Wednesday, 13 December 2017
2017 Season Player Round-Up Part 3
23. EDUARDO (DF)
Weird season for him. Didn’t play much at all and seems to definitely be behind Taniguchi and Nara in the pecking order for the central defence positions. Like Rhayner, fell foul of us having too many Brazilians at times. Always gives 100% but still prone to little lapses in concentration. Totally dropped from the squad after the Levain final clanger which I thought was a bit harsh, but that really was a clanger. Loved seeing him run across the pitch with a Brazilian flag complete with flagpole when we won the Championship.
24. ANDO Shunsuke
Sat on the bench 6 times. Apparently always travels with the team though to every game, I guess in case one of the other keepers gets injured on the way or something. Enjoyed his enthusiastic singing at the supporters’ day.
25. KANO Kenta
Another one leaving and another player loved by the fans. Never quite got going for us, particularly this year, but got a few starts before an injury finished his season when he was probably being given an opportunity to prove his worth. Another guy who gives 100% but also another who probably needed to move somewhere else if he wanted to play any football. Good luck to him!
26. TABINAS Jefferson
No first team action other than a spot on the bench in the Emperor’s Cup. Seems to be quite a character judging by the supporters’ day. Still very much in the one for the future camp.
27. OTSUKA Shohei
Another farewell, and another quiet season. Seems like ages since he got any pitch time and to be honest the writing was on the wall for him from around the halfway point. Mood-maker in the camp and all round nice guy apparently, which is a bit bizarre as he always seems to look pretty surly in photos. Good luck to him!
28. ITAKURA Ko
Only started eight times but felt like more. Another one for the future. Had some awesome games for us and some where he really wasn’t with it, but very young still. Saved our bacon with a goal away at Eastern in Hong Kong and laid on a few assists in one cup game I seem to recall. Much like Taniguchi, will either play centre back or in the defensive midfield position. Will be used and tested more next year I guess.
29. Michael James FITZGERALD
Another weird season, with two starts in the ACL and nothing else, one at centre back and one at right back, the former turning out better than the latter. Then got injured, but nothing was really said about it for ages so who knows? Still very much a mystery.
30. ARAI Shota
No big injuries to Sung-Ryong meant that it was a relatively quiet season for Shota who, as always, did what was required when he was required to. He’s a good keeper, but it’s his distribution that really is why he’s our number two and not really in contention for the top spot. When he played we had to resort to kicking it long, which meant that invariably the ball came straight back at us. I really need to learn the words to his song as it’s one I have to sing every game.
31. POPP William
No first team action this season, which is actually quite pleasing as all our keepers last year had pitch time due to injuries. Still young, so another one for the future.
32. TANAKA Ao
Same as Popp, no first team action at all, but very much a Kawasaki guy, having come through the youth team. Still young and another one for the future.
41. IENAGA Akihiro
Another player crocked by Urawa in pre-season, although Ienaga was able to take part in the first few games before succumbing. Took a while to settle in and adjust to our way of play apparently, but by the end of the season he was doing great. Surprised how much he tracks back and puts in the dirty work for us. Five goals and five assists is decent for someone in his first season who spent a while out injured. Got a thoroughly deserved second yellow for a dive which hopefully might make him reconsider doing it again. Always seems pretty cool and detached but lost it a bit when he scored his first goal in the rain away against Thespakusatsu. Think that endeared him to a few people. Starting next season all settled in and injury free, who knows what he can achieve?
ONIKI Toru - manager
Not bad for his first season in charge, managing to do what no other manager had done and take a trophy! There are a few caveats though. He inherited the team and the footballing philosophy from Kazama, but he has tinkered with it a little and we seem a bit less cavalier and a bit more solid at the back this year. We still don’t really play very well against the weaker teams in the division though, which is something I think we need to look at, as it almost cost us dearly this year. Not 100% sure he knows completely what he is doing at the moment and made a few really weird selections early in the season. Not helped by injuries at some stages though. But, if we win the league when he’s still learning, maybe that means we have great things ahead. So a solid enough start I guess and if he’s a lucky manager, that works for me.