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Thursday, 30 December 2010

S-Pulse 3-0 Gamba Osaka (Emp Cup Semi Final)

BarryBarry writes:

S-Pulse 3-0 Gamba Osaka
Johnsen 19, 61
Hyodo 28

Att. 14179

Line Up

GK K. Yamamoto

DF Ichikawa
DF Iwashita
DF Bosnar
DF Ota

MF Hyodo
MF Honda
MF
Ono

FW Okazaki
FW Johnsen
FW Fujimoto

Subs Used

Ito T. on for Ono (69)
Omae on for Johnsen (77)
Yamamoto on for Hyodo (90)

Report

Blimey. Five days ago we hadn't even played our quarter final. Now we're two days away from a cup final day out in Tokyo. When you've spent most of the days in-between drunk and/or bloated on Christmas gorging, it's more than a little surreal. I guess that's the unique magic of the Emperor's Cup!

Kick off
We played with a confidence and verve that surprised even me. We battered Osaka for long periods, and when they did launch attacks of their own, Kaito, who has stepped into the space left by the injured Nishibe, displayed safe hands time and again. Ono was a class above as usual, and the impact of the lack of Endo for the visitors was clearly apparent. Johnsen seems to like Ecopa, and he was on hand again to nod home his second and third goals at the Fukuroi stadium this year.

I'll keep it short because I'm tired, hung over and worn out from all that sambaing. Well, we ran around with a purpose and intent I've not seen for a while. We swept around the field with confidence and always looked like winning. If we can recreate that on Saturday I've no doubt we can win it against the Antlers. We're yet to lose to Kashima this season and owe them for the 2000 final when they did us 3-2 after extra time.

It's our fourth Emperor's Cup final appearance, and nineth cup final in total. From those previous eight, we've won only two. If nothing else, the law of averages is on our side! Losing seven out of nine would be statistically improbable. Therefore, we're going to win. :)

You'd better believe it!

The 90th Emperor's Cup. 2010 Final: Kashima Antlers versus Shimizu S-Pulse. Two of the five ever-presents in J1 face off together for more than the Emperor's Cup title. Also at stake is the fourth and final ACL berth. The game is totally sold out but my ticket is safely stashed under my pillow, so you can be assured of a full report on Sunday (or sometime in February is we lose).

Videos

Soneone's video of Johnsen's opener.



I took a video which happily coincided with Hyodo's bullet strike.



The big fella makes it 3-0 with his second of the day.



Outs

While I'm here, Nagasawa and Hiroi have been loaned out to J2 outfit Roasso Kumamoto for a year, while Takagi has left for Consadole Sapporo.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

S-Pulse 1-1 Yamagata (AET) S-Pa win 5-4 on Pens (Emp Cup 1/4 Final)

BarryBarry writes:

S-Pulse 1-1 Yamagata (AET)
Bosnar 109 -----------------Tashiro 107

(S-Pa win 5-4 on Pens)

Att. 11719

Line Up

GK K. Yamamoto

DF Ichikawa
DF Iwashita (yellow 118)
DF Bosnar
DF Ota

MF Hyodo
MF Honda
MF
Ono (yellow 41)

FW Okazaki
FW Johnsen
FW Fujimoto

Subs Used

Omae on for Ono (70)
M. Yamamoto on for Fujimoto (88)
Kijima on for Omae (111)

Report

Well, that was a novel way to spend a Christmas afternoon. :) Due to the way the calender fell this year, it was all down to Daira on the 25th for the quarter final of the cup. 90 minutes in the bitterly cold wind, followed by 30 more of extra time, more than once I considered the warmth of my kotatsu and a nicely chilled Asahi. But we're lucky in Japan in that there are very few games held in the winter months, so if I couldn't rouse myself to shout us on to the semi finals, I wouldn't be much of a fan, eh?

It was a long old haul, but we saw it through. The tension going into the second half of extra time exploded when Yamagata took the lead through Tashiro. It left us stood staring in silence at the blue and white masses cavorting around the terraces. It was a scene of euphoric bedlam that would have been pretty impressive were it not so sickeningly annoying.

