Saturday, 28 May 2011

Jubilo Iwata Supporters in Terrorist Slur Towards Afshin Ghotbi

BarryBarry writes:

You know one of the many things I like about the J. League? The ability to have a good, healthy rivalry between teams without the off field problems or political tensions of certain showdowns around the world.

Well, take a bow Jubilo Iwata supporters. Some of your ranks succeeded in dragging this year's Shizuoka Derby into the gutter with a truly foul display of racist stereotyping.

"Ghotbi, stop making nuclear weapons!"

Afshin Ghotbi was born in Iran and moved to America as a child. Not that any of this should have anything to do with anything, of course. To most people in Nihondaira today it didn't. But a small group of Iwata supports clearly though it such an issue to spend the time effort and money to make the above banner.

Think for a moment how this looks to the world. A man of Iranian heritage comes to Japan to work, and within months is labelled on national TV as a terrorist. Nobody thinks for a minute that those Jubilo fans actually believe that, but to be making such displays of race discrimination so freely and without any shame is simply abhorrent.

The banner sparked a near riot as large numbers of the S-Pulse supports were so incensed as to run the entire length of the stadium to confront and demand the flag. To my mind they were 100% justified in their actions and deserve applause for not letting this pass without words.

The banner incited violent confrontations

The livid home fans didn't leave the away end for half an hour. I hear the Iwata supporters responsible were apprehended. They deserve to be banned from J. League stadiums for life for bringing shame to one of the oldest derby fixtures in the J. League, and inciting angry brawls that endangered women and children in the crowd. Punches were thrown, flags torn down and a whole lot of pushing and shoving. It may not sound much, but this is virtually unheard of in Japan, and just the type of thing that can turn hundreds of people off the game.

Incensed S-Pulse fans refused to leave the away end

Above and beyond this, what of Afshin Ghotbi himself? He comes to Japan to manage S-Pulse and gets vile racist abuse. Poor fella. What a welcome to the country. The message to the world today, for it is all over Twitter, is "Japan racially stereotypes with no shame." The J. League needs to come down on those responsible like a ton of bricks to show that this won't be tolerated.

One S-Pulse fan who joined the angry mob told me "It can't be allowed. It had to be challenged." One Jubilo supporter told me "It's fucking stupid." Yep, it is. It's foul and left a bad taste in the mouth. It's time for the J. League to act, and act swiftly.

Ghotbi - I'm so very, very sorry you had to see that. Please don't take these wannabe hooligans' words to heart. Most people in Japan are decent folk who won't let this type of thing go unchallenged. You saw how our fans defended your honour - and that is the majority of this country.

Sunday May 29th Update:

Those responsible have been identified on YouTube.

Jubilo have issued a full unreserved apology to Afshin Ghotbi, S-Pulse supporters, everyone at the game, and everyone who loves the game of football.

Two males in their teens were detained after the game and interviewed by the police and match commissioner. The J. League are waiting on the official report.

S-Pulse new boy and former Jubilo striker Takahara was reported as expressing his disappointment with Iwata's fans.

Videos

The moment the flag was unveiled.



The shit immediately hitting the fan.







Oh, yeah - the game ended 0-0.

Friday, 27 May 2011

SHIZUOKA IS ORANGE - DERBY DAY IS UPON US

BarryBarry writes:

On the off chance that Mr Ghotbi should click on through our humble pages this evening, a plea.

The Shizuoka Derby may not rank up there on the world stage with Barca vs Real, or Boca Juniors vs River Plate, but believe me when I say it matters.

This game has sold out the last three years and would have done tomorrow but for the weather. Don't mistake those empty seats for lack of interest. The 14000 S-Pulse maniacs (and 50 or so jubilo goons) will be making up for the empty seats with everything they have to help their team claim bragging rights until September.

This is what happened in 2009:



This Derby Day is huge in Shizuoka, and we want the win - we want it bad! We've not lost at home to the KitKat flag waving yokels since 2003, and we do want to regain old habits tomorrow. Come on S-Pulse, for Shimizu, for Shizuoka, and for all that is good and right in Japanese football - beat the scummers!!!!

Some KitKat fans

How you support a team without waving huge chocolate bar adverts around:



REAL SHIZUOKA - SHIMIZU S-PULSE

Thursday, 26 May 2011

S-Pulse - The Most English Speaking team in the J. League?

