|The women are rough|
The Little Wizard Departs
In a move that took many Tokyo supporters by surprise, the club announced on Tuesday that our richly talented winger Yohei Otake would go on loan to J1 Cerezo Osaka until the end of January next year.
Despite being a darling of the Aji Sta faithful since making his debut in 2008, The Little Wizard had made just two starts this year, and should get a chance to play more regularly for the Kansai side as a replacement for Takashi Inui, who departed for Germany earlier this month - in fact Cerezo have even given Otake the number 7 shirt, Inui's old number.
For whatever reason Otake was never able to convince Mr. Okuma that he could be relied on, and appeared to be viewed as a 'luxury' player by the manager, someone who could open a can of beans with his left foot but was a liability going the other way.
While we don't know how long a deal had been in the works, if a permanent move was discussed, or if other clubs had enquired about signing him (though there were rumours bouncing around in the past couple of months), the club must've been shopping him around and you have to wonder, if he's a success in Osaka, whether we'll see him in a Tokyo shirt again: I would guess not as long as Okuma is in charge.
Farewell and good luck, Little Wizard.
Two New Faces
|Get me out of Kofu!!!|
|That didn't last long, did it?|
Didn't like the tzatziki?
In a nutshell: Yes. While we're all gutted to see Otake go, Nagasato should be motivated and is a proven performer at this level, but as promising as he is its the addition of Sakata that is the most interesting and should have the most impact, as if he's paired with Lucas it should allow the big fella to play closer to goal, with the speedy Sakata using his pace to keep opposing defences on their toes.
Finally, you have to again give credit to the front office for their commitment to our promotion push. They earned my praise for getting Lucas back, and again they've pushed the boat out (as Sakata will be on decent wages) to fill a need, as the second half of the season begins on Saturday. This squad should now see us through to the end of the season, and has enough depth (as we already know) and variety to fill Tokyo supporters with confidence that we'll be able to finish in the top three, which is, after all, all we need to do.