“Gifu domination soccer”
During the pre-match intro movie, this is what is promised. There are two strands to this: possession & results. The possession domination is incontestable – Gifu play the most passes on a per game basis and have the most possession of any team in the league. But Gifu currently sit 18th in the league with just one win in the last twelve. Why the dichotomy?
When it comes together, Gifu are beautiful to watch. The way Omoto & Furuhashi stretch the flanks; the way Sisinio always has time to pick his pass; the way Shoji controls the tempo of the play. Gifu have scored more goals than league leaders Shonan Bellmare, but with number of chances Gifu create, they should score more. More of a killer instinct would have turned more of Gifu’s draws into wins and would be a just reward for their aesthetically pleasing style of play.
Lack of clinicalness in front of goal isn’t the only thing that is keeping them down in 18th though. A propensity to be out muscled – as witnessed in the recent home defeat against Machida Zelvia and by the goals given up in the win against Kyoto. After watching that win, I was convinced that Gifu are a far better team than Kyoto – honestly the two teams weren’t even comparable. Gifu were fast, vibrant & stylish while Kyoto looked like a relic of a side; one that played long ball football to two old school target men. To be honest I was surprised that the game had been so close. I spoke with Sisinio after that game and he agreed.
“They (Kyoto) were not a good side. Not a good side at all. We were much better than them. But then, you know, we concede two simple goals (those goals put Gifu 1-2 down at half time) and I start to think ‘Oh no. Again?'”
“The manager didn’t get angry at half time. He was calm. I think he wanted to show us that he still believed in us. We were angry, but he wanted to show us a different face. And it worked in the end.”
It did work, but the Spanish midfielder alluded to the conceding of goals that are seemingly avoidable. Goals from long balls that could have been cut out; goals from crosses and particularly goals just before half time / just after scoring ourselves. Those last ones especially are ones that Gifu simply have to cut out.
So, the revolution is in effect, but it is a slow burner so far. But keep the faith – it will come. Hopefully starting today at home to relegation threatened Gunma.