Notyalcsdrawkcab’s Weblog

March 13, 2010

Mr Kennedy – Nagoya Grampus

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 10:59 pm

It`d be easy to come to the conclusion that Jesus made a mistake coming to Japan.  He had started games in the Bundesliga.  Had had some injuries, but was still in the prime of his career.  He was giving up on the challenge of a top league in Europe and settling for an easier life in Asia.  Against people half his size.  In a league that is nowhere near as good as the Bundesliga.

Fair call, there is a lot of logic in that.

But I was watching the second half of JC`s Nagoya vs Kawasaki  Frontale (a team that was in the title race last year, tonked CCM at bluetongue), and here is what I noticed.

Jesus was a big contributor to his team.  With such nice surfaces (the joys of football only stadiums) teams are tempted to keep it on the carpet more often.  And sometimes he contributes with some decent linking up play work.  He wins a fair bit in the air, but not everything. And he can use his height to protect the ball when it is on the deck.  A good player.

But he wasn`t the best striker on the pitch.  That would be Chong Tese, the Japan born and raised North Korean NT player.  Won the game when he made the most of a low percentage chance.  A striker`s goal.  A rocket into the top corner on the turn. With a couple of defenders for company.  My guess – if a coach could choose between JC or Chong, they`d choose Chong.

I think Kennedy has found a place where he can be happy – appreciated, own a starting berth.  But I wouldn`t call it slumming it, or going too far down the levels when the competition for best striker in the league is as strong as it is.  I`m expecting Kennedy to have a good season, but not make the end of year Best Eleven / MVP discussions.

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