Football (Japan) Lost In Translation . . . Relaunched 2012!
Japan Football: Zaccheroni, Samurai Blue, and general J chatter
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Checking In
Crunch time is in full gear at the J-league, with only 9 games left in the season! Clubs are starting to count on their fingers and toes, how many points they need to avoid relegation; unfortunately, with so many clubs bunched up in the bottom half, it's going to be a very close one this year. Most cautious managers have been saying something like 35 points or more.

Thank god it's Friday, and I'll be able to do a bit of writing this weekend to cover the goings-on in the J1, as well as start onto the National Team ahead of their trip to Europe. From the messages I've been getting, I know many of you are looking forward to the next two international games :) We also have the All Stars game to look forward to.

The J1 fixtures this weekend are probably going to be more towards the stubborn, and I see many of the matchups can go either way. Very difficult for any team to assume a win. Between Gamba and Antlers, I'd say Gamba have an "easier" nine games left, but then again the J has shown us nothing is guaranteed and the freakiest things happen (well, that's a given in football!).

I'm also concerned about Nagoya Grampus. They were dealt a double-punch this week when along with their manager Nelsinho who was relieved of duties last week, it was announced that Luizao was heading back to South America also -- to join the very same Nelsinho at Santos FC. I KNEW it... As I said before, Luziao came to Japan only as a favor to Nelsinho, and I guess having had difficulty fitting into the Japanese style of football he decided to cut his losses and split. It didn't help that Nagoya is doing so poorly of late, either. This Nagoya mystery is something I've sort of ignored over the recent months, mostly because I got too caught up on other clubs. But hopefully I can catch more of their games remaining, and get a better understanding of their team.

It's October tomorrow!
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