Football season finally comes back in Japan tomorrow. Cerezo Osaka will take on Jubilo Iwata at Yanmar Stadium Nagai. According to the club, nearly 30000 people will come to watch the battle with former player Hiroshi Nanami’s side.
I am very excited now. We are now coming back to the first division. We now have a new manager, a man with his own style and vision. We now have excellent players such as Yoichiro Kakitani, Kenyu Sugimoto, Hotaru Yamaguchi, and of course Hiroshi Kiyotake. These “demodori” (coming back soon after leaving) players often receive criticism or negative acceptance but it really means nothing to us. The only important thing is what they can bring to the club.
But at the same time, I want to stop and remind myself now. This is the first year since returning from the J2 League. This is also the first year for Yoon Jong-Hwan at Cerezo Osaka. Media sometimes overestimate us in large part because of the signing of Kiyotake, but we shouldn’t misunderstand. Top 5 finish? No way. A title contender? Laughable.
Statistically speaking, a team which gets promoted to J1 by winning the playoff is very likely to get relegated again next season. So, first and foremost, Cerezo’s goal should be to keep remaining at the first division. This is what everyone involved with Cerezo, including the manager, players, and supporters, keeps in mind I believe.
Yoon said the 9th place is what they aim for this season. This sounds nice as a season goal, although it is still not easy. Of course I will be very pleased if the team finish the season in top 4 or 5. Of course I have much expectations for the team as a supporter, but it shouldn’t be too much.