Monthly Archives: February 2008

Ko-oh-oji’s Magic

Today’s post could also be called “Get the hell back here ASAP Koji because without you it appears that we might be following our city rivals into the bowels of J2 hell.”

Alright, so maybe I am exagerrating a little but the unconvincing pre-season form has finally caught up with us and a 2-0 loss to Montedio coupled with a narrow 2-1 win over Sony Sendai do not bode so well when your first game is against Champions of the Known and Unknown Universe, Urawa ‘Bottled For Your Pleasure’ Reds.

Luckily for us, Koji is back and on fire. Last weekend saw him score his second goal of the East Asian Comedy Championships, his 5th goal in 7 caps. And what a beauty it was, too.

As we were saying, whilst Koji was off narrowly avoiding being physically assaulted in China, the Marinos were busy performing worse than a North Korean official down at Marinos town.

The big man is back.First up was the 2-0 loss to Montedio. Played in 3 periods of 45 minutes the score was 0-0 0-0 0-2 and the teams were:

Starting XI: Tetsuya, Komiyama, Tashiro, Kurihara, Hayuma, Shimizu, Hyodo, Naoki, Mini Yamase, Oshima, Roni.

2nd Period Changes: Sakata – Roni, Inui – Shimizu, Lopes – Hyodo.

3rd Period Starting XI: Takakuwa, Kanai, Umei, Ogura, Urata, Inui, Aria, Furube, Mizunuma, Sakata, Saito.

3rd Period Changes: Ishihara – Sakata (Furube pushed up front with Ishihara into midfield).

The next day was the 2-1 win over Sony. Again the game was played in 3 periods of 45 minutes and the score was 0-0, 1-1, 1-0. Goals by Naoki (86) and Yamamoto (128) came after Sony had taken the lead in the 49th minute. The teams were:

Starting XI: Akimoto, Komiyama, Tashiro, Kanai, Hyodo, Naoki, Aria, Hayuma, Lopes, Midfield Maestro Matsuda Musters Marinos MomentumSakata, Roni.

Second Period Starting XI: Akimoto, Umei, Tashiro, Urata, Shimizu, Ogura, Aria, Mini Yamase, Mizunuma, Oshima, Sakata.

Second Period Changes: Inui – Tashiro (Ogura into defence), Iikura – Akimoto.

Third Period Staring XI: Iikura, Kanai, Umei, Urata, Inui, Mizunuma, Ogura, Ishihara, Yamamoto, Saito, Furube.

Able to take all that information in? One thing to note is that Kuwahara is definitely looking at all his options. He changed from 4-42 against Montedio to 3-5-2 against Sony. He is rotating players a lot and giving everyone a chance even those players who are highly unlikely to get anywhere near the bench this season.

“Please don’t let them think I’m the new Eltinho,” prays Roni.It’s not all doom and gloom, that’s for sure. Roni is still settling in and Lopes is just coming back from injury so we can’t expect wonders from them right now. This combined with the fact that our two best players have been away has to be considered.

Other things to take into consideration when looking at the results is the absence of Kawai and the fact that Naoki has been popping up in midfield from time to time. That is never a good thing! MOIST have no news on Kawai’s whereabouts but will endeavour to find out.

Finally, apologies that this update is a little late. There was a tearful MOIST re-union last weekend in Seoul. MOIST + MOIST + Hite + Cass + OB does not equal blog.


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Chinese Human Rights Issues

Not content with imprisoning politcal prisoners and dissenters against the communist regime, China decided this week to show the world how it deals with people it doesn’t like.

Tuesday saw Koji score his 4th goal in 6 caps for Japan but his achievement overshadowed by the outrageous performance Japanese players are helped off the pitch after the China game.of both the Chinese players and the Korean officials in the East Asian Cup match. Luckily for us Marinos fans he and Yuji both survived the game intact which, after seeing the highlights, is almost as big a shock as China not having half their team sent off. Some of the tackles were bad, some were dangerous but the Chinese goalkeeper really took the biscuit when he, quite literally, kung-fu kicked Uchida. Apparently using Mixed Martial Arts techniques during a game is now only a yellow card offense.