HO HO HO

But we were soon jumping around hugging total strangers thanks to the big fella Bosar. He rose to flick a corner into the top right which sailed majestically past the despairing keeper. After a couple of close calls for both teams, to penalties it went. All five of our heroes hit the net, and with Yamagata's second kicker's effort being stopped by Kaito, our season is extended another four days.

Wednesday we're all off to Ecopa to face defending champions Gamba Osaka in what is our fifth cup semi final appearance in three years. Only once out of the other four did we get through to the final, so the law of averages is surely on our side! :-D See you there!

Penalty shoot outs - not fun for anyone concerned

Videos

Highlights:



Full video of the shoot out:

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Takahara signs for S-Pulse

BarryBarry writes:

News broke this morning of the capture of ex-national team forward Naohiro Takahara. The hugely popular player, who made his name playing for some second rate team in blue, plied his trade in Europe between 2001 and 2008. After an unsuccessful spell at the car crash of a club that was Urawa circa 08/09, he escaped from Saitama in July and has since been playing in Korea for Suwon Bluewings. He's bagged 4 goals in 12 games for the K. League side.

Takahara will no doubt be looking forward to playing alongside fellow Shimizu educated, Shizuoka lad Ono. In a stable, familiar, and most of all supportive environment, I'm confident we'll see a better side to him than what we saw in Urawa.

"There's only one team worth playing for in Shizuoka these days, and it sure as hell ain't Jubilo" the 31 year old wasn't quoted as saying. Read the official news release here.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Teru and Ichi Honoured

BarryBarry writes:

Hot on the heels of the news of their signing by Kofu, it's been announced that Teruyoshi Ito and Daisuke Ichikawa are to be decorated with the prestigious S-Pulse Honour Award. Ito has racked up over 600 appearances in both league and cup, with Ichikawa on 406 in all competitions. Together they've accumulated 30 years of service for the mighty Oranges. Impressive, and clearly deserving of the recognition.

Teru and Ichi join a select few, including such club legends as Masaaki Sawanobori and ex-manager Steve Perryman. They'll be presented with their awards at the conclusion of Saturday's Christmas Day Emperor's Cup extravaganza versus Yamagata.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Teru and Ichikawa to Kofu / Edamura to Stay

BarryBarry writes:

Teru and Ichikawa, released at the end of the season, are both ensured of top flight football next year. Each look set to be signing for newly promoted Kofu. This is both a great acquisition for Kofu, and good news for the pair's many fans at Nihondaira who won't have to go far to see them next term.

I'm going to go on record now and say that our away fixture in Yamanashi next season will sell out, and Kofu will avoid pulling a Shonan and stay up without too much difficulty. If I'm wrong I'll just come back and amend this posting in a year's time.

Edamura

Edamura's future was the subject of some speculation recently, but that seems to be at an end today with word apparently out that he's staying.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Muramatsu signs from Shonan / Nagahata signs for Kitakyushu

BarryBarry writes:

Following yesterday's capture of Takagi, today's good news is that S-Pulse are looking set to win the race to sign national team defender Taisuke Muramatsu from Shonan. Muramatsu is a Shizuoka lad born and bred, so welcome back to the fold, fella.

Yuki Nagahata

Nagahata has signed for J2 basement club Kitakyushu. After joining from university in 2008 Nagahata has been unable to make any impact on the first 11. Good luck to him down south.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Toshiyuki Takagi signs from Verdy / Okazaki's nose

BarryBarry writes:

19 year old Toshiyuki Takagi has signed from Tokyo Verdy. The teenage midfielder has represented Japan at Under 18 and Under 19 level and bagged 6 goals in 25 games for Verdy this season.

Welcome aboard the mighty Orange machine!

Okazaki

Okazaki, who is rumoured to be off to Germany, has broken his nose in training. However, he'll be fit for the cup 1/4 final with Yamagata next week.

Friday, 10 December 2010

It's Ghotbi Perfect! Afshin Ghotbi - Welcome to S-Pulse!

BarryBarry writes:

ا Yep, I thought about it for a while, and that title was just about the worst I could come up with. :)

Today S-Pulse announced our new coaching staff for 2011. As expected, Ghotbi takes the role of manager. Check out his full impressive CV here. Welcome to any readers from Iran! Personally I can't wait to to see how Ghotbi takes to the job. Joining him is Takashi Kiyama who becomes head coach, with Tomofumi Kuriyama as assistant coach.

