It’s Shoooo Time

Spelling be damned, a good slogan is a good slogan and the boys from Shonan Bellmare have that licked. Sadly, for us, they had the Marinos licked midweek, too.

Akimoto goes Brian BlessedNow, MOISTettes, before you go Brian Blessed shouty screamy crackers crazy, it was only a reserve game, at least for the Marinos. We have no word on the Shonan line-up so it’s hard to know if this was a good result or not.

Anyway, the match finished 2-1 to Shonan. An own goal in the 10th minute and a 30thDon’t touch me, you lanky freak. minute strike was enough to render Furube’s 16th minute goal meaningless. As we said, though, if this was a strong Shonan side containing members of the team that beat Sendai last weekend then it is a promising results for our youngsters. However, if Shonan sent out a bunch of rag-tag nobodies then, well, most people probably would have thought it was their first team anyway.

Right, lads. 1-2-4-1-2 today.Anothing thing that makes this result easier to stomach is the fact that the starting XI only seemed to have one defender, Tashiro, and more midfielders than you can shake a stick at. Honestly, I can’t begin to imagine how they lined up. 1-2-4-1-2 anyone?

Line-up: Iikura (Akimoto, 45), Tashiro, Ogura, Aria (Umei, 62), Ishihara, Shimizu (Inui, 45), Hyodo (Amano, 77), Mini Me (Yamamoto, 45), Mizunuma, Furube, Saito.

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Talk is cheap, shut up and translate

As a new service to the MOIST faithful, MOIST courtesy of WimmoTranslatingInc, for all your language needs, will be posting the post-match comments of Kuwahara and the players for all the non-Japanese speaking folks to see.

So, here for the first time in English, the Reds post-match comments.

Kuwahara TakashiKuwahara: “The players played for the win for the whole 90mins and remained singlemindedly focused on achieving their goal. This in itself can be very tiring. I didn’t give any special instructions or guidance from the bench today so the outcome of today’s match was very much down to the players themselves, for which I am grateful.
Lopes put in a good performance but keeping his condition in mind, I opted to bring on Sakata as we were down to 10 men and I thought his counterattacking and dribbling skills would prove useful in holding up the flow of play and see out the final quarter of game time.
Hayuma’s role was to penetrate with a certain degree of frequency but not so much as to bring our opponents attention to their back line. Being able to launch an attack from the wings is a distinctive characteristic that both Hayuma and Komiyama share, so I guess its only natural that we saw them perform well in those positions today.”

Komiyama TakanobuKomiyama: “Regarding the shot, I could see that Lopes was to the side of me and he wanted to take the shot at goal but I thought I would have a go. I wasn’t sure whether I had a clear path or not so I just imagined where I wanted the ball to go and struck it. I have never scored like that before – not even in training. Seeing as my onfield position is not actually fixed I want continue training hard in training and play appealing football.”

Oshima HideoOshima: “Considering it was the opening game of season, I wouldn’t say we froze up but we were perhaps a little over prudent at times. We created many chances and made some good plays and I would like to see us continue playing in this way. Roni has great skill, and is strong too. Lopes combined with Koji wonderfully too so, as a forward, I  will be looking to make the most of their partnership and score as many goals as I can.”

Enomoto TetsuyaTetsuya: “It was a good first half. We fought valiantly even though we were reduced to 10 men. It’s been a while  since we’ve had this much fun playing. To win our opening game, to defeat Urawa and see such an excellent turn out from our supporters was amazing. However, we have only won one game and the next is important too. I want to go out and ensure we don’t give our opponents a chance in the next game and secure another three points.”

Nice to see Kuwahara give credit to the players and not, in true Hayano style, take it all for himself. Let’s hope he has the balls to blame himself for mistakes and not pick on the team, too.

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J-League Week 1 vs Urawa Reds

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0 1H 0
1 2H 0

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Komiyama 60 Goals .
Roni
Roni
Yellow Cards .
Roni Red Cards .


Oh, where to begin, where to begin? The deja vu? The hoodoo? The fact we just played the Champions of the Milky Way and Lesser Known Universes of the the pitch? The Bottlers came back to the Nissan and left exactly like last time, empty handed.

There’s MOIST. Right under that huge banner.A glorious start to the season on a glorious day in Yokohama. The sun was out, as were almost 62,000 fans, with over half of them in blue, and when the 90 minutes were done we finally remembered what it is like to beat the Reds.

Way back in 2003 was the last time we’d beaten them in the J-League and given the visitors new signings and our  less than impressive pre-season the odds were in favour of the Marinos stretching their winless streak to 9. Thankfully, it wasn’t to be.

Kuwahara opted for a 3-5-2 formation that he’d been experimenting with in pre-seasonThe line-up today… and it worked a treat. Yusuke slotting in at centre-back was far more impressive than his previous outing in that position last season and Naoki was Kawai-esque in midfield. MOIST have had issues with Naoki being used as a defensive midfielder but against the Reds he was all heart and class. Indeed, the combination of Yusuke, Naoki and Komiyama was a joy to watch. Each playing off against the other and being in the right position to cover their teammates forays to other parts of the field.

