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Reysol try again in bid for mid-table safety

19 Sep 2005(Mon)

September 16 -- Has Ruy Ramos still got the magic?

Not in his spindly legs and quick and clever feet, but in his football brain out on the training field.

Kashiwa Reysol need something from somewhere, because no matter what they try the result seems to be the same: struggling along at the wrong end of the table, and annoying their loyal and passionate supporters with a series of below-par performances.

Ramos joined the "Yellow Submarine" -- that seems an appropriate title for Reysol, as they play in yellow and are always near the bottom -- this week as assistant coach to Hiroshi Hayano.

And the Hitachi club will be hoping the presence of the shaggy-haired former national team midfielder will inspire the players to achieve more, in training and on the pitch.

During the past two or three years I have often said that Reysol have too many good players to be in trouble, and the same still applies.

But nothing ever seems to work. A change of manager, a change of foreign players, some experienced Japanese players coming in...and Reysol continue to struggle.

Maybe it's a question of confidence and motivation rather than a lack of technique and ability, and maybe this is why Ramos could prove to be so valuable to the team.

His very presence on the touchline could lift the spirits of the players, and perhaps even help them to relax and enjoy their football rather than playing with so much fear and self-doubt.

At times Reysol look like they have turned the corner, and are heading up the table. Just like FC Tokyo.

But then they lose badly again, and they are back at square one.

On Saturday, Ramos and Reysol have the perfect chance to make a fresh start, when championship-chasing Gamba Osaka come to town.

After 23 games, Gamba have 47 points, which is a whopping 23 more than Reysol.

Gamba are in pole position and hoping to pull clear of the chasing pack, while Reysol are 15th, just two points clear of the automatic relegation zone.

It's an interesting move by Reysol to appoint the popular Ramos, but Hayano will surely be feeling the pressure even more with such a famous assistant.


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