Episode 229 - J1 & J2 Matchday 15, Japan Squad

May 23, 2018

Scott McIntyre and Stuart Smith guest as we go deep on J1 and J2, and also Akira Nishino's first Japan squad.

In Part 1 Scott and I begin with Kosuke Nakamura's shocking injury and the farcical end to Kashiwa's win at Nagoya (to 12:20), then move on to Hiroshima looking human against Cerezo Osaka (to 18:40) and Kobe's big day out at home against Sapporo (to 23:40). We then round up the rest of Sunday's results and throw Kashima some love for their ACL heroics (to 28:40), before finishing with Saturday's three games and an extended chat on Yokohama because, well, it wouldn't be an episode of J-Talk without one (to 42:20).

In Part 2 Stuart joins us to chat about Nishino's 27 (plus Yuya Kubo?) for the Ghana friendly, and we muse on who will make the final cut of 23, with talking points including: Nakamura's likely availability for Russia post-concussion; the quagmire in central midfield; surprising inclusions and notable snubs; and the general lack of difference makers in what all three of us agree is a stale and uninspiring squad (to 1:18:20).

Then in Part 3 Stuart is cock-a-hoop after FC Gifu's superb away win over Omiya on Saturday (to 1:35:00), and the top of the table clash between Oita and Yamaguchi leads our wrap of the notable results from the second tier weekend.

Follow my guests on twitter (and the web)

Scott - @mcintinhos

The Asian Game podcast

Stuart - @sushi_football

We Are Gifu


Episode 228 - J1 Matchday 14

May 15, 2018

Dan Orlowitz guests on this week's podcast as we review J1 Matchday 14, while we're also joined by new Nagoya correspondent Adrian Serna to discuss the (sorry) state of Grampus.

Dan and I begin our top flight wrap with Sunday's draw between FC Tokyo and Sapporo (to 12:20), before moving on to the juggernaut that is Sanfrecce Hiroshima (to 18:15).

Then Adrian joins us for a wide-ranging discussion on the dire situation at Nagoya (to 43:10), before Dan and I give props to Nagasaki - Grampus's conquerors on Saturday. We then chat about the managerial change at Kashiwa and round up the rest of the weekend's games before finishing with the Matchday 15 fixture list


Episode 227 - Golden Week J1 Wrap

May 8, 2018

Sam Robson from Football Radar guests to round up the busy Golden Week period of J1 fixtures, in which all top flight teams played four times in the space of 12 days.

We begin with 'Golden Week winners' - the teams who fared the best over the course of the four games (to 23:00) - before moving on to a few 'losers' - those teams who struggled during Golden Week, or wasted opportunities to build momentum after some early success (to 35:00).

We then take some questions from twitter, before moving on to runaway J1 leaders Hiroshima (from 56:00) - can they be caught?

A couple more bigger-picture twitter questions follow before we finish off by discussing early-season disappointments Urawa, Yokohama and Nagoya.

Follow Sam on twitter - @FRSoccerSam


Episode 226 - J2 Special April 2018

May 1, 2018

Stuart Smith and Jon Steele return to the pod for this month's J2 Special.

We begin with struggling Kofu, who sacked manager Tatsuma Yoshida on Monday, and discuss their prospects under new boss Nobuhiro Ueno (to 14:35), then move on to happier topics - namely co-leaders Oita and Okayama (to 24:10).

Then Kofu's fellow relegated sides Niigata and Omiya come under the microscope (to 31:20), before a tangent on J2 'keepers (to 39:00) and other noteworthy teams/topics including Fukuoka, Kanazawa, Stuart's FC Gifu, Kyoto, Tochigi SC and Tokushima. We finish by picking out some games to watch during the two remaining Golden Week rounds of matches.

Follow my guests on twitter:

Jon - @J2KantoBites

Stuart - @sushi_football

Stuart's website - We Are Gifu


Episode 225 - Yokohama 4-4 Shonan, J1 & J2

April 25, 2018

Sean Galbraith and Jon Steele guest on this week's podcast, as we finally move on from the sacking of Vahid Halilhodzic as national team boss, and return our full focus to the J.League.

And what a weekend it was. In Part 1 Sean recaps the J1 game of the season so far, the 4-4 thriller between Yokohama and Shonan, with familiar concerns about F.Marinos defensively still dominating discussion around Ange Postecoglou's team (to 34:45). Sean then gives us the lowdown on runaway top flight leaders Hiroshima, with Yokohama one of Sanfrecce's recent victims (to 40:40), before we recap the rest of the J1 Matchday 9 results (to 52:00).

Then in Part 2 Jon discusses Tokyo Verdy's win over Mito on Saturday, and some bigger-picture issues surrounding the Tokyo Greens (to 1:10:40), before we review the key results from J2 Matchday 10 (to 1:18:50) and chat about one of the feel-good stories of the second tier season so far - Kumamoto's surge from the relegation places at the end of 2017 to this season's top six.

