Another pretty dodgy game where we once again managed to scrape a result. This definitely didn’t feel like a 2-0. In fact given the general poor play on display from both teams in front of the goal, even one goal seemed to be beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. This post is going to be brief and thrown together. I had my COVID booster on Friday so we didn’t go to this game. I’m not particularly suffering from too many side effects, but it’s fair to say that this kind of game, where there wasn’t much of interest happening, would have been difficult to concentrate on even if I wasn’t in my own personal fug. Please bear this in mind when assessing the quality of this post. As is always the case when I watch a game on DAZN rather than attend it, I find it difficult to focus and therefore don’t bother going into too much detail in the post. Some might say the same about the posts on games I attend I guess. I know nothing more about this game than other people who were also watching online know. I have very little insight and am even struggling to think of any jokes. With all this in mind, let's get going on what is truly going to be a great blog post!
We failed to beat Sanfrecce last year, drawing 1-1 with them home and away, so it was nice to improve on that. We started pretty well. Well for about three minutes and then we were back to the same ponderous and inconsequential stuff that we’ve become so familiar with recently. One particularly frustrating moment was when we were breaking with three against two and somehow contrived to dither, let them get some more players back and then loop the ball high off the pitch for a goal kick. Kind of summed up the game to be honest. Our backheel pass count was very high but the backheel pass completion rate was very low. Everyone loves it when their team is winning comfortably and starts turning on the style. It’s not so much fun when you’re drawing 0-0 and failing to create anything and you have players backheel passing straight to the opposition or off the pitch. Normally this kind of play comes with confidence but that looks very lacking right now. It feels like our new tactics are to bore the pants off the opposition, until they get so worn down by the tedium that they let us score. We shouldn’t forget how badly Sanfrecce are doing so far this year. However, we still struggled to make any real chances against them. In the last game, we had only nine shots with only one on target which we scored. Astonishingly, we had even less shots in this game (only eight, but thankfully three were on target). I guess our first goal doesn’t count as a shot as it was an own goal. It’s really not much fun to watch us this year. Whoever we start the game with, we (almost always) struggle and we only ever get going when the subs start happening. The three undroppables whose performances I always seem to recently moan about had pretty dodgy games again. Shortly before our first goal, I said ‘please let Oshima take this corner’. As I saw him lining up for it I said ‘and please let us score from this’ and we did. So perhaps all year the problem has been me not asking for goals enough. I will endeavor to do this more in upcoming games.
We now don’t have a game till the start of April so the players can have a bit of a rest and Oniki can have a bit of a think. Although I suppose Yamane and Taniguchi aren’t going to be resting much. I suspect the result of Oniki’s think will be that we just keep on going as we are. To be fair though, the results have been generally positive. It’s just the performances that make getting a weekly COVID booster and its side effects more appealing than watching the match. Fingers crossed for some excitement sooner or later. But yeah, keep the wins coming too please.
GK 1. Sung-Ryong JUNG
DF 13. YAMANE Miki