The Reds new boys, so highly touted, failed to show up. No, that is a bit harsh. A bit harsh on Yuji and Yuzo who just didn’t give them a chance to show what they could do. 2007’s top two defensive teams combined to stifle each other with the Reds being reduced to pot shots from the edge of the box that troubled only the ball boys. And when they did actually manage to keep it on target, twice perhaps, Tetsuya was there to stop it. His save from Yamada a beauty, holding the ball with Edmilson storming in for any loose change.

GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALOur new boys had a mixed day. Lopes was strong in midfield, if slightly off the pace on occassion. That said, his hard work  proved a great foil to Naoki in thwarting the Reds attack and his vision, though about 5 yards too much on most balls, bodes well when he settles into the team. Finally, perhaps, it’s not all up to Koji. As for Roni, well, let’s just hope it isn’t Suzuki Part 2. Yes, it was a bizarre case of deja vu with the new signing coming close to opening his account on his debut (a wonderul move down the right that carved the Reds open) before being sent off for kicking the ball away. The 69 minutes he did put in looked a step up from the pre-season, though. Again, it is too early to judge a player who has only been with the team for a month but the flashes were there and, as D-Ream said, things can only get better.

All-in-all, it was a great perfomance for every last one of them. It was never going to be a goal fest against the Reds but the chances were there and against lesser teams they might become goals. Solid at the back, strong in midfield, dangerous up front – it’s nice to say that and mean the other team in a Reds game. Let’s hope this is the form we show in every home game.

4 stars in 2008? It’s not in the bag yet but it’s 3 points closer.

Man of the Match: Komiyama – His first goal for the club is enough to give him the prize. To be honest, it could have been half a dozen of them after the performance but without Komiyama maybe we’d be writing about another draw.

Yokohama F-Marinos: Tetsuya; Yuzo, Yuji, Yusuke; Komiyama, Hayuma, Naoki, Lopes (Sakata 74), Koji; Roni, Oshima. Subs: Akimoto, Ogura, Aria, Hyodo, Mini-me, Shimizu, Sakata.

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Better than Hayuma?

Perhaps not stamina wise, Hayuma having the best stamina in Japan, but in every other respect the right hand side of the MOIST blog blows away all opposition.

As you can see there are a couple of fancy dan, oh la la features for your viewing pleasure.

Oh oh oh it’s Koji.First up we have the Player of the Month Award. This will be decided at the end of each, yes, you’ve guessed it, month and one of the Marinos’ ugly mugs will be displayed for the world to see. The MOIST seal of approval is highly sought after, let me tell you. Anyway, Ryuji’s throne has been usurped by the young pretender Koji. After his sparkling form for the national team and goal scoring, goal assisting and general telepathic return to the Marinos there was no other choice. Congratulations Koji. You win your photo on the MOIST blog and a dinner out with MOIST paid for by you. Well done.

TallinhoSecondly, right after the basic league table and Marinos attacking stats, we have Mike Watch. Kind of like Jihad Watch but with less Muslims. And less right wing Conservatives. And less bigotted opinions. So, nothing like it really. Mike Watch will keep all you members of the Seagull Nation updated with goings on down in Fukuoka. Hopefully, Tallinho will keep the Mike Watch ticking over nicely and will then return to the fold in 2009.

If anyone out there has any other ideas to sex up the MOIST blog just let us know. Can travel or accomodate, weekends preferred, your undraped photo gets mine in return.

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The Final Countdown

What a difference some internationals make, folks.

A telepathic link-up in the making.Koji, Yuji and Yusuke returned to the fold during the week and the Marinos reaped instant dividends with a 3-1 win over Hosei University and followed it up with a 2-0 win over Nagoya.

Details are a little hard to come by, unfortunately, but it seems the team that started the Hosei game was: Testsuya, Yuji, Yuzo, Naoki, Hayuma, Yusuke, Aria, Lopes, Koji, Oshima and Roni.

To MOIST that looks like a 3-5-2 formation to start. At some point in the proceedings Mini Yamase came on, Yusuke moved to centre-back and Naoki played as a defensive midfield. However, with Kawai still injured, it seems, all signs point to Aria starting against Urawa.

Positives include a brace for Roni, Lopes getting some more playing time and, according to The hair. Look at the hair.my sources, a good understanding between Roni and Koji. That could prove vital this season.

Goals from Roni (10, 39) and Furube (60) wrapped up the game before Hosei grabbed an 89th minute consolation.

As for the Nagoya game not much is known as it was a private game. What we do know is that Koji scored from a, MOIST are presuming wonderful, free kick in the 3rd minute before Oshima made it two after 24 minutes.

So, with only days left before the start of the season the boys recorded a solid victory over another J1 side. Questions still remain about Kawai’s fitness but apart from that it seems the team looks healthy and ready to go. MOIST wouldn’t be surprised to see the same team that faced Hosei start against Urawa.

Of course, we’re usually wrong.

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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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