A new physical, goalkeeping and additional coach have also been announced, full details available in Japanese on the official homepage.

Honda

In other news, Kashima have woken up to the fact they're a spent force and are trying to lure our Takuya Honda away. He's still under contract, so it'll cost them. The fella is instrumental to our midfield, and sure to play a central role under the exciting new regime, so hopefully Takuya will do the right thing, and tell Kashima to stick it.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Nishibe's Injury / Aoyama to YFM / Takahara? / Mystic Meg

BarryBarry writes:

Nishibe is out for four weeks following his horrific collision last weekend. Should we make it through, will he be back in time for the cup final on New Year's Day? What am I, Mystic Meg?

Aoyama has signed for Yokohama F. Marinos.

Ex-scum striker Takahara is rumoured to be on the S-Pulse Christmas shopping list. Shizuoka lad born and bred, and Shimizu educated, it was always such a waste he got tempted to the dark side as a youth. We've all done things we regret. Will he find salvation in a bright orange t-shirt? Would certainly put some extra bums on seats and flog a few scarves.

Monday, 6 December 2010

J. League Awards 2010 / Released Players

BarryBarry writes:

Jungo Fujimoto was named tonight in the best 11 in the annual J. League Awards. Despite playing all year as a member of the top three, he was included as a midfielder. Sure he's not complaining, though. Congratulations, fella! Now sign a new contract - you know it makes sense!!

The team in full is:

GK:
Narazaki

DF:
Tulio
Masukawa
Makino

MF:
Kengo
Marcio Richardes
Fujimoto
Danilson
Endo

FW:
Maeda
Kennedy

We reprised our annual award of Best Pitch, and rightly so. This is the third year running, and fourth time in total. The surface is near immaculate after a full season of league and cup games, so top marks to those who work so hard keeping it looking so good. Full details here (in Japanese).

Released Players

In other news, although known for weeks, it was officially announced today that Teru, Johnsen, Nishibe and Ichikawa's contracts won't be renewed for next year. Kim Dong Sub, who has been on loan at Tokushima, has been transferred to Gwanju FC in his native Korea.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

S-Pulse 0-3 Gamba Osaka

BarryBarry writes:

S-Pulse 0-3 Gamba Osaka
--------------------------------- Lucas 13
--------------------------------- Takei 45(+3)
--------------------------------- Sasaki 86

Att. 19088

Line Up

To come.

Report

Distasteful image of the day? Gamba Osaka players cavorting along the sideline, their fans waving their arms around in a perfectly choreographed victory dance, all while Nishibe is stretchered off to a waiting ambulance. The mindless group mentality and lack of compassion or concern as an obviously hurt player lay motionless was quite the chilling image. It's not one I hope to witness again. Personally, it left quite an impression and the fear for our keeper's health overshadowed most the remainder of the game.

As for the match, we were beaten by the better team, plain and simple. Kenta's reign is coming to an end, and the new era of Ghotbi and Kiyama is, to my mind, a pretty exciting prospect. Yes, we're letting some old faces go, but as part of the mission to turn us from also-rans into a genuinely competitive outfit, I'm behind the club's efforts 100%.

End of season ceremony

Of those leaving, Teru didn't get on, Ichikawa was very average, and Aoyama also never made it on. Nishibe, as mentioned, was stretchered off early on after a bone crunching collision with Arata. We finished the season in 6th, actually better than last year, but with the distinct impression of going nowhere. We still have every chance in the cup, and who knows? Maybe Kenta will go out with a final blaze of glory. Three weeks off until the quarter final is probably just what everyone needs.

On the bright side, if you think your teams has problems, it could be worse. FC Tokyo lost away to relegated Kyoto while Kobe leapfrogged them to safety with a 4-0 away thrashing of Urawa. After Urawa fans upset some thin-skinned Tokyo supporters with a banner congratulating them on the 2011 Tokyo Derby being in J2, ironically it was Urawa's own burgeoning shiteness which was the deciding factor in ending Tokyo's 10 year spell in the top flight. As the 4th best supported team in J1, their demotion is certainly the biggest news this weekend.