BarryBarry writes:

Just a random thought. Is S-Pulse the most English speaking club in the J. League? Bosnar and Alex of course are native speakers, but then we have Ono, who I've chatted with very briefly and speaks excellent English. In addition, Nagai and Sho Ito both reportedly speak the language well. Then the gaffa himself is another native speaker.

Shimizu Eigo-Pulse. :)

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Omiya 1-4 S-Pulse

BarryBarry writes:

Omiya 1-4 S-Pulse
Rafael 93 ------------ Brosque 39
----------------------------Takahara 50, 59
----------------------------Tsujio 69

Att. 6668

Line Up

GK Usui

DF Tsujio (yellow 36)
DF Iwashita
DF Bosnar
DF Ota

MF Ono
MF Muramatsu
MF Brosque

FW Omae
FW Takahara
FW Takagi

Subs Used

Edamura on for Genki (64)
Ito on for Ono (73)
Kobayashi on for Brosque (82)

Report

The goals have been coming. Anyone who watched our last couple of games will have seen that, even though the results haven't been great, we did create several great chances. Today we got the rub of the green and some of them went in. Conversely, Omiya hit the woodwork I think three times, much like us last week.

For most of the first half Omiya were the better team, but the goal from Brosque took the wind out of their sails. Right before half time, and against the run of play is a big blow to come back from, and after we started the second half much improved, taking only five minutes to build on our lead, there wasn't any coming back for the home team.

Takahara started as centre forward ahead of the dropped Sho Ito who had drawn a blank for the first six games of the season. To be fair to the lad, he's been achingly close in the past few weeks, and today he had us thinking we'd made it 5 but for a stunning reaction save from Kitano. Takahara, who has been played on the left thus far, was in his natural predatory zone today and his first goal, on the half volley from a Tsujio run and cross, was sweetly struck. The second came after a poor back pass (I think?), and a hesitating keeper, gave the pouncing Taka all the time in the world to compose himself and stroke a shot of some class past Kitano.

That really meant game over, but we were in the zone and were determined to make up some ground on our goal difference. Tsujio added to his assists with a shot that crept in past the post. The big man fully deserved it. It was after this that Sho, on for Ono, very nearly got on the scoresheet. He really needs a goal, does Sho.

Good news - Daigo made his S-Pulse debut for the last ten minutes and received a nice warm round of boos from his former fans. It'll take a little while to regain his full match sharpness, but he'll get there, and despite the long lay off was getting stuck right in. Takagi looked spellbinding at times and I hope he gets his first goal in an orange shirt next Saturday again the scum.

That's enough rambling from me. So I'll sign off with thanks to Omiya Steve and co for number one, picking up the phone, and number two, being so hospitable despite the result. You are more than welcome to join us for beers after the return leg later in the year. :)

I went to Omiya in 2008. It was much the same

Not every team does this. Nice touch
Tsujio makes it 4
Full time
In previous weeks he kept drifting to centre forward - and today he showed why
Videos

Highlights:



Personal video of Tsujio's's goal. The J. League's 15000th, no less.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Shimizu S-Pulse

BarryBarry writes:



以上。

Sunday, 15 May 2011

S-Pulse 1-5 Kobe

BarryBarry writes:

S-Pulse 1-5 Kobe
Takahara 77

Att. 14350

Line Up

GK K. Yamamoto

DF Tsujio
DF Okane
DF Bosnar
DF Ota

MF Edamura
MF Iwashita
MF Brosque

FW Omae
FW Ito
FW Takagi

Subs Used

Ono on for Tsujio (HT)
Nagai on for Okane (61)
Takahara on for Ito (75)

Report

Dear oh dear. We got well and truly done yesterday. It started with a shocking error of judgement by Kaito who, rushing out of his area to prevent a ball going out for a corner, only managed to knock it to Okubu. He calmly stroked it home to open the scoring. Ghotbi slammed the mistake as something he'd expect from the youth team.