MOIST aren’t ones for getting all political but the fact of the matter is the Chinese players and the Chinese fans were absolutely disgraceful and should be ashamed of themselves. More than that FIFA should grow some balls and ban the officials and seriously punish the Chinese team for their disgraceful antics.

Enjoy Matsu’s highlights of the game. Hopefully Sepp Blatter browses You Tube.

In lighter news the Marinos won again on Wednesay, 5-1 against Meiji University. Clearly angered by MOIST’s appraisal of his performance against Keio University, Saito scored a hat-trick (91, 113, 124) with the other goals scored by Sakata (10) and Naoki (38).

The game was played in 3 periods of 45 minutes. The starting XI was: Iikura, Naoki, Kurihara, Komiyama, Hayuma, Aria, Hyodo, Shimizu, Inui, Sakata, Oshima. After 45 minutes Kuwahara made a whole host of changes and brought in Takakuwa, Urata, Kanai, Umei, Amano, Mini Yamase, Tashiro, Ogura, Furube and Saito. During that second half Inui and Amano were replaced by Mizunum and Ishihara. Finally, after 90 minutes Akimoto came in for Takakuwa. Got it?!!?


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Still Unbeaten

The pre-season rumbles on and the Marinos remain unbeaten after two victories on Saturday. Now, convincing isn’t the word MOIST would use to describe either of the wins but it’s only practice games and we’re still missing 4 of our first team players.

The first game of the day was against Tochigi SC of the JFL. Kuwahara started the game playing a 3-5-2 formation with Testuya in goal, Naoki, Tashiro and Yuzo at the back, Hayuma and Komiyama as wing-backs, Aria, Hyodo and Mizunuma in midfield and Oshima and Roni up front. The second half saw a few substitutions, notably Sakata and Mini Yamase. A relatively easy win was secured by 3 first half goals from Oshima (30), Mizunuma (36) and Hyodo (39).

Not a classic by any means but there were some promising performances. Aria played most of the 90, Hyodo and Mizunuma were very lively, the players seemed to be able to adapt to 3-5-2 with relative ease and Roni showed a few flashes of potential.

Roni is still a hard one to call. Obviously against Tochigi he was missing he service of Koji, which is a big deal, and he is still new to the club and the country so needs time to settle in. He slammed one first time shot of the frame of the goal to show what he can do but was a little bit quiet overall. Hopefully, the big stage will inspire him more than a few hundred at Marinos Town.

The second game of the day was a tough 2-1 win against Keio University. The Marinos team was mostly second stringers with a handful of first team appearances between them. Sakata and Mini Yamase started the game but were quickly withdrawn with the most notable other players being Saito, Inui, Ogura and Amano.

After his goals in Miyzaki, MOIST was hoping to see Saito bang in a few but he wasn’t really on form and fluffed his best chance when he chipped over after a great run and pass from Inui. The performance overall was quite shaky but Inui was impressive with his running and scored a fine goal in the 25th minute to equalise Keio’s 9th minute opener. Furube won the game in the 60th minute with what looked like a handball but there weren’t any complaints and the goal stood.

All in all a lot of promise can be taken from the two games. The squad looks friendly and happy together, the players are mostly fit and a win is a win. Next up is Meiji University with stronger tests against Montedio Yamagata and Sony Sendai looming on the horizon.

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Captain Marvel

Don’t worry, this isn’t a post about ex-Manchester United injury prone midfielder and ex-Captain Marvel[insert numerous football clubs names here] failure of a manager, Bryan Robson, it’s a post about MOIST 2007 Player of the Season and 2008 January Player of the Month, the one, the only, Kawai Ryuji

Kawai has recently been announced as Marinos captan for the 2008 season taking over from The mild mannered janitor gets the boot.Yuji who, let’s be frank, never really seemed suited for the job. Perhaps he was too mild mannered on the field, like Hong Kong Phooey in janitor mode, to really bring the best out of the players. Hopefully, Kawai will be a bit more shouty screaming crackers and drive us on to better results.

