Wednesday, May 5

Shonan 2 - 2 Vissel

I can't believe we didn't win that game. Actually, yes I can. But instead of analyzing, again, how wrong Miura got his tactics, I think I'll try to focus on the positives.
Finally, we have a striker. For me, Tokura seems to be the best thing we've had up front since Kazu. He has the strength to fend off defenders while holding the ball up, his work rate is excellent, though not always accurate his willingness to have shots is refreshing and he is rarely beaten in the air. And he's only 23. I hope we can keep him.
Okubo was on the team sheet as a second striker but played quite deep for the entire match. Had it not been for him, they may have exploited us even more in the middle and the match could've ended in tragedy. Some might think that Okubo's talents as a striker are wasted if he's played in this role, but I disagree. I have mentioned a couple of times previously that I think he is most effective just behind the front two, even at the front of a diamond if we ever had the nerve to try something new, and I will stick to that. I mentioned to a comrade during the game that Okubo hardly ever loses the ball in midfield and he controls the ball faster than anyone in the squad - the ideal qualities to play that Lampard/Milner role. Yes, there was a time I doubted his effectiveness in that position due to his tendency to be selfish, but I'm starting to think this may have been due to the fact that he didn't trust the personnel around him.

I will quickly add, however, that I'm having serious doubts about the Edmilson/Matsuoka pairing, as well as Botti's form. I'll deal with these and other issues after the next match. I also have in mind a killer formation that our next manager can use when he is appointed during the summer!

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