With all said and done, it was a poor performance, but if we could play the rest of our games with the frantic hunger (some may say like headless chickens - but that would be being harsh) that we showed for a lot of the second half, we'll score a shed load of goals this season. Ono's introduction at half time displayed once again his importance, and at 2-0 on 55 minutes, but with the bit between our teeth, Sho Ito's shot thundered off the bar. It would be the defining moment and turning point in the game. Why? Because Kobe went straight down the other end and made it three, pretty much ending any hopes of a comeback.

We still managed to create several good chances, including hitting the woodwork again, but it just wasn't going to happen. While we continued to create chances, we left ourselves woefully exposed at the back and time and and again Kobe capitalised. I didn't think Okane had the most inspiring of full starts, but give the lad time. I'm looking forward to Hiraoka's return from injury, though.

Well, next week we're away at Omiya and need to avoid defeat as a matter of some urgency. I don't doubt we will, and I bet the boss had a few choice words for the lads after yesterday's game. It's going to be this type of season, and we're all aware of it, so most supporters are doing just that - supporting while we find our feet.

Here's some pictures.

Time wasting at 4-1 with ten minutes to go

More cringe inducing time wasting. Bosnar and Ota's expressions say it all
The ref can't make eye contact
Know how you feel, mate
Well, I'm glad someone had a good time
Videos

Reaction from the home fans.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Nagoya 1-1 S-Pulse

BarryBarry writes:

Nagoya 1-1 S-Pulse
Tamada 8 ---------------- Brosque 18

Att. 11559

Line Up

GK K. Yamamoto

DF Tsujio
DF Iwashita (c)
DF Bosnar
DF Ota

MF M. Yamamoto
MF Edamura
MF Brosque

FW Omae
FW Ito
FW Takagi

Subs Used

Takahara on for M. Yamamoto (67)
Atomu on for Takagi (93)

Report

What a game of football that was. Perfect for the neutral, but for either set of fans, tension and nerves right up to full time. Really glad I made the trip though. It was a really enjoyable afternoon in Aichi and worries of rain being totally unfounded. Blazing sunshine throughout meant most of us went home with our first tan of the year.

Welcome to Pixieland

The start wasn't ideal. Nagoya were the stronger out the gates, and after a period of pressure, Tsujio got beaten to a ball on the halfway line he really should have made. It was a momentary lapse in an otherwise good game for him. This error let Nagai scythe down the wing unchallenged before popping a perfectly weighted ball over for Tamada to nod in. Memories of last year's five goal capitulation started edging their way into my mind. But we responded well and were level within ten minutes.

This time it was the champions' turn to make a mess of things, with keeper Narazaki under no pressure on a backpass hitting it short enough for Genki to pounce. He stopped Genki's effort, but could only parry it to a waiting Brosque who calmly stroked home his first goal in an S-Pulse shirt.
Grampuskun's daughter Gurara says hello at half time

After what was possibly a nervous first 45 in his full début, Toshiyuki Takagi had a cracking second half. He was running Grampus ragged at times, and on another day might have got on the score sheet. Excellent signing he's turning out to be and I'd have him start again next week ahead of Takahara. I overhead a Nagoya fan talking to his son outside the ground after "Their number 13 is good, isn't he!" Yep, he had an excellent time of it.
Well played, lads!

We were unlucky not to take the lead on a few occasions over the second half, the most notable being a trademark run from Genki down the right resulting in a shot off the post. Edamura was on hand but somehow couldn't get quite enough on it to put it past the defender on the line. The home team also brought a number of saves out of Kaito, and had they not been missing the taller Kennedy would have had a far greater chance of grabbing a winner.

So in summary - again without our main man Ono, but we are improving game by game. We were against an understrength Nagoya team but make no mistake, they will be there or thereabouts come December. Takagi was excellent, the crowd was small (11500 for the champions! In a city of 2.1million! In Golden Week!!!), the beer girls were friendly, it was a good game as captain for Iwashita, Kaito was solid as a rock, Toyota Stadium is bloody stunning, and the young Nagoya fan I saw bounding out of Mizuho at the end singing our "Ole, ole, ole ole!" put a smile on my face all the way back to the subway station. :)
Can we play it here next time? Pleeeeeease?

Videos

A video in Chinese (maybe) with just the goals until something better shows up. Both goals come from errors, as you can see.



