Kawasaki Frontale 3 - 1 Yokohama F Marinos
Do they only play like this when they play us? If not, I have no idea how they have such a reputation for beautiful football. Sure they attack a lot, but nowhere near as much as they foul. Junior Santos aside, who for some reason I have decided is a bit of a gent (check out his recent life story on the latest J Talk Podcast), this is a team of hackers and divers. (Note to Marinos fans reading this, that’s the bit that you should copy and paste onto twitter. Or possibly something that’s coming later…). Of course I’m biased but they have to be the dirtiest team we’ve played this year. They finished the game with one red and four yellows, but there were numerous incidents where the utter nonsense refereeing protocol that seems to be being followed this year prevented the game finishing with loads more cards. Theeraton ‘head-butted’ Yamane and didn’t even get booked. I say head butted having only watched the replay once and thinking it was one of those stupid head-pushes more than head-butts, but there’s no way you can not book a player for doing that. Marcos Junior who I’ve previously railed against but in recent times have come to see more as a forward who really really can’t tackle, made more than a few awful fouls. My real ire though is for the walking areshole that is Erik. I say walking, but diving would probably be more accurate. Erik’s ability to find an elbow in a complete lack of any contact is amazing. I suspect he could also find a penguin at the North Pole and an iceberg in the Sahara. Apparently he has recently become a father again and you have to wonder what kind of example he’s setting his kids with his flopping and whinging. I think we’d all like to see an FC Tokyo Yokohama F Marinos game with a Leandro and Erik face-off. With one of them being so willing to dish out the elbows and the other so willing to create them out of nothing. Really something for all those elbow fetishists out there. (I looked for the technical word, and couldn’t find a satisfying one). For some reason Sung-Ryong raced halfway up the pitch to shove Erik in the second half, apparently randomly, but you just know the little arsehole had probably been doing something arseholey for the preceding 80 minutes. Definitely worth taking a booking for the satisfaction that seeing the tiny shit put on his backside gave the majority of the crowd, I’d say. Oh, and no Marinos grumblefest would be complete without a mention of the surly old gaffer Mr. Postecoglou, who was complaining to the ref at half time. The cheek of it! Presumably he thought a (hilarious) handball outside the box shouldn’t have counted or that Theeraton’s non-existent punishment for his head-butt was way over the top. Probably thought Yamane should have been booked for irritating one of his players. I’m sure he wouldn’t get away with the comments that you can pick up on the pitchside mic if they were being made in Japanese instead of English. You can clearly hear him telling the referee that he doesn’t know the rules of the game. And see him wagging his finger a lot. Pretty rotten really. Maybe there’s something slightly Trumpian about Postecoglou (who much like Boris Johnson, should be called by his last name and never be referred to by only his first name is that is making something friendly and fun out of what is truly a detestable human being), and equally about some Marinos fans on Twitter in that they don’t seem to be particularly willing to accept events. (Apologies to the nice Marinos fans here for even slightly associating you with that comparison). We’ll see how well they do in the ACL, but given that they’ve been playing their first team quite a lot recently and not doing well enough to get much higher than 7th in the table even though they’ve played up to four games more than the teams around them, they might not find the ACL as much of a breeze as some think they will. One final comment is that in a way the red card might have hindered us a bit, as the replacement keeper was damn good so props to him. Bit annoying that both of our local rivals have what seem like excellent young prospects between the sticks. Well played Obi.
Yeah, I know I’ve moaned a lot about the dirty Marinos players but don’t think that means I’m gong to let the ref off the hook. Another gutless performance letting a game get totally out of hand with an inability to actually show cards when they are required. Can only imagine that this is a league diktat this season as the crappiness is spread extremely widely over all officialdom as far as I can see. And the linesman down our end was rubbish too.
Nice things -
After all that negativity, let’s say at least some nice things. This wasn’t a vintage performance from us (particularly in front of goal again), but we got a lovely result. With our opponents down to ten men we still couldn’t really fashion that many decent chances for most of the game. But we did when it mattered (in injury time, three times, hehe). Kobayashi missing the penalty seemed so inevitable that it actually wasn’t really upsetting somehow. Lots will be said about Mitoma’s run for the final goal and it caused a bit of an explosion in the stands. I found the experience pretty moving I have to say. From a Frontale point of view, there was something of a Hollywood feel to this game. The bad guys being bad and nasty and us unable to take advantage due to some tragic misfortune (not being able to shoot…) only for everything to get wrapped up late on with a rousing finale. Jesiel’s goal was celebrated wildly on the pitch. Mitoma’s great run which even included a nutmeg for the cameras and resulted in a successful pass and a successful finish from Kobayashi left players strewn across the pitch in bizarre little groups of emotion. It was nice that we could get within touching distance of the title with a win against not only one of our biggest rivals but also last season’s champions. Quite an emotional time really.
I really need to finish this post so everything else will be reduced to a sentence or two without explanation (readers breath a sigh of relief…). Here we go in no particular order. Our distribution out from the back was horrible in this game. Jesiel is banned for the next game. Kobayashi’s late goal was the first from one of our main strikers for 5 games. We’ve definitely been struggling there recently. Manabu’s one-two off the ref was hilarious and I was delighted he put in a lovely cross for the first goal. The goal we conceded was soft, but I don’t care as we won. They only had two shots on target but they still scored once… We struggled against ten men and they looked dangerous at times, but hell, so did we too and with a few tweaks we might be back to scoring for fun again. I am really into the new drumming song that starts with a soft bass drum gradually building in volume till the snares come in. I hope we can keep that one and add some words when we can sing again. Possibly a stupid idea, but are we allowed to hum instead of sing? I want us to hum out a few songs on Saturday. Oh and finally, I don’t think I mentioned it, but Erik is a little shit.
GK 1. Sung-Ryong JUNG (Yellow card 81')
DF 13. YAMANE Miki
DF 4. JESIEL (Yellow card 50')
DF 5. TANIGUCHI Shogo
DF 2. NOBORIZATO Kyohei
MF 6. MORITA Hidemasa
MF 25. TANAKA Ao
MF 8. WAKIZAKA Yasuto
FW 19. SAITO Manabu
FW 9. LEANDRO DAMIAO
FW 16. HASEGAWA Tatsuya
GK 27. TANNO Kenta
DF 7. KURUMAYA Shintaro
MF 10. OSHIMA Ryota (on for TANAKA 46')
FW 11. KOBAYASHI Yu (on for LEANDRO DAMIAO 65')
MF 14. NAKAMURA Kengo (on for WAKIZAKA 82')
FW 18. MITOMA Kaoru (on for HASEGAWA 46')
MF 30. HATATE Reo (on for SAITO 65')
My Frontale Man Of The Match
MITOMA Kaoru & JESIEL - not Mitoma’s best match but was definitely his best and most eye-catching run and dribble for Kobayashi’s goal. Lovely! And good to see that Jesiel is in goal scoring mood even if the forwards aren’t. Both players really showed what the goals meant to them. Lovely!