The Slow Revolution

“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.




2 thoughts on “The Slow Revolution

  1. Stevie August 7, 2017 / 11:04 am

    Great take on the current state of things. By the way, did you see the two extremely soft penalties vs. Nagasaki? The clincher in the 6th minute of added time? Wtf? The imposter of a referee should be bitch-slapped out of J2 and back to Sunday league. That said, Christian’s goal was sublime and show’s the promise that there may be more to come. Cheers and see you Friday

    • stuartgifu August 10, 2017 / 10:51 pm

      Yeah, that was some bull-shit refereeing in Nagasaki. As far as I can tell, no word of “regret” or “apology” from the referee of the league. Borderline scandalous decisions. By chance I ran into Sisinio & Fukumura on Sunday, and they both just laughed ruefully when we talked about those decisions. We were good enough to get a point from that game.

      Cristian is getting better. I was told by staffers that he took a while to get used to the fast pace of the J.League and that at first it didn’t suit his style. Like a lot of Brazilians that arrive in Japan, they find the training regimes stricter and harder than they’re usually used to and so lost weight & conditioning in a he first couple of months.

      Now, he’s beginning to look like the player Oki envisioned when he signed. Cristian still thinks they train too much (I guess I would feel the same in this heat!) but his conditioning is much, much better now and his left foot can be a rocket, as seen last week. He’s actually both footed, but just slightly prefers his left.

      Tomorrow will be an interesting game. Okayama are physical & functional – not too dissimilar from Nagasaki to be honest. They’ve got a couple of good, skillful forwards though in Akamine & Toyokawa so I think Tamori & Abe will be in for a busy day.

      Should be good though, and I’m sure I’ll catch you at some point!

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