryong to Kobayashi. I'm sorry that there is quite a bit of negativity in these comments but it wasn't a great year, was it? There is a fair bit of Oniki moaning in here too which should irritate plenty of people. Part 3 will contain my Oniki season round up so that should be interesting. Anyway, here's part 1. Parts 2 and 3 should be following tomorrow and the day after.
1. Sung-Ryong JUNG (GK)
Another good season for the player who seems to be our perpetual number 1. Actually Sung-Ryong was one of my picks for our top player of the season when I got asked to nominate three. We conceded a lot more goals this year, but I don’t think this was in any way due to our keeper. He always gives our defence confidence and I’m worried for us when we don’t have him in goal. Particularly as Oniki seems reluctant to give any of our other options a go unless it’s absolutely necessary. Perhaps this will change with the arrival of Kamifukumoto and we could see some rotation. But that’s not really that Oniki like is it?
2. Kyohei NOBORIZATO (DF)
Injury plagued season for Nobori but he showed his worth when he was available. With Kurumaya increasingly being used as a centre back it will be Nobori who will be showing our young left backs the way. Let’s hope he can stay fit next year. Definite mood-maker in the camp too, which when we’re not doing well is a pretty important thing, I think.
3. Koki TSUKUGAWA (MF)
My shirt for the 2022 season and transferred to rivals FC Tokyo a few games after the shirt finally arrived. Can’t feel angry at him though as like many others, he never really had much of a chance with us. Did an amazing job when he had to fill in at left back for most of a game due to injuries. Always gave 100% but did seem to lack the polish that other players have. At FC Tokyo almost helped us take one step closet to the title due to his two goals against YFM. But we messed it up on the same day, and then also on many further occasions. Good luck to Tsukagawa at FC Tokyo where he seems like he’s really valued and appreciated.
4. JESIEL (DF)
Injured for most of the season and sorely missed. Why we didn’t sign any cover I’ll never know. Well actually I probably should have expected it as we never do that, do we? The change to the team when he did return and we could play two centre backs at centre back was extreme. He’s clearly one of the best players in our squad and I am in no doubt that we would have won the league if he hadn’t been injured for so long. The fact that we knew he would be and did nothing still irritates me. Which is obvious as I’ve mentioned it twice already in this paragraph. His highlight of the season for us is undeniably his winner against YFM. Hopefully he can stay injury free next year.
5. Shogo TANIGUCHI (MF)
Pretty good season for him. In the past I’ve been perhaps a little harsh on him but this was more to do with the fact that it seemed that he wasn’t treated the same way as other centre backs. (Definitely seemed to get preferential treatment as far as I could see). He was clearly an important player for us. The past tense in that sentence is because he is set to leave, probably for the dizzy heights of the Qatar league. Bit of a weird transfer as far as I’m concerned and I thought the rumours were just a ploy by his agent to get him a nice pay rise. But it seems he’s going. Always has a clanger in him but largely avoided them this year. Apart from Cerezo at home where he directly contributed to their first three goals. But otherwise looked really solid I thought. We’ll miss him, and I can’t help but feel that perhaps his exit will leave a little bit of a bad taste in the mouth. Well, depending on where he goes anyway. But good luck to him anyway.
6. JOAO SCHMIDT (MF)
Spent the start of the season looking like he was about to be scapegoated unfairly and sent into the wilderness again. But this time he came back. When we had a total lack of left backs and Oniki started playing Tachibanada there Joao came back into the team and made himself undroppable. I thought he was clearly one of our best performers in the second half of the season. But we now have the problem that he and Tachibandada both play best in the same position. Oniki trying to play both of them together really seemed to blunt our attack and given that Oniki doesn’t seem to want to play any other way, I’m not sure what will happen next year. We’ll see I guess.
7. Shintaro KURUMAYA (DF)
Apparently wants to play at centre back now, which is fortunate as Oniki seems to be in agreement. I think I’d rather have him at left back though. But has done a decent job wherever he played so well done to him. Saved us against Ulsan in the first ACL game. Will be an important player next year as we’re starting the season without one of our first choice CBs. Let’s hope he can grow into the centre back spot and occasionally do his thing at left back too when required.
8. Kento TACHIBANADA (MF)
Did amazingly in 2021 and did well again this year. Thought he would be the next player to leave but was maybe scuppered slightly by Oniki shifting him out of position all the time. I think he plays best in the defensive midfield spot and I don’t really want him playing anywhere else. But we do seem to pick the players first and then squeeze them into the usual formation, so I suspect his ‘versatility’ might mean he is shifted elsewhere at times in 2023. Presuming things stay the same tactically, as they almost certainly will.
9. LEANDRO DAMIAO (FW)
Tough season for him. Was playing pretty well I thought, but not really scoring goals which I think was affecting his morale. That just seems to be the case with whoever starts for us up front though so I hope he doesn’t feel bad about it. His injury was a bad one, and I missed it as I was rushing to the toilet at the time. There was a feeling that he would be leaving us at the end of the season but this seems to have disappeared recently. Perhaps due to the injury. So I guess he’ll be back in 2023, and I hope for his and our sakes that it will be more like 2021 than 2022 for him.
10. Ryota OSHIMA (MF)
Another season wrecked by injury. There was a rumour that he was considering retiring at one stage this year which would have been a massive shock. When he came back he showed what he could do. But it was all a bit too late for us. There’s not much else to say as he was absent for so long. Fingers crossed for 2023.
11. Yu KOBAYASHI (FW)
Another weird season for Kobayashi. In 2021 I’m sure he felt quite disheartened by his relative lack of success compared to Damiao who couldn’t stop scoring. In 2022, Damiao also couldn’t score and then got injured so Kobayashi had his chance but couldn’t really take it again. When you have both Damiao and Kobayashi not being able to score you’ve got to think there’s something wrong with the tactics perhaps. But don’t ask me what that is. I would say that our tactics don’t help the central striker score a lot of goals, but we used the same tactics in 2021 and it wasn’t a problem then. Although I guess it started being a problem towards the end of the year after Mitoma left. But then we replaced Mitoma with Marcinho who was our main attacking threat in 2022, being our top scorer and second top assist maker. So I dunno basically. Every time Kobayashi plays you can see how hard he’s trying and how much he wants to score but things just don’t work out for him. Even though he managed nine goals in 2022 you’ve got to imagine that he wouldn’t have been satisfied with that. Let’s just hope we can play a little differently in 2023 and that will suit him and will get him back into form.
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