Gyotoku gone, Karashima takes the reins

So, I’m back form my summer holiday to the news that Gifu sacked Gyotoku after the horrible 4-1 home defeat against Mito Hollyhock last Sunday.

To be honest, it is much needed. Gifu, despite showing sporadic signs of life, are heading towards relegation and to have done nothing would have been a tacit admission that relegation was inevitable. Gyotoku’s insistence of playing with just one up front and packing the midfield is the major reason he has disposed of. It is clear to most people who watch Gifu regularly that the team functions so much better with two up front and it is no co-incidence that Gifu’s best results have come when there have been a pair of forwards on the pitch.

  • v Matsumoto Yamaga – Gifu were 1-0 down when Tatsuya Arai came off the bench to partner Higuchi up front. The result? Two late headers that gave Gifu their first win of the season
  • v V-Varen Nagasaki – After a rubbish first half, Kazuki Someya & Hirofumi Moriyasu were pushed forward to support Higuchi. It meant more holes at the back, but a greater attacking threat. The result? Someya’s injury time winner gave Gifu a stunning win.
  • v Fagiano Okayama – Gifu went with two new signings, Ilijovski & Yuki Nakamura up front. The two combined for the first goal and Nakamura was instrumental in providing the decoy run for Hiroki Higuchi’s winner.

Of course, Gifu have won when playing the nominal one up, but the win against Vissel was incredibly lucky; the win at Gainare was a wild and wacky game while the Giravanz game (which Gifu won 3-1) was a good performance.

Gyotoku leaves Gifu with an overall record of 13 wins, 20 draws & 38 defeats from league action. Even accounting for the difficult financial circumstances that he operated under for much of his tenure it is not a very pretty record.

Kenju Karashima, the current FC Gifu Second head coach takes over from Gyotoku, starting with tonight’s crucial showdown at Honjo Stadium against Giravanz Kitakyushu. If his record with the Seconds is anything to go by, he prefers to play with two up front in a basic 4-4-2 formation. This season the Seconds boast an even record – they have won five and lost five and are in mid table in the Tokai League.

Karashima takes charge just in time for a pivotal spell of games that could well decide Gifu’s immediate future in J2. In the next five games Gifu play three of their relegation rivals: they face Giravanz Kitakyushu tonight, on Sept. 15th they travel to Thespa Kusatsu Gunma and on Sept. 22nd they welcome Gainare Tottori to Ogaki. In between those games are games at JEF United & home to Tokyo Verdy with both of those clubs looking at the play-of places. It is a hugely difficult schedule, but one which Gifu will somehow have to navigate if they hope be in J2 next season.

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4 thoughts on “Gyotoku gone, Karashima takes the reins

  1. gifurichy August 21, 2013 / 9:33 pm

    Welcome back to the world of the living mate! …well barely living
    A lot happened while you were away. A great gutsy win over Kobe where the team were really determined, the usual shitty follow up performance although if discipline had been better they could have at least got a point here. This was followed by Gyotokus sacking, and then tonight’s even shittier performance against Kitakyu…

    Im not holding too much hope for Karashima… It’s going to be a rough ride for the rest of the season.

    • stuartgifu August 23, 2013 / 3:06 pm

      Yep, it wasn’t very inspiring on Wednesday. A very difficult run of games coming up doesn’t fill me with any kind of confidence.

      What has happened to Desmond? Haven’t heard anything about him. Is he injured? Dropped?

      I think the only thing that is good for Gifu is that Gainare look like they are falling apart too. It might be Gifu’s saving grace.

      • gifurichy August 23, 2013 / 11:55 pm

        Des has been injured for about a week apparently.
        Yep, Gainare and Kumamoto are struggling, but unlike Gifu the players look like they are trying hard and have a sense of urgency about them!
        Wednesdays game brought back memories of last years must win game against Machida away. This team seems to put in its dullest performances when a big effort is needed (and expected!)

        J3 is sadly looking a very likely prospect at the moment unless we can pick up some big wins against some of the teams higher in the table and soon, because as you said, there ain’t many games left, and the other teams aren’t waiting around either!

  2. gifurichy August 23, 2013 / 11:57 pm

    PS I liked it how Karashima mixed up the squad a bit, but at the same time felt he undid all this by bringing Hattori back on. (Although Ri and Mizuno probably needed to come off)

    Sigh sigh

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