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Reysol and Troussier may be the right combination

6 Jun 2005(Mon)

TOKYO (June 3): There's never a dull moment at Kashiwa Reysol these days.

Not many points. Not many goals. But never a dull moment.

First of all I want to make one thing clear about last Saturday's "sit-in" after the 5-1 defeat by JEF United.

The Reysol fans did not cause trouble, and were not violent.

They were just frustrated, quite understandably, and concerned, and the demonstration was peaceful and good-natured.

From what I can gather, club officials were quite upset by some of the media reporting, as it suggested the Reysol fans were misbehaving again.

They weren't. They just wanted to make their views heard when their passions were high, and spent large chunks of the demonstration showing their support by chanting a desperate "Kashiwa Reysol" for minutes on end.

The group of around 100 included several children, aged no more than three or four, maybe younger, and it was quite amusing to see them joining in the applause when one older fan made a suggestion that received widespread support.

Although the Reysol fans demanded an immediate audience with either the president or with the manager, the club sent a sacrificial lamb to bow deeply and apologise for the performance, and try to appease the fans before the forum planned for Sunday morning at Hitachi-dai.

No doubt there will be many questions put to the club's top management.

One of Reysol's biggest problems, in my opinion, is the recruitment of unsuitable foreign players.

I believe Reysol have become a soft touch for agents due to weak front-office management, and they need to set up a fresh network of contacts and expand their horizons beyond Brazil and South Korea.

Of the current crop, Cleber is an obvious exception because he looks a fine player, but you have to wonder how long he will be around if the team continues to under-perform.

On the coaching front, they have tried Brazilians, an Englishman and Japanese, but no one seems capable of turning the team around, and this must be a worry.

A tough manager is what's required, and the club do worse than check out the availability of Philippe Troussier. He wouldn't tolerate any nonsense, although I'm sure there would be players and staff shaking in their boots at the thought of the fiery Frenchman working at Kashiwa.

Good! Maybe this is what they need.


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