Sunday, April 4

Grampus 2 - 0 Vissel

Vissel were convincingly beaten yesterday 2-0 away at Nagoya. 2 unstoppable free kicks from Burzanovic in the 26th and 72nd minutes gave Grampus a deserved 3 points and, in all honesty, the score line flattered us. They completely dominated us all over the park and I think Miura needs to take a close look at his tactics on Monday morning.

Our attack consisted mostly of long balls lobbed into the box, and I suspect Miura has not yet realized that Tulio now plays in central defense for Grampus. He won just about everything and barely worked up a sweat. It was obvious early on that Vissel were going to get nothing by doing this but we persisted with this tactic until the 94th minute. It was one-dimensional, boring and clearly wrong. When Miura watches the video, he will see that they played with a single defensive midfielder and that there was more than enough space either side to have Tanaka or Vamos Popo (our fastest players) running into those channels. Instead, Popo was stuck out on the left to provide heading practice for the best defender in the country. Ishibitsu did the same from the right. The thing that concerns me most about Miura is his inability to alter tactics/formations mid-game when necessary.

Although he didn't get on the score sheet, Kennedy deserves a mention. He was immense for them and we simply couldn't deal with his strength, height and ability to hold the ball up. He drew both fouls that led to their goals.

To make matters worse, Popo, already on a yellow card, lashed out in frustration when taken out of play less than one minute from the end and was given his marching orders via a straight red.
If the Hammers lose tonight, I'm gonna start watching volleyball.

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