Monday, March 2, 2009

J1 2009 preview: Kashiwa Reysol

Stadium:Hitachi Kashiwa Stadium (15,900) and Kashiwa-no-ha Stadium (20,000)
Average Attendance 2008: 12,308
Last season's finish: 11th

2009 season's transfers:
DF Hiroki Sakai (Promoted from youth team)
MF Kohei Higa (Promoted from youth team)
MF Ren Sengoku (Promoted from youth team)
MF Masato Yamazaki (Promoted from youth team)
MF Kosuke Taketomi (Promoted from youth team)
FW Masato Kudo (Promoted from youth team)


My view on the transfers:
Among the newcomers, the two midfielders Adebayo from Nigeria and Alceu from Brazil are the only one of any quality. A bit strange Reysol didn't opt to strengthen their team more, as last season clearly showed they lack depth to challenge for a top 5 finish. MF Alex has moved to rivals JEF, but Alceu is a direct replacement for him. Adebayo is an exciting prospect, and the Nigerian is hoping to follow in the footsteps of his African compatriots Patrick Mboma and Seydou Doumbia, who both had success in Japan. Overall the team looks to have pretty much the same quality as last season though, which were hampered by injuries to key members. If they can avoid that this season they might not be too far from the top come december.

Preferrable starting line-up:
4-4-1-1: Sugeno - Otani ,Koga ,Kobayashi, Kurakawa - Suganuma, Ota, Sugiyama/Adebayo, Alceu - Lee - Franca

My view on the team:
Up front it doesn't look too bad, with Franca and Lee forming a deadly partnership. They got Popo in back-up, who although isn't much of a goalscorer is a valuable member of the team nonetheless. Adebayo will probably be lightly matched at first, but as he will get used to the japanese style of football, we will probably see more and more of him. Alceu is injured for the first months of the 2009-season, which means we'll see either Popo or Kurisawa taking his role. The defence is unchanged, which isn't necessarily a good thing. There were times last season when Reysol looked really poor defending, and they could do well with a few acquisitions.

Player to watch: Tadanari Lee

Manager: Shinichiro Takahashi
A rather unknown name in japanese football, and no real previous coaching experience at this level. Will probably not make too many changes from last season when it comes to playing-style and tactic, atleast not in the beginning.

Reysol are known for having the nastiest fans in Japan, and Kashiwa are often tagged "The home of the hooligans" in Japan. Not all of them are looking for trouble though, and the hardcore-fans are perhaps among the most intimating fans in Japan. A small and poor stadium doesn't help on the atmosphere though, and only Omiya have a smaller average-crowd.

Where they will finish:
Reysol are relying heavily on their offensive shot-guns in Franca,Lee, Alceu etc. If they will have as many injuries to their key players as they had last season, Reysol will be in for a hard task as the squad is quite thin. Bad news already with Alceu missing atleast the two opening months of the season, and considering how prone to injuries Franca and Lee have been in the past, my guess is that's not the last of injury-woes Reysol will see this season. A lower-half finish seems most likely, but they should be able to avoid the drop. However, injury-free the team has potential to finish within the top 10, but with a in-experienced manager and thin squad I think they will struggle.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To my point of view ,it seems kasiwa reysol never realised the game of adebayo adigun because that is a talented soccer boy but never allow him to express his game ,that boy has been soccer buy right from his youth