The vice-captains have been named as Oshima Hideo and Kurihara Yuzo.


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Tricolore Body Tricolore Soul

After being labelled the spawn of Satan on these very blog pages, Nike have stepped up operations aimed at winning over MOIST to their cause. First they made a kit which didn’t suck donkeys balls a la Kashima Antlers and second they made this advert which, if we’re being honest, is pretty lucrative. The only change MOIST would have made would have involved us semi-naked and sloshed in paint.

Further pre-season fixtures have also been released, all of which will be played at Marinos Town.

Saturday 16th 1pm vs Tochigi SC and 3pm vs Keio University

Wednesday 20th 2pm vs Meiji University

Saturday 23rd 2pm vs Montedio Yamagata

Sunday 24th 2pm vs Sony Sendai

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Goals Galore and Beijing Bound

The boys have returned from Miyazaki after a successful training camp that saw them win all 3 of their scheduled games, scoring 19 goals into the bargain.

As MOIST has already reported the opening game was a 3-0 victory of AJH’s coiffured Icons. The two other games saw a 13-1 win against Kanoya University and a 3-2 win against Kyoto.

The game against Kanoya was played in 4 periods, the first two 30 minutes, the last two 35 minutes, with the goals scored by Saito (3), Sakata (2), Roni (2), Mizunuma (2), Roni evades the ghost of Okubo YoshitoKurihara, Furube, Ogura and Watanabe, the trainee who played against Busan. Against Kyoto 3 periods of 45 minutes were played and the goals were scored by Aria, Matsuda and another from Watanabe. Viscious rumours from unscrupulous Kyoto fans suggest that Kyoto won the “first game” which was the important one. However, the Marinos were without Koji and Yuji, because of their Japan duty, and Lopes, who has a slight strain. This, combined with the fact that Yanagisawa scored, a clear sign that no-one was really trying, lays waste to Sanga’s claims of victory.

For some reason these games do not have reports about the line-ups like the Busan game. Super Saito Celebrates Scoring ScreamerSeemingly AJH is just that big a draw. Anyway, so far so good especially for Saito who has done himself no harm by scoring a few goals. And what of this Watanabe chap? Who is he? Where does he come from? Will we sign him? MOIST, as is often the case, hasn’t a clue.

Next up are Tochigi SC at Marinos Town, 1pm on Saturday.


In other news – Tanaka Yusuke has been called up to the U23 (Olympic) squad which will travel to America to play 2 games against the U23 Guatemala team and one game against Yusuke goes one better than Mao and starts The Long Run.California State University. Hopefully a good run out will lead to him securing a starting position and a trip to the Olympics – Koji and Yuji have both received call ups for the Japan team that will travel to China to play in the waste of time East Asian Championship. Look forward to reports of blatant cheating by the refs and angry North Korean fans. – The U19 Japan team featuring Marinos players Kanai Takeshi and Urata Nobuhisa won the Qatar International Tournament beating Poland 6-1 in the final. Congratulations to them all but especially to our boys.


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Good news from Miyazaki where the Marinos kick started their pre-season with a thumping win over former striker Ahn Jung Hwan’s Busan Icons on Wednesday. Newspapers have not reported any notable increase in great hair and missed chances in the Kyushu area so it is unsure as to whether AJH made the trip or not.

The game was played in three periods of 35 minutes and Kuwahara did a lot of chopping and changing in the intervals presumably to give everyone a run out. Strangely, Lopes wasn’t played at all, which hopefully doesn’t mean he has picked up an injury, but Aria was back and completed 70 minutes. Kawai was also rested, probably due to wild celebrations over being named MOIST Player of the Month for January.

