Thursday 26 August 2021

Vs Avispa Fukuoka (away) 25/8/21 J League match 26


Avispa Fukuoka 1 - 0 Kawasaki Frontale

Our descent into shitness continues. Perhaps the two draws WERE a blip, but actually a positive blip. We look like we’ll never score again and have turned a an eight point lead three games ago into a one point lead. Add to this the obviously horrible form that goes along with doing the previous. And the fact that we are picking up what looks like one serious injury per game. We still have the best defence in the league, but probably not for long as our toothlessness going forward just piles pressure on the defence and it will probably only be a matter of time before we get another serious injury in that department. Or Oniki decides to move Jesiel to fill the Mitoma gap. What a time to be alive! Undeniably, it has been a great time to be a Frontale fan in recent years. Perhaps some of the new fans we have picked up might not be used to this kind of disappointment but I suspect they will probably be all too familiar with it on a weekly basis soon. The only hope is that this utterly shit result gives us the massive kick up the backside that the last two pretty shit results didn’t. But the problem is that there probably won’t be enough fit backsides left to kick, and no-one wants to see an already injured person get a kick up the backside. Well… unless its a particularly loathsome opposition player or manager. Or a J League referee. I’m not going to hang around much with this post. And I’ll try to not give the people who’ve been looking forward to us losing too much to crow about. I will moan though. A bit. I mainly hold two people responsible for this result so I’ll give them a paragraph each. And then moan a bit more as a conclusion. Sounds like fun, eh?

Kimura -

This was a game of two halves. So far, so insightful. To blame in the first half was the ref Kimura. He seemed determined to not give anything. I think his refereeing tolerance setting was turned down. Maybe it ran out of batteries and he forgot to recalibrate it when he put the new ones in. Regular fouls were ignored. Yellow cards resulted in a free kick. Horrible fouls by Croux only got a yellow. Well, on one occasion anyway. I think he should have had a red when he got a yellow (in the 12th minute...), or it should have at least been his second yellow for a similar assault a few minutes before, but I’ll be the first to admit that I am not particularly familiar with the intricacies of the laws of the game. But why let that get in the way of a rant? Usually I love all things Belgian and perhaps Kimura has the same feeling, as I can’t understand why Croux was still on the field to score an annoyingly good goal. I would have loved to see Kimura give him a second yellow for his absolutely ridiculous play acting late in the first half when he threw himself screaming to the ground clutching his calf as a result of approximately no contact whatsover. But those kind of yellows never seem to be given anymore, even when the culprit isn’t already on a yellow. It’s unfair to tar a whole country because of the actions of one of its cheatier citizens so I won’t boycott Belgian beer, music, literature or art (convenient that, eh?), but I do have a new target for my vitriol thanks to his dirty, dirty fouling and dirty, dirty diving. Hopefully he’ll get what he deserves from a better ref sooner or later. But anyway, this isn’t supposed to be about Croux, it’s supposed to be about Kimura. He changed things up in the second half and seemed to be giving absolutely everything and even things that didn’t even exist. I wonder if he realised he needed to recalibrate, but fucked that up, like he’d fucked everything in the first half up. A bit like adjusting your kitchen scales to perfect zero when you’ve got a bowl of flour on top of it already. I think there’s more to his useless first half showing than just not sending the goalscorer off before he could score. He let Avispa kick us around the pitch more than Shimizu did in the Emperor’s Cup. In that match a ref giving nothing encouraged so many fouls that Taniguchi ended up getting one that seriously injured him. Hopefully Hatate’s injury won’t be serious, but you’ve got to think that if Kimura had done something about the assaults in the first quarter of the game we might not have lost another player to injury.