Follow my guests on twitter:

Sean - @1amSage

Jon - @J2KantoBites


Episode 224 - Halilhodzic Fallout, J1 & Machida

April 17, 2018

In this week's bumper episode, Scott McIntyre and Dan Orlowitz debate the JFA's decision to sack Vahid Halilhodzic so close to the World Cup, the week's J1 action is reviewed, and Dave Brooks guests to fill us in on Machida's impressive start to the J2 campaign.

In Part 1 Dan and Scott differ strongly on #HalilhodzicGate (to 32:35), before the three of us (all FC Tokyo supporters) discuss the Gasmen's decent start to the J1 season (to 47:20), after which we bid Dan farewell.

In Part 2 Scott goes deep on a number of J1 clubs. He's full of praise for Sapporo's strong start (from 49:26), then discusses at length the three teams currently in the relegation zone: Nagoya (from 56:15), Yokohama (from 1:00:05) and Gamba Osaka (from 1:08:50).

Then to round off this week's proceedings Dave chats about what's gone right for Zelvia so far this season, and looks ahead to a key stretch of games as they look to bounce back from Sunday's first defeat of the campaign in this topsy-turvy J2 season.

Follow my guests on twitter and the web:

Scott: @mcintinhos

The Asian Game

Dan: @aishiterutokyo

Football Tribe Asia

Dave: @FellowZelvista

#AUDIO ISSUE# Unfortunately the 'pre-echo' is still a thing, you can noticably hear me talking over Scott several times, and while you may think that was a tactic to cut him off, I can assure you it wasn't, and is just a consquence of a tired Skype connection.


Episode 223 - Taxi for Halilhodzic & J1 Matchday 6

April 10, 2018

Sam Robson and Ryan Steele guest on this week's pod in the wake of the amazing decision by the JFA to sack national team boss Vahid Halilhodzic just two months before the World Cup.

In Part 1 (to 26:55) we discuss the factors behind the firing, and the choice of Akira Nishino to step in, before musing over some players who may come back into the Samurai Blue reckoning under Nishino's watch (from 18:20).

Then in Part 2 we review all of the games from the weekend's J1 action, beginning with Urawa's first win of the season, and Ryan gives his thoughts on the firing of Takafumi Hori (to 46:30). Sam and Ryan each give a surprising and disappointing team after six games, and those teams' games are the next we cover (to 1:08:00), before we wrap up the other games, with yet another refereeing controversy (or two) an unfortunate talking point.

Follow my guests on twitter:

Sam - @FRSoccerSam

Ryan - @Steelinho

#AUDIO ISSUE# I think our Skype connection got a little tired, basically from the start of Part 2 onwards, so you may notice a brief 'pre-echo' before Ryan and Sam speak, and that contributes to what sounds like me cutting them off, especially right at the end of the episode. Apologies.


Episode 222 - J1 Matchday 5

April 3, 2018

J1 returned from the international break with plenty of talking points both on and off the pitch, and Alan Gibson and Neil Debnam returned to the pod to discuss another action-packed weekend.

In Part 1 Alan and I begin with Urawa's decision to sack manager Takafumi Hori just over four months after he steered Reds to the ACL title, before moving on to focus on the differing fortunes of the three Kansai clubs in J1 through five games, finishing with a brief review of the Matchday 5 slate (to 35:40).

Then in Part 2 Neil chats about the horrendous officiating blunder that cost Kawasaki a point in their top-of-the-table clash with Hiroshima, and the slightly underwhelming start Frontale have made to life as defending top flight champions.

Follow my guests on twitter:

Alan - @JSoccerMagazine

Neil - @frontalerabbit


Episode 221 - J2 Special March 2018

March 27, 2018

With no J1 played over the international break it was the perfect time to get the band back together as Jon Steele and Stuart Smith run the rule over J2 six games into the new season.

We begin with each guest picking a surprising and disappointing team for them in the early going and check in on the three teams relegated from J1 last season, before assessing the upside-down nature of the table and the fast starts that each of the current top six have made.

Stay til the end, when I completely flummox Jon and Stuart with a quiz question for the ages.

Follow my guests on twitter:

Jon @J2KantoBites

Stuart @sushi_football

And check out Stuart's We Are Gifu blog


Episode 220 - The Dawn of Ange & J1 Matchday 4

March 20, 2018

This week we go in depth of the early days of Ange Postecoglou's reign at Yokohama F Marinos with first time guest Sean Galbraith.

We begin with a detailed look at Yokohama's first win of the season, 1-0 at Urawa on Sunday, before looking bigger picture at the impact of the new gaffer's tactics and how well the squad are responding (to 36:45).

Then Sean assesses Yokohama's opponents so far, starting with Reds, and including Cerezo Osaka, Kashiwa and Tosu (to 49:35). From there we run through the other results from J1 Matchday 4, including friend of the pod Jay Bothroyd's big day out at the Sapporo Dome on Sunday, and Sean offers his thoughts on Manabu Saito's controversial cross-prefecture move to Kawasaki.

Follow Sean on twitter @1amSage