Anyway, it doesn’t give us too much of an insight into how strong we’ll be but perhaps the starting XI hints at what is going on in the manager’s head.

F-Marinos 3 -0 (0-0, 2-0, 1-0) Busan Icons

Saito 57, Yamamoto 63, Saito 89

Period 1

GK: Akimoto

DF: Tanaka (H), Matsuda, Kurihara, Komiyama

MF: Hyogo, Shimizu, Yamase (Y), Mizunuma

FW: Oshima, Roni

Period 2

GK: Takakuwa

DF: Amano, Kanai, Tanaka (Y), Ishihara

MF: Yamamoto, Mizunuma (sub: Furube), Aria, Inui

FW: Saito, Sakata

Period 3

GK: Enomoto

DF: Kanai, Urata, Umei, Tanaka (Y)

MF: Ogura, Furube, Aria, Inui

FW: Saito, Watanabe (Trainee)


Update: This just in from the Japan Times:

Freak Weather Linked to Icons Iconic Icon

Miyazaki (Reuters) Meteorologists in southern Japan are investigating freak weather conditions that have affected the area in recent days.

Residents have reported sudden thunderstorms during cloudless skies and outbreaks of snow inside buildings with scientists currently remaining baffled as to the cause.

Speaking to journalists yesterday, Dr. Kazuhiro Suzuki of Oita Univeristy of Science and The Prime SuspectNature said, “This is unlike anything we have ever seen before and my colleagues are at odds as to the cause. Some people are talking about a second coming, perhaps even the presence of a real life Godzilla in the Pacific Ocean.”

“So far our strongest leads seem to be an increase in moisturizer levels in the atmosphere, along with a dramatic rise of hairspray usage. Some people believe Japan has been invaded by a creature of gorgeous facial structure, a David Beckham of Asia if you will, but I think that is nonsense.”

Suzuki declined to comment on various reports that a string of chances had recently been missed in the Kyushu area.

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Unlucky for some?

Not for Yuji, though. Wednesday night saw him score his 13th international Yuji celebrates his headed goal.goal, one that helped see off an overly cliched brave challenge from plucky underdogs, Thailand. A well placed header from a free-kick made it 3-1 to Japan and ended any real threat Thailand had of staging a comeback. In fact, minutes earlier Yuji was involved when a Thai player saw red for clothes-lining him after he skipped past their challenge.

Koji was also in on the act with a nice move on the by-line that led to Japan’s third and, although he wasn’t as impressive as he was against Bosnia, he still had a good run out and it was something of a shock when he was replaced.

Indeed, a Kojiless Japan failed to break down 10 men Thailand until stoppage time when that useless buffoon of a striker, Maki, headed home. He’d been totally ignored by the Thai defence who had obviously seen footage of him from last season. I’ve been known to joke about Oshima being in the squad as joint Japanese J-League top scorer but I have to wonder, could he be any worse than Maki?

The answer, by the way, is no.


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Marinos 3 – 0 Bosnia

A fantastic start to the pre-season schedule for a rampant Marinos side. Whilst the Reds may be laying claim to being the best club side in Asia, it is clear the Marinos have set their sights on a loftier goal: World Cup Champions or bust.

After the drab display against Chile, Oka-chan re-jigged his line-up slightly but still found no place for Koji. Thanks to a 34th minute injury to Maki, though, Koji got to play a solid 60 odd minutes and had a blinder. His two goals in the 83rd and 88th minutes sealed a win against a Bosnian side that had held firm until a 68th minute strike from Nakazawa.

Speaking of the pre-season, the Marinos will be heading down to Miyazaki for some warm weather and some good time. The following games have been announced as part of the pre-season schedule:

February 6th vs Busan I-Park

February 8th vs Kanoya University

February 10th vs Kyoto Sanga

An eclectic mix of games if ever there was one but hopefully we will begin to get an impression of how the team might line up this season and if the new signings look like they will make the grade. MOIST will, of course, keep you up to date with the results and will also supply you with wild speculations as to the meanings.

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