Videos

Why you'd bother watching, I don't know, but here you go anyway.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Kobe 1-0 Shimizu S-Pulse

BarryBarry writes:

Kobe 1-0 Shimizu S-Pulse
Mogi 83

Att. 14061

Line Up

GK Nishibe

DF Ichikawa
DF Hiraoka
DF Iwashita
DF Ota

MF Hyodo
MF Honda
MF
Ito T.

FW
Okazaki
FW Johnsen
FW Fujimoto

Subs Used

Tsujio on for Ichikawa (63)
Omae on for Hyodo (81)
Hara on for Ito T. (85)

Report

We blew it. Shortly before conceding we had a golden chance to take the lead but missed it. That said, Kobe were all over us for most the second half, including when they lost a man.

As always, the TV coverage was scandalously bad. One first half possible handball call in the box was ignored, and even the goal, which looked to me like the fella was offside, was only given one replay. From which angle? From behind the action, so it was impossible to tell. The way the TV companies censor the game is worthy of a BBC Panorama exposé. If there's a questionable call it's TV's fucking DUTY to show it from every angle possible until we know what happened.

Aaaah, bollocks. I'm just pissed off I won't be going to China for an away day next year. All credit to Kobe who totally earned the three points despite being a man down. They've probably left it too late, but for what it's worth, I hope they stay up.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

S-Pulse 2-1 Sanfrecce Hiroshima

BarryBarry writes:

S-Pulse 2-1 Sanfrecce Hiroshima
Hyodo 15------------------- Lee 81
Iwashita 39

Att. 17143

Line Up

GK Nishibe

DF Ichikawa
DF Hiraoka
DF Iwashita
DF Ota

MF Hyodo
MF Honda
MF
Fujimoto

FW Omae
FW Nagai
FW Okazaki

Subs Used

Ito T. on for Omae (59)
Johnsen on for Nagai (66)
Ito S. on for Fujimoto (80)

Report

Three wins in a row? Blimey. This really has been a season of three halves. The first great, the second apocalyptic, and the third, well, pretty nervy but ultimately good. With this win we've as good as secured a top six finish, one better than last year, but with two games still to play and second place still in reach why stop there?!

Ladies and Gentlemen - the J. League :)

We burst out the gates and had the better of the first twenty or so minutes and had a chance or two to take the lead before Hyodo was there to smash Omae's pass into the back of the net. I'll be honest, when he wound up to hit it I found myself involuntarily flinching given the high probability of it sailing in my direction. And I stand in the back row of the second tier. :-D To be be fair to him, it was a peach of a strike and keeper had no chance.

We extended the lead through Iwashita, who hasn't scored his trademark goal-from-a-corner for a while, so that was good to see. But then we spent most the rest of the game on the back foot. Hiroshima had God only knows how much of the possession, but just couldn't make the last ball most the time.

Out with the old? Sho Ito replaces Jungo

Just when they looked like they wouldn't be able to make the break through, they did, and it ensured a very nervous end to the game. Tempers started to flair and mistakes abounded, but we held on for the win. All credit must go to Nishibe who made a stunning one handed save at point blank range. He managed to turn a bullet header onto the bar and single-handedly (literally) win us the game. Top work that man.

Two games to go. Nothing but two victories is good enough if we hope to claim an ACL spot, and if we beat Kobe on Saturday they'll be relegated. Yes, the title has been decided (not Kashima for once!) and the bottom two teams are already down, but there's still some drama left in the 2010 J. League season!

Videos

Personal cams of both goals. First Hyodo's thumper.



Iwashita's:



Kachiloco - with Kenta!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Vegalta Sendai 1-3 Shimizu S-Pulse

BarryBarry writes:

Vegalta Sendai 1-3 Shimizu S-Pulse
Sugai 15 ----------------------------------------Fujimoto 29, 45+3
------------------------------------------------------Omae 89

Att. 17050

Line Up

GK Nishibe

DF Tsujio
DF Hiraoka
DF Iwashita
DF Arata

MF Hyodo
MF Honda
MF
Ito

FW Okazaki
FW Johnsen
FW Fujimoto

Subs Used

Ono on for Fujimoto (76)
Omae on for Okazaki (78)
Ichikawa on for Tsujio (91)

Report

What a cracking weekend away that was. I've still not had time to write much about the game or the following festivities around Sendai city centre, but will as soon as I get the chance. And before that chance comes we have another game tomorrow! Woo!

