Monday 9 January 2017

2016 Season Player Round-Up Part 2

Part two of my player round up, with a few new bits of information added that I found out about after I initially wrote this. Part 3 to follow soon, and I'll also try to write something about the new players who are joining us (so far Ienaga, Fitzgerald and Abe).

11 Kobayashi Yu
Delighted he’s staying with us and turning down what would have been big money elsewhere. I love Kobayashi as he always gives 100% effort. He may not put away as many chances as you might hope he would, but he is a player who is creating chances, unlike Okubo recently. He’s going to be very important next year with Okubo gone and I hope he can stay injury free and push on for us and for the national team too. If he hadn’t got injured at Kashima who knows what might have happened in the Championship. It’s telling that he finished level with Okubo on 15 goals even though Okubo took penalties and played significantly more minutes than him.
12 Supporters
Think we had a fairly decent season aside from a few people’s bad behaviour at Omiya. Really don’t need that kind of thing at our club. The number of people going to away games has been pretty impressive I think and we’ve had quite a few sell outs at home. Long may that continue!
13 Okubo Yoshito
Hmmm, the most difficult one of these to write, as my instincts say to give him a right slagging off, but he has been a very important player for us in the past. This year seemed to be one year too long for Okubo. He definitely seemed to have lost his enthusiasm for playing for us. There were some complaints from him earlier in the season about us not playing the correct way for him. This was apparently changed but it didn’t have much of an effect. Him dropping back into midfield at the end of the season suggested to me that he didn’t really think he could score anymore. Our opposition must have been confused to see him starting in midfield with a couple of youngsters leading the line. I guess we were too, but I think it’s a good time for him to leave us. I was often irked by the way that he seemed to be unsubstitutable and always in the starting line up, despite often not deserving either status. I really don’t like the way he moaned at the younger players and felt that he was using them as scapegoats and he was often equally at fault. His sending off at Omiya was totally stupid and was another nail in the coffin of our season. And finally his announcement of his transfer to FC Tokyo really early, before the season was finished was pretty bizarre too. Did an ok job in the last few Emperor’s Cup games, but it was pretty much the same story as with the whole season. Just missing something. All in all, I’m pleased he’s going as I think we can do better without him, but I thank him for all his efforts and wish him luck (except when he plays us…).
14 Nakamura Kengo
I guess he must be the player of the season. He has really turned back the clock this year and was playing some of his best football ever. I really hope he can continue it into next season. We really missed him when he was absent due to injury. If he’d played at Fukuoka maybe we would have won the first stage. He’s always 100% committed and he’s a real asset and a real credit to our club. Really hope we can give him an opportunity to lift Frontale’s first title soon as he really deserves it.

15 Harakawa Riki
Hasn’t really had a chance. Is still playing for the national U23s so I guess he is valued by their coach but I really feel he hasn’t had a fair crack of the whip this year. Would totally understand if he felt he needs to move on to get a chance of playing, but would like to see him have that chance with us. Just can’t see how that would happen with the players he has ahead of him. Perhaps Kengo’s good form has limited his opportunities. I guess he needs to decide if he’s prepared to wait a while or he wants his chance now. [He’s now moving to Sagan Tosu on loan next season. Good luck to him]

16 Hasegawa Tatsuya
Seemed to always be on the fringes of the squad but at the end of the season suddenly became a starter. The attacking duo of him and Miyoshi looked really dangerous in the couple of games they played together and if he hadn’t got injured in the Championship game against Kashima who knows what might have happened. Hoping he gets a chance next season as he is an exciting player to watch.
17 Takeoka Yuto
Another player whose season’s opportunities were limited by injury. Played well enough when he had the chance, but not sure if he would be a starting member with a fully fit squad. A very useful player to have on the bench, although not sure how excited he might be about that.
18 Elsinho
Another very important player this season. Again, someone who always gives 100% effort and a crucial attacking threat for us. Interested to see what happens if he keeps growing his hair as it has recently got pretty wild. Rarely makes mistakes and often creates or scores goals. Really hope he is with us next season. [He will be, and is now a permanent Frontale player, rather than being on loan. Great!]

19 Moriya Kentaro
In or around the team all year and has scored some crucial goals (Urawa away particularly). Feel that sometimes he plays better as a sub rather than when he starts. Probably has some work to do to become a regular starter and like other midfielders is a little bit hindered by the players ahead of him in the pecking order.

20 Kurumaya Shintaro
Was on fire earlier in the season with his assists and then went off the boil a little. Strangely, since he was moved from defence into midfield somehow seems to get forward less, but maybe this was fatigue from a long season. Would say he deserves his position as a regular starter though. Still fairly young so should still be improving and will be an important player next year.

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