All for Win.
…Yep. Apparently that is the slogan we have adopted for the 2012 season but as anybody that has been following our boys over the past 6 weeks can tell you, we have yet to even chalk up a single win since the season started last month. All for Win? Well, if notching up a whopping 4 shots on target in a single game is all it’s gonna take to grab three points these days then it might be an appropriate slogan but in reality, our slogan is beginning to sound more like an ironic joke with each passing week.
The question is, why do we suck so bad?
So far, I’ve had the (mis)fortune of strolling along to 4 games this season in some truly toss weather and each time I’ve had my expectations dashed by some performances that can only be described as pedestrian at best. As each snorefest has come to it’s inevitable end, the disgruntled and disappointed comments I seem to have been hearing most from my fellow Tricolore brothers generally tend to be along the lines of “Things will pick up once Marquinhos is back in the fold” or “We just need somebody who’s not afraid to hold onto the ball when coming forward..”
Though I have to agree with the latter, I simply cannot agree with the former. Remember that incredible 3-3 opener against J-League Champions, Kashiwa Reysol? We did all of that WITHOUT Marquinhos or Dutra and genuinely looked like the sort of team that could eat any other team for breakfast. It was a fast paced game with every player in a Yokohama jersey bending backwards over a barrel to prove that we have what it takes to climb to the top of the J1 table. Sadly, we’ve yet to see a similar performance since then and with our current trend of drawing games 0-0 or losing outright, it’s hard for even the most optimistic of my brethren to see the silver lining of the cloud looming over us.
So who’s to blame? Is it really Higuchi? Or could it be that key squad members have begun to lose confidence in themselves after seeing the club acquire two over-the-hill Brazilians that will inevitably be picked over them for starting positions? I realize that there was a lot of debate both for and against his appointment among the supporters with some mentioning that we needed to fill the position quick and that the club is still really strapped for cash (I’ve been hearing this ever since Marinos Town was erected some 5/6 years ago…) so our options were limited and Higuchi was already part of the coaching staff as Kimura’s advisor so who else would be better for the position?
Personally, I’m not against having Higuchi as part of the staff but unfortunately it’s becoming clearer with each passing week that without Kimura, he’s struggling to bring his vision of an “attacking and more aggressive” F.Marinos side into the realm of reality. Higuchi’s F.Marinos side has somehow managed to evolve from a hungry for goals team we saw at the Hitachidai last month, to one that is becoming worryingly content with squeezing all life out of the game by defending heavily in midfield whilst pinning all of our hopes on one lone striker. I appreciate what the coach is trying to implement but as the old saying goes; “The league table doesn’t lie” and patience can only go so far before the team and it’s players begin to suffer from the dreadful vicious cycle known as “confidence loss” that has claimed so many table bottom dwellers over the years.
That said, we’re still only 6 weeks into the season and I’m pretty sure that it will only take one win to put the wind back in our sails but it really HAS to be within the next couple of games otherwise things really will start to look grim. Until then, however, let’s keep backing our boys as it’s only a matter of time before we utterly drub some unsuspecting team as this is the J-League after all and crazy results like that happen ALL THE TIME!