Oniki -

You’ve been waiting for this, I guess! It’s been a while since I had a serious moan at Oniki but now is obviously the time for it. It has been said that Oniki is perhaps more of a lucky manager than a skillful manager. Certainly he inherited some tactics that he only had to slightly tweak and a lot of good players which suggests that perhaps the crucial element to his success where Kazama failed was luck. However it seems that his luck has run out. And if you’re a lucky manager rather than a good manager and you lose your luck then you’re just left as a normal manager. I have no confidence that Oniki can turn this around. I can only hope that the players know how to do it. We’re still in four competitions and to be honest, I don’t think we have any chance of winning any of them. We’re already spread so thin, and the challenge of competing on four fronts isn’t going to help. We hardly bothered reinforcing in the transfer window after losing our two best players to Europe and one of our other best players to another long term injury. Don’t know why. Unless he is 100% forced into changing anything, Oniki goes with the same 18-20 players for pretty much every match day squad. Instead of trying a bit of rotation in crucial positions he instead moves one of our first choice centre backs into midfield where he gets a serious injury. I wish someone would tell him that rotation means using different players and not just pushing the same players’ magnets round his little board and seeing how many different positions he can play Hatate in. Perhaps it seems unfair to blame this defeat on him playing Taniguchi in midfield two games ago? Ok, well how about blaming him for failing to recognise that plenty of our starters are playing terribly at the moment. I can’t remember the last time Hasegawa, Ienaga, Wakizaka or Yamane had a a particularly good game. Jesiel has looked wobbly recently too. Oniki’s subs were awful again in this game. Hatate’s injury prompted him to bring on Kobayashi and put Ienaga back in midfield. The problem with that being that Ienaga basically wanders all over the pitch doing what he wants. When he’s on fire like he normally is, this is great. But when he’s playing badly (like he has since he got his haircut… hmmm), this basically means we’re a player short. This is probably easier to deal with up front rather than in midfield. Oniki used three different centre back partnerships in this game and we didn’t have any injuries there! It’s just endless tinkering via magnets moving round a board. When we’re scoring and playing well we can enjoy this kind of fun. But when we can’t score for love nor money it becomes slightly frustrating in its utter pointlessness. Trailing in this game Oniki brought on Chinen and Hasegawa. I like both of them, but both of them are in horrendous form at the moment. Not exactly who you want to bring on if you need a goal. This change probably spurred Avispa on as they knew we were out of options and ideas. Oniki needs to get on with motivating the players now. Sadly, I don’t think he’s up to that job. Apparently he has taken the blame for the defeat, which I actually think is pretty good of him. It’s a good idea to deflect the pressure from the players who seem to be absolutely lost and devoid of confidence after losing Mitoma and Tanaka. You have to say it looks like we’re going to bottle it again. But at the same time, it would be quite fun to see YFM take the lead and then totally disintegrate afterwards. We can dream I guess. But once again, it’s a sad situation when the only real joy we can hope for is that our rivals do badly. But one goal in 270 minutes of league football, with only 12 shots on target out of 45 suggests that as much as I would like to blame Oniki and Kimura, the blame might also lie elsewhere. In the same games YFM have had only five shots more but have managed to get almost half of them on target. Against Sagan Tosu they apparently had four shots on target and scored four times, which suggests that either they are having a lot of luck at the moment or they are a lot better than us when it comes to taking chances. Or both perhaps.

It’s fair to say that there was a liberal use of expletives in this household during this game. I’m quite pleased that there were no away tickets for this game. There did seem be quite a few Frontale fans there though which is a bit weird. Unless we have a surprisingly large fanbase in Fukuoka. People traveling to the game from Fukuoka prefecture were apparently allowed to wear Frontale shirts. Not really sure how that was enforced but it probably involved showing some receipts from the previous few days and probably a fax of some sort. I feel that we have the last laugh though as it was possible for most homebound Frontale fans to turn off the computer at any stage of this horrible game or perhaps even to smash their computer. Those in the stadium weren’t so lucky. And the state of emergency in Fukuoka means that they wouldn’t even have been able to go out and get wrecked afterwards. Perhaps they could do it in their hotel rooms. Oh, sorry! I forgot, they were apparently all Fukuoka residents weren’t they? If we’d been allowed to attend we would now be sitting in a dry city knowing that our return home via Sapporo (with probably another defeat) would not be for three days. Instead, I can sit here typing away on my computer as quickly as possible and with as little attention to detail as I can bear trying to get this post out of the way as soon as possible. It now looks like the highlight of my week will be drinking that barium liquid stuff and spinning myself around on that big x-ray machine at my health check on Friday. I will shy away from making any recent form / bottling it comparisons with the inevitable outcome of drinking the barium liquid and then taking laxatives after the x-ray but I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this. So yeah, Sapporo away on Saturday. This game was a must win and we lost it (and a ten month or so unbeaten record), so that game needs to be labeled something more dramatic to raise the stakes but I can’t come up with it sadly. Instead I’ll end on a bright note. We finally lost a game, but it wasn’t to a team I hate. Think how bad that would have been if it were YFM, FC Tokyo, Kashima, Urawa… (stop me please, I’m just going to type out the whole league table here). I don’t hate Avispa. I do quite dislike Croux as a player now though. I wouldn’t say Avispa really deserved to win, but we certainly deserved to lose. Damn, even my positive ending has soured. I’ll stop here. 


GK 1. Sung-Ryong JUNG
DF 13. YAMANE Miki
DF 28. YAMAMURA Kazuya
DF 7. KURUMAYA Shintaro (Yellow card 90')
FW 41. IENAGA Akihiro

GK 27. TANNO Kenta
DF 4. JESIEL (on for JOAO SCHMIDT 64')
FW 11. KOBAYASHI Yu (on for HATATE 39')
FW 16. HASEGAWA Tatsuya (on for MIYAGI 64')
FW 19. TONO Daiya (on for NOBORIZATO 74')
FW 20. CHINEN Kei (on for LEANDRO DAMIAO 74')


KASHIWA (Hiroshima) 27' 1-0
LEANDRO DAMIAO (Frontale) 73' 1-1

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