The only time I can bear mentioning Gamba in posts is when we beat them. Nevertheless, we have signed two players from the dark side and I feel as though it should be known.
Hideo HASHIMOTO was an absolute legend for Gamba. He came up through their junior and youth teams, and was a mainstay in the senior team for 14 consecutive years. He has won EVERYTHING with Gamba; the league, the Nabisco Cup, the Emperor's Cup, the Super Cup and the Asian Champion's League. Primarily a defensive midfielder, he is versatile and talented enough to play almost any position on the park, and often switches positions mid-match. Many Gamba goals can be sourced to his build-up play and he has no problem finding the net himself. He was a regular member of the national squad between 2007 and 2010. Simply put, he is a terrific footballer. But Gamba have obviously felt that he is of no use to them anymore. He played only 4 league matches in 2011 and he will be 33 next year. I'm reserving judgement, for now, on this signing.
Some of you may remember Kazumichi TAKAGI. He played half a season for us back in 2004 on loan from S-Pulse. He plays most of his football at center back, although he can also play at left back or defensive midfield if needed. At 188cm, he is set to be our tallest outfield player. He is a great header of the ball in a defensive role, but has not been known to use his height in attack. I still have an image of him as a Shimizu player, in particular the Hasegawa team from the mid 2000's. Unfortunately, his last 3 years at Gamba see him come to us tainted, although not as blue as Hashimoto. What they do have in common is their age (Takagi is one year younger) and the fact that they both fell out of favor at Gamba this season with Takagi playing in 13 league games.
I'm glad we are taking a different approach in the transfer market this year by signing experienced, proven J.League players. I just wish they weren't from Gamba.