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» One Touch Football - Archive » Football » Japan 2008 (Page 7)

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Author Topic: Japan 2008
Furtho
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The cap is indeed for sale, Inca. It’s in the “memorial goods” section of the club shop, Orange Square, commemorating as it does the tenth anniversary of the formation of the Mighty Squirrels. If people want J-League stuff of this or any description, I may be able to help – please PM me.

It's generally a bit difficult for Omiya Ardija supporters to talk about Bare [pron. Baré] without bursting into tears at the sheer bloody frustration of it all, but we’ll come on to the reason for that in a moment. As to what type of player he is, well – “the opposite of the type of player that Japan finds it easy to produce” is the best way of putting it. He’s big, fast, aggressive, runs well with the ball and scares defenders, and he’s not afraid to miss (which some would say is lucky, because he does tend to miss quite a lot).

Bare was originally brought to Japan to play for Omiya in 2001 when he was only 19. He went on to become the club’s top scorer of all time – exactly fifty in 104 games, including fifteen in the 2004 season when they were promoted to J1. But Ardija’s management were firmly of the belief that Bare wasn’t up to the job of being a top flight striker and as a result were happy enough to let him go back to J2 and Ventforet Kofu, another small club that he promptly and single-handedly fired to promotion in 2005.

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Cheeky chappy Bare and chums after Gamba's Pan-Pacific win


Without doubt the highlight of that particular season was the second leg of the promotion / relegation play-off that Kofu had to play against J1 outfit Kashiwa Reysol. Ventforet squeezed a win at home in the first game, but were by no means confident that they could hold on to their lead a few days later in Kashiwa. As it turned out, Bare ran riot, smashing in a double hat-trick as the J2 side won 6-2 to clinch promotion 8-3 on aggregate – there’s great YouTube clip of highlights from the game here , which at the end includes the sight of the 6ft 3” Bare sobbing like an ickle biddy girl (he has a particularly unfortunate high-pitched squeaky speaking voice).

Since that memorable night, he has gone on to prove Omiya’s dunderheaded staff wrong in some style, scoring a total of 34 goals in J1 for Ventforet and for Gamba Osaka, where he moved a year ago. Indeed, Bare was the second top scorer in J1 in 2007 and as such has successfully transformed himself from a smalltown idol to one of the key players in Japan. I’m not sure how salaries match up between MLS and the J-League, and I’m not sure what your boys’ finances are like anyway, but I’d be very surprised indeed if he wasn’t earning more than $500,000 with Gamba.

[ 26.02.2008, 08:48: Message edited by: Furtho ]

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Inca
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Definitely designated player wages then (the special class of player limited to a maximum of 2 spots on every MLS roster--what Beckham is).
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Inca
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And I definitely want to get one of those hats--is their site only in Japanese?
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Jamzinho
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Fantastic summary
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Furtho
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Thanks, Jamzinho - so, who's it to be then?

Inca - Yes, the site is only in Japanese but that's not the problem. The problem is that, in common with that of every football team in Japan, Omiya's online shop will not sell merchandise to any address that is outside Japan. However, as I say above, it might well be possible to sort something out - I'll PM you.

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Inca
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I think JV would be really interested in getting a hat or something also, I'll PM him.
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ursus arctos
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Ooooh, oooh. Me too, furtho.
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Furtho
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PMs sent, etc.

A Youtube clip of Shunsuke Nakamura's free-kick for Celtic at St Mirren at the weekend is here.

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Furtho
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Inca - my spies tell me that Bare's salary is reported as being 80m yen a year, which converts at very slightly under $750,000. Designated player indeed.
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Inca
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Thanks for the info.
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Furtho
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The 2008 Japanese season got underway on Saturday with the staging at Tokyo's National Stadium of the local equivalent of the Community Shield. Kashima Antlers having won a J-League and Emperor's Cup double in 2007, their opponents in the Xerox Super Cup were a Sanfrecce Hiroshima side who lost the Cup final but also finished the year being relegated to J2.

After a goalless first half, the Antlers scored two in quick succession through Masashi Motoyama and Takuya Nozawa - only for the underdogs to peg them back late on with a Tatsuhiko Kubo penalty and a header from pint-sized striker Hisato Sato. In the subsequent penalty shoot-out, Hiroshima then managed to nick a 4-3 win to take the trophy.

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All smiles for Sanfrecce... or is it?


All of which would be jolly surprising in itself, but the match has attracted a storm of controversy for the performance of referee Masaaki Iemoto, who dished out eleven yellow cards and sent off three players - including Antlers defender Go Oiwa, who was red-carded after the shootout as some supporters of his team invaded the pitch to remonstrate with Iemoto and other match officials. There is a Youtube clip of the most significant highlights here (Hiroshima in white).

One commentator has already gone so far as to indicate that he had been informed prior to kick-off that the match was to be fixed as a Hiroshima win on penalties after a 2-2 draw. The finger is being pointed at betting rings in Hong Kong and Shanghai, where large amounts were reportedly wagered on precisely that unexpected scoreline. But Kashima have asked for an inquiry into Saturday's events, which saw their opponents awarded re-takes of no fewer than three spot kicks and guarantees a significant early season headache for J-League chairman Kenji Onitake. Blimey.