---------------------------

I never did get the chance to write more about this game, but it was certainly one of the best away days in memory. Top clowning from start to finish. Thank you to Sendai City for having us!

Cow tongue - much better than it sounds
2nd half kick off

Sendai supporters as good as ever
Video

Full highlights.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Cup Quarter Final Venue Confirmed

BarryBarry writes:

Emperor's Cup 1/4 Final, Nihondaira Stadium
Christmas Day 2010

S-Pulse v Yamagata

Kick off 1pm.

HO HO HO.

So much for Sendai! :) If we make it through, the semi final will be played at 1pm, Ecopa on December 29th.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Yokohama F. Marinos 0-3 S-Pulse (Emp Cup 4th Rnd)

BarryBarry writes:

Yokohama F. Marinos 0-3 S-Pulse
------------------------------------------------------------------------Fujimoto 48
------------------------------------------------------------------------Okazaki 72, 81

Att. 6054

Line Up

GK Nishibe

DF Tsujio
DF Hiraoka
DF Iwashita
DF Ota

MF Hyodo
MF Honda
MF
Ono

FW Okazaki
FW Nagai
FW Fujimoto

Subs Used

Omae on for Fujimoto (75)
Ito T. on for Ono (82)
Ito S. on for Okazaki (89)

Report

S-Pulse produced a virtuoso display (possibly) to beat Marinos 3-0 away from home and progress to the quarter finals of the Emperor's Cup. The quarter final will be played on Christmas Day, meaning I risk a mammoth bust up with the other half if I attempt to make it. Bollocks. Well, we'll worry about that later. I'm off out to celebrate and make up for having not been there.

Next we meet Montedio Yamagata who we have beaten in out last four meetings with an aggregate score of 10-1. Ho ho ho. Let's not get cocky, but the draw has been kind. The game is rumoured to be at Sendai's Yurtec Stadium, but as soon as anything in confirmed I'll post it here.

Kampai!

Videos

Okazaki's second, which made it 3-0. Excellent travelling support for a wet Wednesday away from home.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

S-Pulse 5-0 Shonan Bellmare

BarryBarry writes:

S-Pulse 5-0 Shonan Bellmare
Ono 45(+13)
Johnsen 57
Fujimoto 64
Okazaki 82, 88

Att. 16204

Line Up

GK Nishibe

DF Ichikawa
DF Hiraoka
DF Bosnar
DF Ota

MF Hyodo
MF Honda
MF
Ono

FW Okazaki
FW Johnsen
FW Fujimoto

Subs Used

Iwashita on for Bosnar (45)
Ito T. on for Ono (69)
Omae on for Hyodo (83)

Report

It's a bit different to England. The honour of being the ones to put the final nail in a team's relegation coffin is something you enjoy every moment of. You rub their noses in it over the course of the 90 minutes, and afterwards revel in the footage of their fans crying on the terraces. That's not exactly what happened today as we put our total against Shonan for the season to 11, at the same time ensuring they are down and out with four games still to play.

BeforeAfter

We weren't great, but Shonan are bottom of the table with 16 points for a reason. After sending them back to J2 after just one year back in the top flight what did we do? Why, we sang their team's name. Then they sang ours. Then all the women in the crowd burst into tears at the touchingness of it all. Yep, it's not quite the same as back home.

The first half was pretty uninspiring truth be told, with the most interesting thing being Nishibe breaking the goal. He stopped a corner going straight in, but wasn't able to stop himself tumbling into the side netting, pulling down a stanchion with him. It took a while, but the goal was fixed and play restarted. Rather than the clock stopping as you might expect, the interruption was added on as stoppage time. Hence Ono latching onto a perfect pass by Jungo to smash the ball home - in the 57th minute of the first half. It took the roof off the stadium, and changed the game.

A 57th minute first half goal? This was the reason

Up until half time we'd not really troubled the Shonan goal, but in the second half Bellmare's pretty clueless play was finally made to pay. Johnsen bagged a first goal for a while, and not long after the Ref went momentarily mad and awarded the softest penalty I've ever seen. Not only was Okazaki not fouled (merely made contact with a Shonan defender), but when he finally lost his footing (it wasn't a dive) he was a good foot or two outside the box.