Sending the lads off to the changing room with a song.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Nagoya v S-Pulse

BarryBarry writes:

OK, so I've already buckled and broken from my promise to myself of Only New Grounds this season. I'm perversely looking forward to sitting in the rain in the oldest ground in the league in a game few would give us much hope of winning. You don't need me to tell you though, that's what football is all about.

But I do also plan to drop by Toyota City and check out the stunning Toyota Stadium. Sadly we get Mizuho tomorrow with it's running track and lack of cover, but hopefully next season we'll be one of the handful of games at the beautiful new ground. We'd certainly do our part and fill our end, so come of Nags, do the right thing in 2012. :)

Expect a match report sometime Sunday afternoon on account of me being knackered / pissed off / drunk / rowing with the other half about how much I spend on football on Saturday. It's bound to be one of the four. :D

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

S-Pulse 0-1 Hiroshima

BarryBarry writes:

S-Pulse 0-1 Hiroshima
-------------------------------- Mujiri 70

Att. 18847

Line Up

GK K. Yamamoto

DF Tsujio (yellow 84)
DF Hiraoka
DF Bosnar (yellow 89)
DF Ota

MF Iwashita
MF Edamura
MF Brosque

FW Omae (yellow 2)
FW Ito
FW Takahara

Subs Used

Takagi on for Takahara (55)
M. Yamamoto on for Edamura (68)
Atomu on for Hiraoka (80)

Report

Two teams destined for midtable finishes if this game was anything to go by. Granted, Hiroshima are not a team under reconstruction, so I guess we can take more hope for the rest of the season than the visitors. Maybe that's just my blind optimism, though? :D Fair play to the purple bears, they smashed and grabbed and made off back west with three points.

Koinobori out for the Children's Day national holiday

Ito up front drew another blank with no attempts of note. Not calling for his head, but he needs to start to find his killer instinct sooner rather than later. He's playing up top with Takahara and Omae either side. Takahara was working hard on the left, but he's not got the pace of old to beat defenders every time, and after half an hour was drifting into his natural predatory zone of centre top.

There was no Ono today, presumably rested for the clash away in Nagoya. We did miss his creativity, and Brosque playing back behind the top line didn't really do it for me. I'd have him up front instead of Ito for Saturday, but then I'm not the manager, so it's easy for me to sit here and pretend like I know what I'm talking about. I'm 100% behind Ghotbi while he figures it all out. Game by game, the level of interest re the line up and tactics is above anything in the steady steady Kenta years. Need to get a few three points under our belts though, obviously.
Toshiyuki Takagi - Future S-Pulse Legend

So, good points? Takagi and Atomu both looked good, especially Takagi who had a longer run out. Can't wait to see more of him. Pacey and imaginative. He even had a cheeky crack from outside the area which went just over. 18800 people turned up was above and beyond expectations. A good following from Hiroshima too, but had this been against a nearby team it would have been sold out. Ota was exciting down the wing, but on the left, any chance we can sign Hiroshima's Mikic? He's got a great cross on him, and can turn defenders with with ease. Definitely a dangerman.

Nagoya away on Saturday. Shall I go? Maybe.

Videos

Here's a personal video from the purple zone of their goal. Be sure to DISLIKE it. ;)

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

IBWM Reawakens - and is full of S-Pulse

BarryBarry writes:

The excellent world football news and article site In Bed With Maradona was relaunched today, and is full of S-Pulse. Check out the selection of pictures taken by yours truly and which features, Tony Hart style, in their gallery.

Right, I'm off to Nihondaira feeling very pleased with myself. :)

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Mike Havenaar Racially Abused by Kashiwa Fans

BarryBarry writes:

Disappointing news emerged from Chiba this Golden Week weekend as Kashiwa Reysol fans dragged the good name of the J. League through the mud.

It's being reported that the Japanese striker of Dutch parentage Mike Havenaar was subjected to various abuse, including kuso hakujin (lit: shit whiteman) during Kofu's match in Kashiwa on Friday. It might not sound much, but can be equated to someone shouting fucking Jap.

Who knows if Bosnar and Brosque were given the same abuse in March? Unlike Havenaar, neither were born and raised in Japan, so may not have picked up on it as the Kofu forward would have.

Either way, way to go Kashiwa fans; dragging Japanese football into the dark ages. The incident is being investigated by the J. League.