Monday, 2 December 2019

Vs Yokohama F Marinos (home) 30/11/19 - J League match 33

Kawasaki Frontale 1 - 4 Yokohama F Marinos

Football is crap, isn’t it? Or rather, we’re crap, aren’t we? How far we’ve fallen over the course of the last 12 months. For a while it looked like we might end up agonisingly short in the league thanks to a truly awful run in the summer but instead we’re going to be well short at the end of the season and deservedly so. The only saving grace from this game was the fact that Yokohama weren’t able to actually lift the trophy in our stadium. Let’s be thankful for small mercies. As it was, we did our best to make it near impossible that they won’t lift the title next week by significantly contributing to their goal difference. The Levain cup win is something we can take away from this season, but to be honest, that victory is only papering over the huge cracks. Of course, you know I’m going to blame Oniki for this. But we’ve had plenty of terrible performances from players this year as well as the terrible decisions from our manager. I don’t think he’s signed the contact we offered him for next season yet. I wonder if he will do the honorable thing and leave us at the end of the year. It’s pretty clear that he doesn’t know where to go from here. Our system has been found out and there’s no sign of any other ideas. Losing 4-1 to your local rivals in your own stadium to practically hand them the title hurts me, so hopefully he realises quite how bad it was too. We’ll see, I guess. This blog post is going to be full of bitterness, so I’ll try to keep it brief. If you don’t want to wallow in misery better stop reading now. If you are a Yokohama fan looking to enjoy our misery, you’re probably only going to get irritated by my opinions on your ‘brave heroes’ so I’d stop reading here too. A lot of it is sour grapes, but I think there’s an element of truth. I’ve deliberately delayed writing this a little to try and tone down the sourness, but watching the goals has upped the acid level again. Here are my points about this travesty, and beware, everybody’s in for a slagging here.

Oniki out -

Come on, do the right thing and go. This was awful again. The game plan didn’t work, and we had no response to going behind. The back four were useless. Please never play Morita at right back again. It has never worked and it never will. Play him right wing maybe as he was alright going forward, but not right back. Three of their four goals came from that side and he was clearly being targeted. PLAY A RIGHT BACK AT RIGHT BACK!!! Taniguchi and Yamamura were a total mess. Sure they may be the most handsome center back pairing in the league, but they both had nightmare games.  Taniguchi is clearly undroppable for Oniki but to be honest I think most of the people in the stadium could have done a better job in this game than he did. A while ago we were very short of centre backs but now we have Jesiel and Nara both sitting on the sidelines or in the stand and yet Taniguchi is able to continue blundering his way through game after game. Give him a rest. He’s not a bad player, but he’s playing incredibly badly right now. For two of our goals he was closer to taking out Sung-Ryong than getting anywhere near either the ball or a Yokohama player. Kobayashi had another game to forget. As soon as Leandro Damiao came on we looked a different team. I really can’t believe that Kobayashi is up there on the scoring charts. I don’t think he should play up front by himself but apparently he’s said he doesn’t want to play on the right. Fair enough, don’t play him there, but don’t play him up front alone either. Quite why Oniki always withdraws Wakizaka and ignores those players stinking it up even more around him I don’t know. But then I don’t really understand many things Oniki does. I don’t know who should replace him if he goes, but I know that whoever it is, it’s got to be a hell of a lot better than what we’re getting right now.

Terrible referees (the usual refrain) -

Nishimura - a referee announcement that always strikes fear into the hearts of everyone. Please retire! Thankfully he was changed at half time, apparently due to an injury, but I like to think of it as being the match commissioner hauling him off for the rotten display he was putting in. Seconds after kick off Oshima was fouled off the ball. No card. This pattern was repeated throughout the game. Yokohama hacked and dived and feigned injury all the way through the game. I can only guess that Nishimura was due to drive home in a lovely new luxury Nissan provided by Yokohama. I’ve never seen a more infuriatingly one sided refereeing display. Oh, actually, I probably have as the refs are always terrible but this one really stood out. His replacement in the second half was even worse, apparently unaware of what sport he was even officiating. Random decision after random decision. Stopping the play for an injury and then restarting with a goal kick instead of a drop ball. Sure he probably was only expecting to only be lifting up the substitute board and got thrown in at the deep end, but seriously, he was clueless. Quite why Nishimura and the 4th official got selected for a potentially title deciding game I don’t know. Surely it’s time that Nishimura got sent off to pasture. Leandro Damiao through on goal and hacked down by the last man on the edge of the box. Amazingly he got the award of a free kick rather than a penalty right, but no card? I think it could have been a red. Plenty of terrible fouls from Yokohama that weren’t even given as free kicks. Another clear penalty that wasn’t given when Daimao was shoved in the box. A handball in the box from a Yokohama defender that the ref also missed (well, I saw it!). Marinos players rolling around on the floor, kicking the ball away, anything to waste some time and getting away with it. I don’t even know why they were bothering as if they hadn’t they probably could have scored three or four more. Let’s not forget the fact that it wasn’t just the ref and we were rubbish too, but we definitely didn’t get the rub of the green in this game.

