Tokyo, September 26, 2006: Now Reds fans...take a deep breath before you read on, 'cos you ain't gonna like this (please excuse my terrible English -- I have used the more colloquial/lazy "cos" for "because", "ain't" for "aren't" and "gonna" for "going to" to increase the drama about to unfold)!
I thought Reds were poor on Saturday, despite beating S-Pulse 1-0.
What's happened to Tatsuya? I am a big fan of young Tanaka's, but he wasn't playing his normal game.
When you get the ball, Tatsuya, run at them -- and keep running! And then shoot!
Don't stop and look for Washington. I appreciate the big Brazilian scores goals as easily as the rest of split pistachio nuts to munch with our "nama" beer, but you don't need to play the role of "king of assists".
Go for goal yourself -- ignore Washington, even if he shouts at you if you miss and haven't passed to him.
Anyway, enough of that topic.
Let's move on to Reds' blatant time-wasting tactics for the last....oooh...30 minutes or so? Maybe more.
Yamagishi was taking an age to take a goal kick or free kick outside his box.
This is the scenario.
A Reds player is fouled deep in his own half, and Tulio or Tsuboi (anyone for that matter) prepares to take the free kick. But just before they start their run-up they walk away, because Yamagishi is waving them up field. He will take it instead.
Yamagishi has mastered the art of eating up the seconds/minutes when you are leading 1-0. First he'll have a drink of water, then wipe his face on his towel like a sweaty salaryman in an "izakaya". After that he'll send a couple of e-mails, call his agent on his mobile to ask about next season's contract, read a few pages of the novel he keeps in the back of his net for when Reds are dominating....and then, only then, will he actually kick the ball.
Yamagishi is so good, in fact, that Alex became jealous on Saturday -- and produced a performance worthy of an Oscar nomination when he eventually fell to the turf after a slight collision late in the second half. You could see Alex thinking about it very hard, and in the end he decided to go down in installments. But what category in the Oscars -- tragedy or comedy?
The referee, who did not caution any Reds players all afternoon, added four minutes of "lost time" at the end of the second half. I thought it should have been 14 -- but I'm just a naive observer!
Sorry Reds fans, but your team does not look confident about its own chances of winning the championship.
I need a beer -- and some pistachios.