Well, whatever. It made no difference. Shonan didn't get relegated on a dodgy penalty. They've been poor all season. After that, apart from one very good save from Nishibe, it was all S-Pulse, and Okazaki bagged a brace to take his total up to 13 for the year so far. Four games to go. Can we make an ACL position? Probably not, but that's not going to stop me and my UKU buddies hitting Sendai for a weekend of football, booze, scarf twirling and arm waving S-Pulse style!

¡Olé olé, olé olé!

Videos

Full highlights:

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Ventforet Kofu 6-0 Giravanz Kitakyushu

BarryBarry writes:

Ventforet Kofu 6-0 Giravanz Kitakyushu
Paulinho 16
Yabu 34, 70
Havenaar 37, 39, 51

Att. 11219

Line Up

Dunno.

Report

With a free day to kill, I decided to make the short trip to prefectural neighbours Kofu. Seeing as they are virtually now assured a promotion spot, I figured not only would it be a nice day out, it would also be a chance to do a spot of recon work on what we can expect next season. Apart from the vomit-inducingly stinky portacabin toilets (which by the end of the game were spilling their contents onto the concourse) it was a thoroughly good day out. Kofu demonstrated, albeit against the worst team in the the country, why they are heading for promotion back to J1, with Havenaar bagging a hat-trick in front of an adoring home crowd.

Kitakyushu never really troubled the home team, and Kofu looked like scoring nearly every time they went forward. At five nil, they seemed to sit back and be content to play out the rest of the game, but even then they managed a 6th goal. Kitakyushu's defense was shoddy at the best of times. It's no shock to see they have a goal difference of minus 37. Being their first year in the J. league they'll surely improve over the next few seasons.

Back to J1 next season - Kofu

Speaking of the crowd, over 11000 were treated to the home team's biggest win of the season. Given that Kitakyushu's fans numbered only double figures, next season Kofu may well be selling a few games out. More home fans, plus a thousand or two from the visitors, next year should see a few bumper crowds for sure. This puts into perspective jubilo's home gate yesterday. You'd think seeing as they just fluked their way to a cup title a few more people might show up, right? No, they got a measly 7400, 4000 less than Kofu, and only a couple of hundred more than what we managed during a bloody TYPHOON.

The big number 14 - Mike Havenaar

Anyway, today was about Kofu. I'm looking forward to visiting again next year, although not too thrilled about the distance between the end stands and the pitch. Another ground to rival the Banpaku and Todoroki for shiteness of view, and I'll be bringing a nose peg for the toilets. But at least it's another local team, so here's to a couple of good games with Kofu in 2011. J1 and J2 are entirely different prospects, as Shonan have found out, but good luck to Ventforet next year. Welcome back to J1!

Over 11000 for Kitakyushu's biggest defeat of the year

Videos

Here's a cute one of the Kofu fans' goal celebration dance.


Saturday, 6 November 2010

Cerezo Osaka 1-0 S-Pulse

BarryBarry writes:

Cerezo Osaka 1-0 S-Pulse
Komatsu 83

Att. 10877

Line Up

GK Nishibe

DF Ichikawa
DF Hiraoka
DF Bosnar
DF Ota

MF Hyodo
MF Honda
MF
Yamamoto

FW Okazaki
FW Johnsen
FW Fujimoto

Subs Used

Omae on for (62)
Nagai on for Johnsen (78)
Hara on for Ota (87)

Report

Another meek defeat. This season really can't end soon enough. A thorough clean out will be just what the doctor ordered. Onwards an upwards! The only thing left to play for is finishing above the scum for a fifth year running. It's not much, but it's something. :)

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Coaching Staff - All Change

BarryBarry writes:

Further to Kenta Hasegawa's exit, all but one of the current coaching staff will be quitting at the end of the season. Our head coach, two assistant coaches, physical coach and goal keeping coach are all heading for the door, with only one assistant coach, Tomofumi Kuriyama remaining. Full details can be found here.

