This is the third and final part of the Frontale Rabbit 2022 season player round up posts. Today we're going from Miyagi to Oniki, who I realise isn't a player but who I always add to these posts. This will be the last post of the year but I'm still collecting responses for the season survey. I say collecting responses but only one person has bothered so far so please have a look at the questions here and send me some answers. So, yeah, this is it for 2022 and given that Oniki is the last person mentioned I guess I'm finishing 2022 perfectly ie. with a massive dose of negativity. Wonderful!
24. Ten MIYAGI (FW)
As mentioned in the Marcinho section, will be going out on loan next year and it’s understandable. Marcinho has really limited his opportunities but at the same time Ten hasn’t exactly grabbed his chance when given it. Perhaps didn’t get enough time to play himself into some form. Feel like he dribbles too far sometimes. He’s really good at it, but sometimes it’s good to pass before you lose the ball. Hopefully a season on loan playing regularly should really sharpen him up as we know he has a lot of talent. Good luck to him.
25. Renji MATSUI (MF)
Poor guy. Defensive midfielder who has almost exclusively been played out of position at right back when Yamane hasn’t been available. That wasn’t really that often even but it’s a bit of a bummer when you wait patiently for an opportunity and then when you get it you’re asked to do something unnatural. Looks pretty good on the ball as you’d expect knowing he’s played for Japan U23. Would love him to get a go at playing where he wants to next year, instead of being forced to play out of position. Had a few dicey moments when playing at right back and I don’t want them to affect his confidence. Think we’ll see a bit more of him next year.
26. Takatora EINAGA (FW)
Had a great debut, coming on as a sub and scoring but that was about it. Made it on to the bench a couple of times but only on to the pitch once, (I don’t acknowledge the existence of the PSG game). Looked dangerous when he played a half against Sapporo University in the Emperor’s Cup. Good on the ball and very attack minded. I won’t say he’ll be next year’s Mitoma, but if he did manage to get into the team, he could be very difficult to dislodge. I hope!
27. Kenta TANNO (MF)
Another season of sitting on the bench for Tanno and I can understand why he decided to leave. Delighted that he managed to remain unbeaten (results wise) in his time with us. But was a bit sad that even when he played really well more often than not he ended up conceding, and it was usually not his fault. Was definitely not as comfortable on the ball as Sung-Ryong and I think this is why he didn’t get more opportunities. But hope he’s enjoyed his time with us and wish him all the best.
28. Taiyo IGARASHI (FW)
Hardly any involvement aside from 45 minutes in the ACL but managed to get himself an assist. Makes sense that he’s going out on loan next year as he needs time on the pitch so I hope he’ll do well at Renofa, and perhaps follow in the footsteps of Miyashiro, who we’ll be seeing back next with us next year!
29. Kouta TAKAI (DF)
Good year for him but not really any involvement. Sounds a bit weird, but was still a member of the U18 team as well as having a squad number and they won their league and only just lost the final game at the national stadium. Also had some involvement with the Japan U20 team and was due to go to the world cup to train with the main Japan team. (Sadly that chance was messed up by COVID). We’re definitely short of defenders next year, so maybe he’ll be involved in some way in 2023.
30. Shuto TANABE (DF)
Few minutes in the Emperor’s Cup and a half against Guangzhou’s kids in the ACL and that was about it… until he went to JEF on loan and did really well. Has extended the loan for next year too. Was always a bit confused why he wasn’t a bit more involved as he is quite versatile, being able to play all the way across the back. Still young though, so perhaps there is a chance that he will be back at some stage and will play for us again.
31. Kazuya YAMAMURA (MF)
Yamamura always seems to suffer from being too versatile. Given that he can cover so many spots he inevitably ends up on the bench to cover for multiple possible emergencies. But thanks to our defensive crisis this year he played a decent amount of games at centre back. And at one stage seemed to be actually getting to play in midfield and up front. Pretty useful for those situations when we need to throw someone extra forward and lump it up to the big man ,which happened quite a lot in 2022. I hope he’s happy with his position with us as I think lots of people really like him. And his goal ‘celebration’ is always great. Hope to see it a lot more next year.
32. Shin YAMADA (FW)
Surprisingly started a game during our nightmare COVID crisis. Unfortunately I was traveling at the time and therefore didn’t see even a minute of the game, so I can’t and won’t comment.
41. Akihiro IENAGA (MF)
Many people’s player of the season and involved an insane amount given his advancing years. Most appearances, joint top league goalscorer and most significantly won the most Frontale Rabbit Man Of The Match awards,
he seems to be rolling back the years. In recent seasons has had spells where he seemed to really go off the boil and have some dodgy games but that didn’t happen to the same extent this year. Feel like he’ll probably need to be rested a bit more often next year but not sure how he’ll feel about that. I’m sure most fans will be delighted to see him putting away penalties and shrugging off opposition players for as long as possible.
Manager - Toru ONIKI
Not sure what to say really. I was really hoping he’d quit mid-season in our massive slump. I was really hoping he’d quit at the end of the season after we won nothing. I was really hoping Moriyasu would mess things up and Oniki would take his job. But none of these things happened. I was criticised a lot on Twitter for saying these things but suspect that I might know more about the state of the club and our performances than many people who had a go at me. I’m not saying I don’t appreciate what he’s done for us and I fully appreciate that he’s our most successful manager. But I think many people are letting his past achievements cloud what he’s done this year. I would love him to turn things round, but I feel that the only way he might do that would be by just carrying on doing the same things and waiting for our bad play to eventually change. And obviously that would mean a lot of bad games before we started doing a bit better which is clearly not a good thing. He’s been in this position before after the 2019 complete total failure season, (which was actually more successful than 2022), and he bounced back in style. Whether he is able to do so again in 2023, I’m not so sure. Our off-season recruitment doesn’t suggest that he thinks there’s anything much we need to change, but the total tedium of our 2022 performances suggest to me that there is a lot we need to do. Hopefully he can come up with some new ideas during his New Year break. I appreciate that when things go wrong he says he takes responsibility. But unfortunately that responsibility doesn’t seem to change anything on the pitch. I don’t enjoy moaning about him so would be delighted to see him back with a new plan and more success next year. And I’d also be delighted with a Christmas lottery win for me. I’m not sure which his more likely.