Dubious Yokahama -

I’ve been wavering on who I least disliked winning the league for the last month or so. First of all, I decided the least bad option was Kashima as at least it would be business as usual and would deny both of our neighbours. But Kashima were such a bunch of scumbags when we played them, (shout out to Bueno!), that I couldn’t possibly hope for that. So, down to Yokohama or FC Tokyo. I then moved on to Yokohama because at least they score a few goals and don’t just hoof the ball to the fast guy to dive and win a penalty so that the chubby guy can run up, stop jog on the spot, reverse, skip a bit and then finally kick it (all in one ‘seamless’ run up, right?) and then win 1-0. But after this game, they’re out too. I would have liked us to smack Yokohama by four or five goals and then would be happy for them to win the title. But that didn’t exactly happen, did it? So now I’m going for Tokyo, I guess. Yokohama apparently play beautiful attacking football, but all I saw yesterday was a bunch of cheating midgets diving, fouling, time wasting, feigning injury and most annoyingly of all, finishing off chances clinically. Nakagawa apparently said he wanted to thank Frontale for his time with us as a youth player by beating us. Interesting logic. Similarly interesting was his goal celebration, kneeling and praying with his hands aloft right in front of our main fan area. Presumably this was in thanks to us too. I don’t know if they’ve been doing this all season or they just save it for local derbies, but if they have, I think that any sense of them having the attacking football moral high-ground disintegrates on closer inspection. Perhaps we were aiming for the moral high-ground and were pursuing it at the expense of actually playing football. Funnily enough, we out possessed and out-passed them and were only one shot behind them too. And we if we avoid defeat next weekend we will end up as the team who lost the least games in the league this year. But these stats aren’t really much consolation as they beat us 4-1 at our place and will win the league comfortably ahead of us.

Foreign players -

One big difference between Yokohama and us was in the use of foreign players. They had four Brazilians, one Thai and one Korean player in the starting line up. We played Sung-Ryong, probably only because Arai was injured (I’m guessing) and that was it. I’ve often moaned about Oniki having a problem with foreigners and it seems like he’ll do anything to avoid playing them. The thing is, the reason they have a limit on foreign players is presumably to stop big money clubs fielding a whole team of foreign ringers, the implication being that there’s a much bigger pool of good foreign players to choose from. Most teams understandably use their foreign spots to boost their starting eleven. For some reason, we use our foreign spots to warm the bench or maybe just to keep the translators occupied. Damiao has been used sparingly and seemingly reluctantly. Oniki has never attempted to mould the team around him (our big money star player) and has instead put him in up front by himself with no thoughts on how he could get the best out of him. If Oniki is with us next year, there’s really no point us having any foreigners.

Four goals, all coming from mistakes from us, all put away by a superior if quite cheaty Yokohama team. Have a close look at the replay of the game please Oniki. Thankfully this season will soon be over and we won’t have to deal with any more of this rubbish for a few months. Next up, our final game, away at Consadole Sapporo, a team who probably really want to beat us after the Levain Cup final. We need to win to have any chance of an ACL place next year. Not sure we particularly deserve one, and we’d probably only mess it up again, but it could be useful for player retention and attraction. Least it’s a nice trip. Hopefully we’ll see some kind of reaction to this disaster. Fingers crossed.


GK 1. Sung-Ryong JUNG
MF 6. MORITA Hidemasa
DF 34. YAMAMURA Kazuya
DF 7. KURUMAYA Shintaro
MF 10. OSHIMA Ryota
MF 41. IENAGA Akihiro (Yellow card 90+5')
MF 28. WAKIZAKA Yasuto
MF 8. ABE Hiroyuki

GK 24. ANDO Shunsuke
FW 9. LEANDRO DAMIAO (on for ABE 61') 
MF 16. HASEGAWA Tatsuya (on for WAKIZAKA 54') 
FW 20. CHINEN Kei (on for KOBAYASHI 79') 
MF 22. SHIMODA Hokuto

My Frontale Man Of The Match

A fair few terrible performances, a lot of average and ineffective ones. Normally in a game we lose heavily I sulk and don’t give anyone this, but one player at least tried to do something.

TANAKA Ao - wasn’t crap. But to be honest, wasn't as good as he normally is.


NAKAGAWA (Yokohama) 8' 0-1
ERIK (Yokohama) 49' 0-2 
ERIK (Yokohama) 69' 0-3 
LEANDRO DAMIAO (Frontale) 74' 1-3
ENDO (Yokohama) 89' 1-4


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