Wednesday, 11 January 2017
2016 Season Player Round-Up Part 3
This is the final part of my end of season player round up, featuring squad numbers 21-32 and our departing manager. After this post I'll write something about the new additions to our squad (probably after the pre-season presentation/party thing that's happening in a week or so. Hopefully by then I will be able to use two hands to type again, as recently writing these things has been a bit of an effort! If anyone else departs, I'll update these posts with the info.
21 Eduardo Neto
Took a little while to adjust to our game but once he had, he became a very important player for us. I remember, in his first few games his passes were hit so fast and hard that no-one could cope with them. It was quite amusing. Kengo said he was our most important player and after that everyone loved him. His form dropped a little at the end of the season (as did most people’s) but he seems to enjoy playing for us and like he really cares. Excited to see how he does next year with a full pre-season behind him.
22 Nakano Yoshihiro
Unfairly criticized by some of the fans I feel. Hasn’t really had much of a chance this year as we haven’t really been playing a system that he fits into very well. Seems like his confidence was unsurprisingly low, probably because of the grief he was getting from Okubo and some of the fans. Much better going forward than defending. Suspect that he might be leaving us next year and feel sorry for him. Maybe going out on loan for a bit might help. Or maybe the absence of Yoshito and playing a system that suits him would also do the job. [Going on loan to Vegalta Sendai for the 2017 season. Good luck to him!]
Another player who really cares. Would love to see us keep him for next year, although apparently Kashiwa are quite keen to have him back. Like the other Brazilians though, he apparently wants to stay with us. Prone to the odd slip up, sometimes trying to do something a bit ambitious and losing the ball, but he’s saved us more times than he has let us down and it must be a tough job being a defender in such an attacking team. He’s also been thrown up front at the end of games and scored a few goals which is nice. Showed real guts to step up and take a penalty in the shoot out against Urawa. And still pretty young so should be improving all the time. [Signed for us permanently. Great news!]
24 Ando Shunsuke
Difficult to say much about him as he has hardly played. In the few games he had a chance he looked fairly solid, but you’d probably still put him down as our third choice keeper which is a pretty low action position to be in. Has come through the youth system so obviously has an attachment to the club, but I suspect if he wants to play regular football it might have to be elsewhere as I can’t see him dislodging Sung-Ryong or Shota.
25 Kano Kenta
Strange season for him. He started as a first choice player and then kind of drifted out of the picture. Played up front in the Nabisco cup and did a good job but hasn’t had many opportunities really. Might want to see what his chances are like under a new manager and with Okubo gone, but I suspect he might move on to get more time on the pitch.
26 Miyoshi Koji
One of my favourite players and had a big season. Scored his first goals for us, got sent off shortly after coming on against Sagan Tosu away, received a load of abuse from Okubo, won the U19 AFC Championship with Japan and always gave 100%. Will be crucial next season. Exciting player to watch as he always wants to run at players and shoot.
27 Otsuka Shohei
Another mixed season. At the start seemed nowhere near the team and a strange signing. Then after a decent Nabisco cup performance became a starter and played quite a few games. Seemed a little low on confidence at times but when he played he was all over the pitch, seemingly with instructions to go nuts for 60 mins and then get substituted. Played some great games for us and then disappeared from the starting line up and the bench. No idea what happened. Despite never really smiling in photos he is apparently a ‘mood-maker’ in the squad. Bit of a mystery as to what will happen with him next season.
28 Itakura Ko
Another U19 champion. Made the bench a few times early on in the season, but seemed to be one for the future. And then like Hasegawa suddenly became a crucial player right at the end of the league campaign. Primarily a central defender but was playing in the midfield and did a really good job. Will probably be seeing a lot more of him next year.
29 Takagi Shun
Feel a bit sorry for him. Our fourth choice keeper but brought on against Yokohama and conceded two late goals in a match we almost lost. I don’t think he could be blamed for either really and he did a fairly good job in that game. Started the next game away at Kobe and we all know what happened there. Was blamed by many for that result and whilst I think there were other players at fault, he could have done a bit better. He will have trouble pushing his way up the goalie pecking order I think.
[Has left the club and signed for Oita Trinita. Good luck to him]
30 Arai Shota
Like many others he had a mixed season. Had some storming games, away at Gamba after Sung-Ryong’s injury and away at Kashima. But also had a few stinkers, maybe most significantly the game at home against Gamba where we could have won the second stage. Think he is pretty solidly in our second choice keeper spot so hopefully he’s ok with that.
31 Tanaka Ao
32 Duke Carlos
Not much to say about these guys as neither of them made it onto the pitch. Duke Carlos made it on to the bench a few times, but guess they both are very much in the category of players for the future. Kazama must have some confidence in them as both were given squad numbers and they are both midfielders which is definitely our most crowded department.
Manager: Kazama Yahiro
Difficult to sum up his season. It’s sometimes debatable how much effect a manager can have, especially during the game. Has to be praised for getting us playing the way we are. Our style, whilst not being the most solid at the back and nerve-wracking at times, is great to watch. I hope Oniki will continue in the same way. Some of his substitutions seemed a bit weird at times and I don’t think he ever really knew his best starting line-up. We were thumped by injuries this season, so who knows what might have happened if he hadn’t had to deal with that. Possibly a good time for him to move on as maybe he has taken us as far as he can, but I think he will be remembered fondly.
[Managing Nagoya in J2 next year. Good luck to him.]