Sunday, 14 March 2021

Vs Kashiwa Reysol (home) 13/3/21 - J League match 4

Kawasaki Frontale 1 - 0 Kashiwa Reysol 

So, five wins out of five so far! Lovely! What was not lovely was this game. But I guess sooner or later we were going to have a crappy 90 minutes. Actually, maybe that was Wednesday, so this one makes it two in a row. The encouraging thing is that we came away from two pretty poor performances with six points. Can’t get any better than that points wise. We could get a lot better entertainment wise though. But lets not be too picky. Given that I have four days till the next match this could be a detailed and interesting blog post. But there wasn’t really much to work with. So, for consecutive wins with poor performances I present consecutive slapdash poor blog posts. どうぞ, as I heard the ref say on numerous occasions in this game. I’ve never heard that before. Perhaps it was the fact that we were back in the main stand again so perhaps nearer the pitch. Or perhaps it was the fact that there was absolutely nothing exciting to distract me from the joy of listening to the ref. Did I mention this was an awful game? Perhaps I did. Probably will again. Here we go with some bullet points, which will pretty much be the same as the last post’s bullet points, with perhaps the same things said too. But maybe this time a bit more negative.

Line up -

Bit of a surprise with Oniki’s selection this time. Although let's not get too carried away, as it was the same 19 players in the squad as it has been for all but one of our 2021 fixtures. (Yamamura coming in when we switch the centre backs and Chinen coming in briefly when Tsukagawa was injured).DF Previously it seemed like we had an A team and a B team with the former doing most of the heavy lifting and the latter giving the former a rest occasionally. Well kind of, as some players were in both the A and B teams, but you get my drift. In this game Oniki mixed things up creating a C team. Actually, I shouldn't make it sound like a third choice team though, so maybe it would be more accurate to call it an AB team. The A midfield remained intact, the B centre backs came in and the front three was an AB mix. I thought this was kind of exciting before the game, but after watching the match and writing these words it has become clear that it wasn’t actually that much of an exciting experiment. Perhaps more just a snub to Tono. Left back and right back are still the problem positions from the point of view of rotation. Both Yamane and Hatate have started every game and played most of the minutes. When Nobori comes back from injury I guess we have an option at left back but we still are no closer to knowing what might happen at right back in the event of an emergency (or rotation. Emergency probably more likely). And Oniki no longer has Morita to play there either. I would have thought that it would have made sense to start with Damiao in this game, given that the Kashiwa keeper has a reputation for going wandering and making clangers. Super presser Damiao would probably have given him plenty to think about. Also, I would have thought that it might have made more sense to rotate a bit more on Wednesday against newly promoted Tokushima and save the preferred players for Kashiwa. But we didn’t. But we won both games. I’ve got to moan about something though, right?

Opposition and game -

Not much to say about Kashiwa in this game. They still seem to like a long ball in spite of the fact that they don’t have Olunga anymore. They had no shots on target, as with Tokushima on Wednesday. Kind of takes the shine off two consecutive clean sheets a bit but they are very welcome all the same. It’s not that surprising seeing as most the game was made up of both teams bringing the ball forward and then losing it. We had our first shot around the 30 minute mark I think. The crowd tried their best to inject a bit of excitement into things by doing that building an attack clapping thing, but more often than not it started as we were due to move out of defence and then we just played the ball along the back line and that was about it. Delightful stuff for those who love pass completion, but not so exciting for those who prefer actual football matches rather than training exercises. It came to my attention that I had been missing the contributions of Wakizaka recently so I made a special effort to watch the game with a focus in him. Wakizaka fans will probably not be so pleased that I chose this game to do so, as it definitely wasn’t his best. I can say that with some confidence even though in previous games I haven’t really noticed him. Definitely not his day. Similarly, Joao Schmidt had game to forget. I’d love to blame the conditions, as we’d had a hell of a lot of rain in they afternoon leading up to the game, but I can’t say it particularly affected things. At least not as far as I was aware. We were just not at the races. The front three were pretty ineffectual too. And Yamane had a below par game too. Perhaps people are getting tired. Which is a bit worrying as we’ve only played 6 games so far this year. The schedule has been relentless though, as it was last year. The weird thing is that we have started the season on time without any major corona virus delays yet. Guess the packed schedule will ease off at some stage, and I fully realise that every team has the same issue, so I'm not trying to moan about it. But we probably need to give some players a bit of a rest. To be honest, both teams in this match were so ‘below average’ that I feel the league should introduce a new scoring system. Three points for a win, one point for a draw, no points for a loss or a draw where both teams are shit. No points for anyone would have been a fair outcome probably. But we did at least score. Thank you to Mitoma for the impact from the bench and the lovely run and to Ienaga for putting the ball in the net. Plenty of payers (including Ienaga himself) have missed easier chances already this year, so it was a relief when this one went in.

Ref and VAR watch -

No VAR again in this game as far as I could tell. And no late flagging from linesmen! I guess it’s no surprise that there was no VAR as VAR is only used for notable incidents and there was nothing notable in this game. I thought the ref was rubbish again though. No bookings in this game for Kashiwa (although of course we got one... Our first of the season surprisingly), and there were definitely some fouls that deserved it. It’s a real shock when not even Kashiwa’s one man card machine Richardson doesn’t get one. The Kashiwa manager was losing his rag over Hatate's throw ins. They did look a bit weird, but they were right in front of the linesman and after Nelsinho had moaned once about them you would have thought the officials would have paid a bit more attention to them so I can only presume they were ok. Perhaps the ref’s performance is best summed by the occasion when the corner flag got knocked out, a player from both teams united to put it back in and then the ref decided to go and check it himself to kill a few seconds and get the camera on him. Maybe Matsuo is looking to take over from Nishimura as the number one attention seeking ref when he retires. I guess his flag checking might have been the reason he added six minutes injury time in a game where nothing had happened. Nice work ref!

Other bits -

No brace in this game. But we still got the dodgy half. Although much like against Tokushima, it was once again two dodgy halves. Great work from the stadium staff to get the pitch sorted as it seemed like the game might be called off after so much rain in the hours before kick off. Jeez, that’s all I’ve got. The game was so dull that there wasn’t even anything for me to make a stupid joke about. Blimey. Oh! There was a rainbow.

Next up, Vissel Kobe away on Wednesday. They messed up a good run for us last year when we played them away in the league. Hope they don’t do that again. After that, Urawa away next weekend. So two away games after a home game heavy start to the season. Perhaps the change of scenery will shake us up a bit. Hope so! Go Frontale!


GK 1. Sung-Ryong JUNG 

DF 13. YAMANE Miki

DF 28. YAMAMURA Kazuya
DF 7. KURUMAYA Shintaro



MF 8. WAKIZAKA Yasuto (Yellow card 37')

FW 41. IENAGA Akihiro


FW 16. HASEGAWA Tatsuya


GK 27. TANNO Kenta 

MF 3. TSUKAGAWA Koki (on for JOAO SCHMIDT 46')



FW 18. MITOMA Kaoru (on for HASEGAWA 46')

FW 19. TONO Daiya

MF 22. TACHIBANADA Kento (on for WAKIZAKA 46')


My Frontale Man Of The Match

There’s only one person I can think of to give this to and that’s…

HATATE Reo - the only starting player who did anything with the ball when he played it forward. Actually, maybe he was the only player who actually played it forward. Also, felt like he was targeted a bit by Kashiwa but for the most part stood firm.


IENAGA (Frontale) 80' 1-0


No comments:

Post a Comment