Latest rumours have been putting Mito's manager Takashi Kiyama as favourite to take over the role of head coach. A soon as anything is official it'll be on here.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Hasegawa's Resignation Official - The Rumour Mill Begins

BarryBarry writes:

The end of Kenta's reign is now official. Whether he was simply denied a new contract or took the decision himself, I guess we'll have to wait to find out. Teruyoshi Ito and Daisuke Ichikawa are said to be leaving with him, with Frode also in his final year for us. Whoever takes us over next year will have a few squad numbers to fill.

Speaking of which, former Saudia Arabian national team manager, the Dutchman Gerard van der Lem, is being touted as a potential replacement for Kenta. Mito HollyHock manager Takashi Kiyama is also being mentioned. Another name also in the mix is that of Afshin Ghotbi, current Iranian national team coach. Hasegawa's timing is good insomuch as it gives the club a nice long period in which line up his successor.

Watch this space.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Kenta Hasegawa to Resign

BarryBarry writes:

Breaking news. Kenta Hasegawa is to resign as manager at the end of this season. Can't say it's a surprise, but for all my moaning and whinging I'm not blind to the fact he took us a long way from the near relegation fodder we were back in 2004.

The main reason behind his decision is said to be the inability to turn a team including the likes of Okazaki and Fujimoto into a truly competitive outfit. The news is expected to he officially announced November 2nd; Tuesday.

The biggest thing I'm worried about is that Kenta's kids, like Jungo, will follow him out the door.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

S-Pulse 1-2 FC Tokyo

BarryBarry writes:

S-Pulse 1-2 FC Tokyo
Omae 78---------------------Hirayama 32
----------------------------------Oguro 65

Att. 7117

Line Up

GK Nishibe

DF Ichikawa
DF Hiroi
DF Iwashita
DF Ota

MF Hyodo (yellow 64)
MF Honda (yellow 88)
MF
Ono

FW Edamura
FW Johnsen
FW Fujimoto

Subs Used

Nagai on for Johnsen (56)
Okazaki on for Ono (66)
Omae on for Edamura (77)

Report

It's enough to make you cry. Another awful result against piss poor opposition, and our league season is as good as over. It wouldn't be quite so bad if all the teams around hadn't dropped points too. Had we not capitulated against Kyoto and won today we'd now be 2nd. Just goes to show that that something we're missing (and have been for the last few years) is all the difference between another 6th or so placed finish and actually accomplishing something.

It pissed down all game
At least now we can enjoy the rest of the year without worrying about making an ACL position. Away in Sendai should be a lot of fun. Sightseeing, booze up, maybe even a snowball fight. All without the stress of the result mattering. :wrysmile:

Videos

One small cause of mirth was Tokyo's third goal being missed by the officials. The ball clearly crossed the line after Nishibe produced another classic from his seemingly bottomless bag of howlers.



Not that it changed anything in the long run, but having stood in the pissing rain for 85 minutes, it was nice to get a break.

Full highlights:

Friday, 29 October 2010

S-Pulse v Tokyo - Subject to Change

BarryBarry writes:

What with a typhoon due to pass over Shizuoka tomorrow lunchtime, our game with Tokyo (kick off 1pm) is officially subject to change. A news release this evening has warned of the potential of an alteration to the kick off time, or of it being postponed altogether.

Check the latest news on the club homepage before heading off.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Yamagata 0-3 S-Pulse

BarryBarry writes:

Yamagata 0-3 S-Pulse
---------------------------------------Edamura 32
---------------------------------------Fujimoto 61
---------------------------------------M. Yamamoto 78

Att. 12543

Line Up

GK Nishibe

DF Ichikawa
DF Iwashita
DF Hiraoka (yellow 66, red 66)
DF Ota

MF Hyodo
MF Honda
MF
Ono

FW Edamura
FW Johnsen
FW Fujimoto

Subs Used

Hiroi (yellow 71) on for Ono (68)
M. Yamamoto on for Fujimoto (76)
Hara on for Edamura (79)

Report

Hardly vintage S-Pulse, but a win is a win, and after last week, it'll do. It'll have to. The league title is a virtual impossibility, and the remaining two spots worth having are also other team's to lose, but all we can do is win. FC Tokyo at home next week who haven't won away in the league since July.

