Kawasaki Frontale 0 - 2 FC Tokyo
This was another awful game, with some more awful decisions by Oniki. In the spirit of sulkiness, I’m going to keep this really brief. I don't think Oniki gets the concept of squad rotation. He seems to either persevere with the same players forever or change half the team. It’s no wonder we conceded two soft goals from set pieces when we started with seven first team regulars missing. Admittedly one of them was Sung-Ryong who was banned, but you can’t blame Arai for this defeat. He made a few good saves. Once again we struggled to break down a team who nicked a goal and then defended with ten of their players playing in their own penalty box. We are still unable to shoot. We are still endlessly passing the ball sideways and backwards. Both goals totally destroyed our confidence. We looked ragged after each one. In between we’d started to get something going, right up until we got that glass wall around the penalty box. This was another rotten performance that Oniki has to take responsibility for. He needs to think fast, as our league position is clearly flattering us when you actually look at our performances. A few more matches like these last two and we could be looking at a relegation scrap, instead of another title, which would already be a huge reach for us even this early in the season.
Positives and negatives. Negatives first. Mainly the selection, tactics and performance. That just about covers it. It would be easy to pick out players who didn’t perform well, but I think the buck stops with Oniki. He’s turning a beautifully playing title winning team into a big old stink. Positives, we only conceded twice. Thankfully they were quite happy to sit in their lead and just try to score on the counter attack. Not sure if their ‘sexy football’ flag is supposed to be ironic.
Next up Kashiwa away, a game that has plenty of atmosphere, but is really quite a bad match day experience for away fans. Who knows what team Oniki will pick? Who knows who will be rested? I don't think anyone can predict what he’s going to do. Although it’s probably quite likely that it will involve the same tried, tested and failed tactics. Can’t see us going in to the game with much confidence. Something has to change or we’re going to be in big trouble.
GK 30. ARAI Shota
DF 17. TAKEOKA Yuto
DF 3. NARA Tatsuki
DF 7. KURUMAYA Shintaro
MF 10. OSHIMA Ryota
MF 25. MORITA Hidemasa
MF 6. TASAKA Yusuke
MF 4. OKUBO Yoshito
MF 37. SAITO Manabu (Yellow card 71')
FW 20. CHINEN Kei
GK 24. ANDO Shunsuke
FW 11. KOBAYASHI Yu (on for TASAKA 57')
MF 14. NAKAMURA Kengo (on for CHINEN 46')MF 16. HASEGAWA Tatsuya (on for SAITO 75')
MF 19. MORIYA Kentaro
DF 23. EDUARDO
MF 41. IENAGA Akihiro
HASHIMOTO (Tokyo) 14' 0-1
MORISHIGE (Tokyo) 69' 0-2
The Frontale youtube channel usually has longer highlights provided by DAZN, but given that a previous year's highlights got wiped when the broadcaster got changed, I'm going to stick with the official J League ones. But you can watch the longer highlights here if you want. And we have that extra footage video again at the bottom.