Sunday 19 September 2021

Vs Tokushima Vortis (away) 19/9/21 J League match 29

Tokushima Vortis 1 - 3 Kawasaki Frontale

After the cumulative disappointment of the last couple of games this result was a beautiful release! As I grumbled on Twitter, this was the game I was most looking forward to attending this year as I think it would have been a great trip. As it was, the never-ending-always-giving state of emergency rolled on and rolled over any kind of hopes I had of being able to attend. Perhaps with my disappointment at not going in mind, I also ended up agreeing to work and missed the first half. So this will be another low detail thrown together blog post. I was worried that if we did well in the first half and badly in the second my only remaining hope to get some kind of form back for us would be to stop watching or attending games. Perhaps I was the thing that was causing so many horrible performances. Whether that is true for me actually attending games, I’m not sure yet. Will tell you the next time I’m able to do so. But I think I can breathe a sigh of relief that me watching on DAZN doesn’t seem to have any bearing on the performance or the result. This seemed like a game where we got the result that we needed and a comfortable margin of victory all topped off with a defeat for our maritime chums up the road. The performance wasn’t exactly sparkling though, but I’m not going to moan too much because at this stage we need to get some kind of confidence back and this should go some way to doing that. We definitely were skating on thin ice in the second half though, as Tokushima had some very good chances to make this game a hell of a lot closer. But they didn’t! Our makeshift defence (which could become a bit sturdier soon as apparently Taniguchi and Kurumaya are both back in some sort of training) held reasonably firm, but luck was quite an important element of that. You could say though that we were unlucky with their goal, which was a great hit, but was set up perfectly by the ball bouncing up of Jesiel’s standing leg. It was pointed out to me on Twitter that our ‘anyone who is available and can maybe tackle’ defence has held pretty firm recently (Urawa game excepted). This is definitely true, but I suspect that it hasn’t helped us much in the midfield. Perhaps the midfielders have been covering the defence a bit more and therefore when we get the ball forward there hasn’t been anyone there and our attacks have petered out. But this is maybe glossing over the fact that we actually have had plenty of chances but haven’t been managing to take advantage of them. But let’s leave all this whinging behind and crack open another beer to celebrate three points and YFM getting no points!

Perhaps the most exciting thing about this game was a first start for Marcinho. Can he pick up where Mitoma left off? I’m sure we all certainly hope so as Hasegawa and Miyagi haven’t quite got there just yet. Talking of Hasegawa, he and Joao Schmidt were both absent from the match day squad. Perhaps it’s a coincidence that it was them, (well them and Ienaga), who missed the penalties against Ulsan or perhaps not. If they were feeling down about having missed, getting dropped might not exactly help matters. But as usual I am only speculating and have no idea what is going on behind the scenes. I missed most of Marcinho’s exciting moments as they seemed to mostly happen in the first half but from what I’ve heard he might be the one to bring back a bit of a spark for us. So it was with grim inevitability that he left the pitch on a stretcher. He seemed ok afterwards though so maybe it was precautionary or perhaps even a prearranged substitution which coincided with him ending up on the floor. Hatate was finally back from injury and for a while it seemed like he too would leave the field on a stretcher but he managed to hobble off by himself. I don’t know if it was to do with the pitch conditions but quite a lot of players on both teams seemed to be getting some muscle strains or cramps. Hopefully this match will have been that rarest of things, a game where we didn’t get any big injuries. Yamamura was OK for this game after looking like he might have got a nasty injury on Tuesday. I guess fatigue is catching up with us and it can’t help that they players can’t go home after the ACL (I think… They went to Osaka from Korea and I can’t imagine this was just for fun and sightseeing). We have a bit of a relentless schedule coming up so we are going to need as many players fit and raring to go as possible. Whether we can find enough players that meet even one of those criteria is another matter. But perhaps there has been some kind of focussing of the mind and slight easing of pressure due to our Levain and ACL exits. 

So let’s finish up with some random bits. First, I just wanted to use the phrase goal-maChine(n) somewhere in here. Particularly as it only works when written. He has now managed to score two penalties in a row and got another from a header from a corner in this game. It wasn’t the cleanest of finishes… but I don’t care. I hope it gives him some confidence and he can finally push on as we need some goals. Second, Tokushima seemed to have a bell ringer in their crowd and I thought that it sounded pretty good. Had that kind of athletics last lap excitement or maybe a cowbell clanging in a mountain stage of a cycling race. We should do it. But presumably even if we decided to our supporter group might think that bell ringing is something that should not be attempted during a state of emergency and we’d end up clanger-less. Third, no-one seems to get booked for diving anymore. No context to this, but it just seems that way to me. I can’t remember the last time I saw it happen. Actually maybe it was Ienaga and was quite a few years ago. Oh, and finally, quite how DAZN managed to come back late for the second half is beyond me. We cut from a commercial to Nobori taking a free kick almost a minute into the second half. It’s weird as plenty of times we’ve been in the situation where everyone is ready to go and we have to wait for the ref’s watch to tick round to the right time. I always presumed this was for TV purposes, but it seems that if it is, whoever arranged the time for the second half to start didn’t bother communicating it to the director. During the ACL we were always moaning about long lingering close ups of players’ reactions whilst the action continued out of shot. DAZN took it a step further, choosing to focus on the mascot popularity contest and other important stuff while at the same time some people were actually doing what the DAZN subscribers have paid to watch. Quite how the YFM mascot got second last year is totally beyond me. (I also don’t remember it happening. Is this some kind fo rogue alternative poll?). And I’m not just saying that because they are our rivals. Not just for the reason, but maybe a little for that reason… At the same time, it’s incomprehensible how the Nagoya Grampus mascot seems to win every year. But at least it prepared YFM for losing to Nagoya so they didn’t have any nasty surprises in this match day!

Next up, Kashiwa away on Wednesday. They are flip-flopping between good results and utterly shite results. Hopefully their win in this round of matches will set them up nicely for ‘laying an egg’ in the next game. I had never heard of that phrase till fairly recently but I really, really like it. Go Frontale! 

GK 1. Sung-Ryong JUNG
DF 13. YAMANE Miki
DF 28. YAMAMURA Kazuya
FW 19. TONO Daiya

GK 27. TANNO Kenta 
MF 3. TSUKAGAWA Koki (on for WAKIZAKA 68')
FW 11. KOBAYASHI Yu (on for HATATE 82')
MF 17. KOZUKA Kazuki
FW 24. MIYAGI Ten (on for MARCINHO 62')
FW 41. IENAGA Akihiro (on for TONO 68')

CHINEN (Frontale) 34' 0-1 PEN
ICHIMI (Tokushima) 38' 1-1
WAKIZAKA (Frontale) 42' 1-2
CHINEN (Frontale) 52' 1-3

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