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Friday, March 2, 2007
J. LEAGUE 2007
TEAM BY TEAM ANALYSIS
Last season: 12th
Manager: Robert Verbeek (Netherlands)
Prospects: Near the bottom
One to watch: Enilton, a speedy forward who reportedly does his best work in and around the penalty area
Verbeek, brother of former Omiya coach (years ago) and current South Korea coach Pim, replaces Toshiya Miura, given the heave-ho after just one year after a disappointing campaign.
Verbeek's appointment is a curious one as the coach doesn't appear to have that much of a track record, and one can't help but wonder how much of a hand brother Pim had in the recruitment of his brother.
Incoming for the new season are two Brazilians, forward Enilton from Palmeiras and Leandro from Cruzeiro. Omiya will be hoping Enilton can prove a better acquisition than the terrible Saul Martinez, and will pin most of their hopes again on the brilliant Daigo Kobayashi.
Unfortunately "The Mighty Squirrels" are a club perpetually in the shadow of the neighboring Urawa Reds and the most Verbeek can hope for is to get a result in the Saitama derby matches because it otherwise looks like a tough season fighting for survival in J1.