1 – The number of home wins so far. It goes without saying that Gifu need to build on this, especially as next up at the Nagaragawa are fellow strugglers Giravanz Kitakyushu
2 – The number of goals scored by Tatsuya Arai. Both of these goals came on that memorable afternoon in the Matsumoto sunshine.
3 – Desmond’s squad number. The man on loan from Fujieda MYFC has become quite the cult figure in Gifu with a series of 110% performances. He is prone to the occasional brain lapse but he, in my opinion, is one of the best defenders in the division. Word is that other, “bigger”, teams are interested in him.
4 – The number of 0-0 draws this season. 3 of these have been at home, and if some of these can be converted into wins then Gifu would have a much better chance to finish in 20th (or above).
5 – The number of out and forwards in the squad. Taira Inoue is done for the season, Sugimoto is out in the cold despite his superb goal against Montedio Yamagata, Fabio hasn’t been trusted after his red card against Tokushima Vortis, and Kohei Nakashima is currently out injured. All this leaves Hiroki Higuchi as the last forward standing.
6 – The number of penalties Gifu have conceded this year. Shogo Tokihisa saved four of them.
7 – The number of games before Gifu scored their first goal of 2013, the run which coined the hashtag #TheGreatGifuGoalDrought
8 – The number of remaining games that look winnable. It is difficult to account for the surprise results like beating Nagasaki, but I can count 8 remaining games this season that I would be confident in saying that Gifu could win. (In case you’re wondering, the games are Giravanz x 2, Gainare Tottori x 2, Kataller Toyama, Thespa Kusatsu Gunma, Yokohama FC and Ehime FC. Also the number of appearances that central defender Tatsuya Arai has made so far this year. All of them off the bench, and all of them as a forward.
9 – The number of games between Gifu’s first win and their second win. If this strike rate continues then we can expect wins against Vissel Kobe (!) and Tochigi SC and……….that’s it.
10 – The number of goals that Hiroki Higuchi has to score if Gifu are to get out of the relegation spots. Someone needs to stand up and say “I’m gonna take responsibility for scoring goals” and as Higuchi is the only striker to be regularly selected, it falls to him. Double figures should be the target he sets himself.
11 – The number of points that Gifu have at the minute. Extrapolated over the season that would give Gifu 25 points – almost certainly not enough to keep them in J2.