After playing the match against Vissel Kobe - Team Manager Finke  

Comment from Team Manager Volker Finke after playing in the J. League Fifteenth Sec. against Vissel Kobe
It is necessary for us to take appropriate action for our poor performance during today’s game just like the previous game we played against Yokohama last week. “Appropriate action” in the coming week does not necessarily mean winning the game. What is important for us is to play “good” football. Having said that, I believe there was some improvement in our performance from the previous match. As this was the case, I think that our team reacted better compared to the last game and we were able to play good football today.
There were several opportunities for our opponent team during the second half of the game. We gave them scoring chances as we made a few mistakes in marking and some of the defense players moved in an unstable manner. However, when compared with the previous match we played against Yokohama, we made fewer mistakes in our defense and we made some improvements this time. However, we should not forget that what we did was part of our process. Young players may still make mistakes. But, we must understand that such is part of our process. I think our team played really well to create some chances when we had some opportunities.
Another thing to mention was that three eighteen year old players played as part of the stating line-up members and performed well in today’s J league match. Certainly, using such young players does not necessarily lead to a great success in a short period of time. Nonetheless, I think they showed a good sign for our future in the medium to long term span.
In the football industry, there is a trend that people want to see more new faces and superstars. As this is the case, I am talking to you in a humorous way. So, please do not take what I say too seriously (lol). Having said that, I believe that Hosogai did such a meaningful job for the team during the match today. Of course, there were other players in the team who showed some valuable performances. However, I would like to commend Hosogai especially today. What I want to convey to you now is that even a mid fielder like him can assume a superstar position.

(What did your team focus on during training this week after the shocking match the team had last week? How did your team manage to show wonderful football in the hot weather today?)
As team manager, of course I would like to be professional and I have no intention of naming those who made several mistakes during the last game we played against Yokohama. Having said that, it was a matter of fact that our team players’ performance was very shocking in a bad sense for more than sixty minutes especially considering how we have developed as a team until now. Besides that, we had good enough members as those players who played in the national team were back to the team again. However, unfortunately we played really badly despite some people’s expectations that we were a stronger team than before. It was a very big surprise for me.
During the past one week, I told my players that this was the case. I analyzed their performances in various ways with them and we checked what each player needs to do in his position. In the analysis, it did not matter how many years a player played for the club, what kind of reputation they had in the past or how many times they were commended.
As this was the case, I told all the players what they needed to do. I also believe that I conducted enough analysis and checking as well as made good adjustments. I think players took all of this very seriously and those who played on the pitch today including the national team players showed improved performances.

(The team did not pick up the pace from the first half of the game. Did players chose to play like that or was that planned in advance?)
Even though I said this once before in the past, at the risk of repeating myself, I would like to point out that in the football industry, when a team wins, players are often appreciated whereas when a team loses, their team manger is often blamed. I believe that we discuss all our options in regards to everything that happens both positively and negatively on the pitch and as part of the development process of the team. It is necessary for us to be able to change the tempo of the game intentionally when we play a game like we did with the members we had. For example, it is very important for us to be able to keep the ball at the right time as well as to kick the ball with the right timing during free kicks so that we can continue to play our game. If we pick up the tempo of the game too early, we may get worn out too quickly. For this reason, I have always told the team to consider the tempo of the game as much as possible. Having said that, there are several players in our team who have various ideas. As this is the case, they did some things out of their own preferences even without me giving them some kind of instruction. Nonetheless, these are all part of the process our team is going through together.

(Takahara scored a goal. How do you evaluate him?)
About four to five weeks back, I was asked many questions about Takahara. One of the questions I was asked back then was if I needed to reconsider using him in matches since Takahara’s recent performance was often disappointing, At that time, I answered the question by saying that Takahara was one of the options we have out of our three attackers’ positions despite the fact that there are many attackers in our team. I said that he would be one of the players who can lead such a position. I have not changed my opinion in this regard. I think that his condition is improving more and more and his performance today got better and better. I also think that he is doing such a valuable job for the team. Certainly there was a time in the past when he was not a starting line-up member. But, that was because the other option players were used as they were in good condition and were performing well at that time. For this reason, I have not changed my present belief that I use him in official matches. There are several options for our offensive and one such option is Takahara. His recent performance is very good. It is obvious that the good performance of such a player brings so much pleasure to me as a team manger.
But, there is one important thing that I would like to convey to you very clearly. I think Takahara is an example of a player who holds what happened last season in his mind for a long period of time even during this season.
During last season, our team’s position in the standings was not good. Players’ performances on the pitch were not good at all either. I think our players were also aware that if the team continued to play like they did, they would not be able to have a good sense in the long run for the future. Some reporters once wrote that Edmilson and Takahara would not be good to play together at all. There was an article once which said that considering the playing styles of Edmilson and Takahara, it was not possible for them to achieve a good result if they were both on the pitch at the same time.
Articles like this remain in the players’ mind as well. When the new season started, I talked with the club and decided that I would work together with the players of the club. Considering the budget of the club this year, it was difficult for us to acquire well-developed players with several hundred million yen. For this reason, I try to assess the players’ abilities in this club by working well with them and talking with them so that we work well together. Takahara’s performance has gradually been improving over the past few weeks. It may be that he is now able to leave all the concerns and issues he had from last season behind. He may be a good example of a player who has managed to change his mindset to be ready for the new season in a true sense.
We also should not forget that our three attackers namely Robson Ponte, Tsukasa Umesaki and Tatsuya Tanaka have been away from the team for a long time. Considering this was the case, it brings me such pleasure to know that attackers such as Takahara and Edmilson were able to score some goals.