[ 03.03.2008, 08:56: Message edited by: Furtho ]

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Furtho
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While the Xerox Super Cup controversy referred to in the post above still rages in the media - with fan campaigns being launched left, right and centre to encourage supporters to bring the matter to the attention of the Asian Football Confederation and FIFA - the J-League continues along its own merry way towards the 2008 season.

Supporters of Ehime FC in J2 have been organising themselves in preparation for what is likely to be a tough year, and the coaches of every club have contributed to a campaign to boost levels of support across the J-League. Pictured here are Hideki Matsunaga of new boys FC Gifu and Nagoya Grampus legend Dragan Stojkovic.

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Ehime FC fans relax after a "gateflag"-making extravaganza


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A pre-season message from FC Gifu coach Hideki Matsunaga...


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... and from incoming Nagoya Grampus boss Dragan Stojkovic

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Furtho
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The 2008 J-League season begins this weekend, with a full programme of J1 and J2 fixtures spread over Saturday and Sunday. Champions Kashima Antlers start the defence of their title at home to newly-promoted Consadole Sapporo, but perhaps the biggest matches of the weekend are both in Kanagawa prefecture, where Yokohama F Marinos host Urawa Reds and Kawasaki Frontale take on their hated rivals Tokyo Verdy.

In J2, newcomers FC Gifu and Roasso Kumamoto both commence their J-League careers away from home, at Ventforet Kofu and Ehime FC respectively. Favourites Sanfrecce Hiroshima, relegated from J1 in 2007 but controversial winners of the Xerox Super Cup against Kashima just last weekend, also travel to Thespa Kusatsu.

Don't forget that if you're interested in adopting a Japanese team to follow during the forthcoming season, there is a full series of profiles for all 33 J-League clubs to aid you in your selection process to be found on p6 of this thread. In the meantime, the J-League's marketing people have gone into overdrive to persuade the crowds to show up for the initial batch of games, with poster campaigns left, right and centre...

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Tokyo Verdy


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Shonan Bellmare


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Frontale flags at Kawasaki station

[ 06.03.2008, 09:31: Message edited by: Furtho ]

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Furtho
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For fans of ORANGE! HAPPY!! FOOTBALL!!! everywhere, the Mighty Squirrels of Omiya Ardija have announced details of two new tenth anniversary scarves ahead of their J1 opener on Sunday against Albirex Niigata. Actually, to be strictly accurate, they're not scarves but "towel mufflers", an actual scarf being the very last thing in the world that one might want to wear to a football match taking place in the middle of a Japanese summer. So these are more for soaking up sweat, to be blunt, than keeping one's neck cosy. All the same sort of nonsense, though.

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Furtho
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The J-League season began at last on Saturday, defender Takanobu Komiyama emerging as the hero for Yokohama F Marinos in the match of the weekend. In front of over 61,000 fans, Komiyama fired home the winner from 18 yards as the Sailors beat Urawa Reds despite having Brazilian forward Roni sent off on his debut... champions Kashima Antlers ran in four during the second half of their game with promoted Consadole Sapporo... FC Gifu came away from Ventforet Kofu with a creditable draw in their first ever J2 match... but for fellow new boys Roasso Kumamoto, a late goal by star striker Yutaka Takahashi couldn't stop them from going down 2-1 at Ehime FC...

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Roasso Kumamoto fans at Ehime FC

J1 Scores & Standings @ Round 1

FC Tokyo 1-1 Kobe
Gamba 0-0 JEF
Kashima 4-0 Sapporo
Kashiwa 2-0 Jubilo
Kawasaki 1-1 Verdy
Marinos 1-0 Urawa
Nagoya 1-1 Kyoto
Omiya 2-0 Niigata
S-Pulse 1-2 Oita

******************

1. Kashima 3 (+4)
2. = Kashiwa 3 (+2)
2. = Omiya 3 (+2)
4. Oita 3 (+1)
5. Marinos 3 (+1)
6. = FC Tokyo 1 (-)
6. = Kawasaki 1 (-)
6. = Kobe 1 (-)
6. = Kyoto 1 (-)
6. = Nagoya 1 (-)
6. = Verdy 1 (-)
12. = Gamba 1 (-)
12. = JEF 1 (-)
14. S-Pulse 0 (-1)
15. Urawa 0 (-1)
- - - - - - - - - -
16. = Jubilo 0 (-2)
----------------
16. = Niigata 0 (-2)
18. Sapporo 0 (-4)

J2 Scores & Standings @ Round 1

Ehime 2-1 Kumamoto
Kofu 1-1 Gifu
Kusatsu 0-2 Hiroshima
Mito 0-2 Cerezo
Shonan 1-0 Sendai
Tokushima 0-2 Yokohama FC
Tosu 1-0 Yamagata

******************

1. = Cerezo 3 (+2)
1. = Hiroshima 3 (+2)
-----------------
1. = Yokohama FC 3 (+2)
- - - - - - - - - - -
4. Ehime 3 (+1)
5 = Shonan 3 (+1)
5. = Tosu 3 (+1)
7. = Gifu 1 (-)
7. = Kofu 1 (-)
9. Kumamoto 0 (-1)
10. = Sendai 0 (-1)
10. = Yamagata 0 (-1)
12. = Kusatsu 0 (-2)
12. = Mito 0 (-2)
12. = Tokushima 0 (-2)

[ 17.03.2008, 09:12: Message edited by: Furtho ]

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