Monday, March 2, 2009

J1 2009 preview: Nagoya Grampus

Stadium: Toyota Stadium (45,000) and Mizuho Stadium (28,000)
Average Attendance 2008: 16,555
Last season's finish: 3rd
2009 season's transfers:
MF Ryota Isomura (Promoted from youth team)
MF Taishi Taguchi (Drafted from Ryutsu Keizai Kashiwa High School)
FW Davi (Transferred from Consadole Sapporo)
FW Hikaru Kuba (Drafted from Ryutsu Keizai Kashiwa High School)
MF Masayuki Omori (Released)
MF Keiji Watanabe (Released)
MF Yusuke Sudo (Transferred to Yokohama FC)
My view on the transfers:
Nagoya have brought in FW Davi from Consadole, as a direct replacement for the releasted Johnsen. Davi seems a better deal than Johnsen, but his loyalty to the club has already came under doubt as he was very near a move to Olympiakos earlier this year, even before playing a single match for Nagoya. MF Tanaka is also a solid acquisition and will be a good supplement to the team as he can play both as a back and a winger. Apart from Johnsen, there hasn't been any key members who have left the club, but frequent starters like MF's Fujita and Watanabe and DF's Katayama and Yoneyama are all gone which means the depth of the squad isn't as good as it was earlier. With participation in ACL as well, Nagoya might find themselves a bit short on quality players as it tears down alot on the players stamina to compete at two stages.
Preferrable starting line-up:
4-4-2: Narazaki - Tanaka, Yoshida, Bajalica, Abe - Ogawa, Nakamura, Yoshimura, Magnum - Davi, Tamada
My view on the team:
Their starting line-up looks quite strong, with a solid defence and talented bunch of midfielders. Ogawa and Magnum are two of the best wingers in the league, and will create alot of goalscoring opportunities for the two strikers with their nifty runs down the flanks. Davi is a beast, and is probably good for 20 goals or more if he keeps himself injury-free. Tamada is a great contributor to the team as well, and with Sugimoto in back-up they are well-covered. They have one of the best defences in the league as well.
Player to watch: Maya Yoshida
Manager: Dragan Stojkovic
"Pixy" made his debut as a manager last season, and managed to steer Nagoya to a highly impressive 3rd. A former fan-favorite from his playing-days with the club, Stojkovic has a good connection with both the fans and players. Opts for a defensive style of football, but as long as it gives results the fans couldn't care less about that.
Averages around 16 000, and have a decent group of hardcore fans that follows the team on away-matches. Nagoya has the great Toyota Stadium at their disposal, but opts instead for the much older and unattractice Mizuho for the majority of their home chances. The matches at Toyota usually attracts a bigger crowd though.
Where they will finish:
It's unlikely Nagoya will manage to match their 3rd place from last season, with ACL to think about and all. They have a solid squad though, and will most likely find themselves on the upper half of the table this year as well. A finish just below the top 4 or 5 seems most likely.
4th - 7th

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!