Shonan Bellmare 2 - 1 Kawasaki Frontale
That was a long and off the point intro, but this post will probably be a bit of a mess as I want to get it out of the way and move on to doing something a bit more pleasant. Also, as I went to get a place in the queue so early in the day, by the time the game came around I had hardly any battery left on my phone so have extremely minimal notes and just a few terrible photos (all included here for your enjoyment). We’ve gone from first to third in the league, one point behind Hiroshima and level on points with YFM. Thanks to the efforts of absolute legend Koki Tsukagawa, we could have gone top and taken a significant step towards a third consecutive title. (If we'd won...). We would have been two points clear with YFM having one game in hand. (If we'd won...). Or one point ahead of them and equal on points with Sanfrecce. (If we'd got a disappointing draw...). As it is (after a rotten defeat...), we’re equal on points with YFM and way behind on goal difference instead. So a significant step in the wrong direction. Praise the lord for Tsukagawa though. If he hadn’t scored TWICE we would have been two points behind having played one more. So now we need to wait for at least one major cock up from YFM. It’s not going to happen. Tsukagawa scoring was emblematic of a day where plenty of our ex- or out on loan players scored. Probably most notable was Abe scoring the winner against us. And Miyashiro scored one and set one up. We struggled to keep the ball, or pass the ball. Although astonishingly we had loads more possession in this game. Not loads more goals though. And our one goal came from a Taniguchi header that bounced off Chinen's head and went in. Probably not something we'd worked on at the training ground. They had two shots on target and scored twice. But as I said, if they weren’t so awful at shooting it could easily have been another game where we conceded four.
We were really sloppy and looked really tired. Probably no surprise when you consider that pretty much the same players have been playing the last three or four games. We’ve had three games in eight days with hardly any rotation. They’re tired. I’m tired. And we’re still perhaps feeling the effects of the earlier COVID outbreak. And at the same time we have some players who are fit who have basically disappeared off the face of the earth. I’m not going to start moaning about Oniki again. I’m a calm person now after all. I did say in a previous blog post that he should rotate a bit for this match and rest some of our knackered players. I also said that I was pretty sure he wouldn’t. It’s something of an Oniki trademark to shuffle the magnets to try and find a winning line up and when he finds one, absolutely screw it into the ground until everyone is physically destroyed. Looks like that might be happening again. And who have we got next…? Oh, Sanfrecce Hiroshima who are on a run of seven wins in a row. Uh oh. And we erm… don’t have a plan b and the plan a is lying in tatters again. Damn. Of course if we'd won this game no-one would be complaining about lack of rotation. But the fact is we were so far off winning this game that I'm not surprised people are moaning. But not me of course, I'm calm...
Oh well, eh? I have had so much fun recently with some fun wins against detestable teams and have enjoyed posting some crap on Twitter. So I guess now it’s our turn to have some crap posted about us on Twitter and we have to just suck it up. I’m not very confident about the rest of the season. As far as I was concerned, we had to win every game to have a hope of the title and now we’ve lost one, so I'm pretty sure any remaining chance is gone. Damn you YFM for giving us a little hope though. Please keep either drawing or preferably losing. At least that way we can enjoy a bit of Schadenfreude. And it would work for them too as they could enjoy our defeats. Everyone could focus on negativity. That’s probably the best we can hope for now. Joy!
GK 1. Sung-Ryong JUNG
DF 13. YAMANE Miki
MF 6. JOAO SCHMIDT
MF 31. YAMAMURA Kazuya (on for JESIEL 69')
My Frontale Man Of The Match
No even halfway good performance from pretty much anyone. We looked so tired and so… shit. Which leaves me no choice but to give it to….
TSUKAGAWA Koki - I don’t usually give this to players who didn’t feature in the match, let alone ones who’ve been transferred to another team but if you can think of anyone else who might deserve it you are clearly more of an optimist than I am.