Jungo - who is attracting offers from Nagoya and F. Marinos

I thought we looked poor for the first twenty minutes, and I had a sinking feeling that we were going to struggle. But fair play to the boys, they turned it around and took the three points, even after Hiraoka was harshly send off. His second yellow was fair, but the first 30 seconds earlier was not a yellow. Speaking of cards, Iwashita was very lucky not to go in the book when he tumbled over with Yamagata's number 10, Tashiro. As the pair went down, Iwashita seemed to drive his foot up into his opponent's ribcage. Tashiro was, as you'd imagine, raging after, as neither the linesman or ref spotted it.

Job done. Win our next, and if things go our way, we may be back in with a shot at an ACL spot. But we'll see.

Videos

Yet to find decent highlights, but here's a personal video from behind the home goal. Our first and third are captured.


Saturday, 16 October 2010

S-Pulse 1-1 Kyoto

BarryBarry writes:

S-Pulse 1-1 Kyoto
Hara 4 -----------------------Diego 89

Att. 14221

Line Up

GK Nishibe

DF Ichikawa
DF Hiraoka
DF Iwashita
DF Ota

MF Hyodo
MF Ito T.
MF
Ono

FW Hara
FW Johnsen
FW Edamura

Subs Used

Nagai on for Hara (81)
Omae on for Edamura (91)
Ito S. on for Hyodo (92)

Report

Shit. Horrendous defending on the equaliser. Sluggish play for the majority of the game against a team who will be average in J2 next year.

Kick off
Another kick off on Sunday
I was free, so I went here
Video

Highlights. At least Hara's goal was good.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Emp Cup Last 16 Venue Confirmed

BarryBarry writes:

Our Emperor's Cup last 16 game will be played away at Yokohama F. Marinos' second home ground of Mitsuzawa Stadium. Kick off is 7pm, Wednesday November 17th.

I WANT TO GO.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

S-Pulse 4-1 Mito Hollyhock (Emp Cup 3rd Rnd)

BarryBarry writes:

S-Pulse 4-1 Mito Hollyhock
Iwashita 63-----------------Ohashi 53
Ono 66
Omae 91
Ota 94

Att. 3107

Line Up

GK Nishibe

DF Tsujio
DF Hiroi
DF Iwashita
DF Ota

MF Hyodo
MF Yamamoto M.
MF
Ito T.

FW Ito S.
FW Nagai
FW Hara

Subs Used

Ono on for Ito T. (63)
Omae on for Yamamoto M. (79)
Nagasawa on for Hyodo (85)

Report

As I sit here scoffing the last of my S-Pulse birthday cake, finally I have some happy tidings to convey. We won a game! It feels like an age, and it's certainly been a while since we scored four. Yes, it was against J2 opposition, but boy does it relieve some of the gathering darkness of recent weeks.

It was all change after Sunday's aggregate defeat. Only Nishibe, Hyodo and Yamamoto remained, with Ito Sho making a first start. He was joined up top by Nagai and Hara. Not a bad front line by any means, and I was impressed with Sho's tricky dribbling game. He has a verve and confidence about him which I like, and want to see more of - especially against higher level opponents.

It looks like a comfortable enough scoreline on the face of it, but our four only came after an absolute howler by Nishibe to gift Mito a lead. Think Green's spillage for England in the World Cup and you've pretty much got it. A speculative effort from Ohashi should have been a straightforward collect, but the ball squirmed up and out of Yohei's hands and into the net. Not that it was the visitor's first attempt. Up to that point, Mito had hit us on the counter more than once and even had the ball in the net, but it was ruled out by the lineman's flag.

Mito's hardy travelling bunch

Nishibe's error kick started us somewhat, and after five corners in quick succession, we finally broke through via Iwashita. Three minutes later a penalty was put home by the just-brought-on Ono, whose introduction did the trick. He steadied the ship and helped sort out what creativity we'd been lacking in the centre of the park. After getting in front though, we did then tend to sit back and invite Mito onto us, which ensured a nervy end to the game. That was until the very end when a couple of swift moves resulted in goals for Omae and Ota, with Ota's being the last kick of the game.
Kick off
In the next round we play Yokohama F. Marinos. The game is scheduled for Wednesday November 17th, location to be confirmed.

Videos

Iwashita's equaliser.



Here's a vid I took of our second, Ono's penalty - his third goal in three games, no less!



Omae with our third.



Ota makes it four.