Aishiteru Tokyo's Nabisco Cup Coverage

Just a note on our coverage of the Nabisco Cup: because of the compressed timeframe involved in most Nabisco Cup matches (weekday games, several matches in short spans, etc) as well as the fact that most teams don't field League-strength lineups (thus making games somewhat harder to evaluate), Aishiteru Tokyo will not provide previews for Group Stage matches.  Match writeups will be dependent on dokool's ability to watch the game in some form or another but at the very least we'll post the usual stats and a YouTube roundup if available.

Should FC Tokyo reach the quarterfinals or higher, Nabisco Cup games will be given the same treatment as league matches with complete previews, reports, and related coverage.

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10 thoughts on “Aishiteru Tokyo's Nabisco Cup Coverage”

  1. Just an observation, but the suggestion that “most teams don’t field League-strength lineups” for Nabisco Cup games seems to be a bit of a red herring.

    Certainly during international weeks the top teams in Japan lose players to international duty (like Nagatomo and Konno) but otherwise most teams tend to traditionally field the strongest starting eleven available.

    Indeed from the midweek fixtures, about the only team that “rotated” their squad was Omiya Ardija – and I’d venture to say that’s because they have several players of around about the same ability all vying for a starting berth.

    It’s not an issue that I feel especially strongly about, but sometimes I do feel that the Nabisco Cup is under-valued for no particular reason other than the fact that crowd sizes are about half of what they are for league games.

  2. >Mike Tuckerman

    Welcome to the blog!

    You do have a good point and roster changes also vary by team; I think Jofuku actually shook up Tokyo’s roster a decent amount for last year’s Nabisco Cup matches, including giving Hirayama a starting role when he wasn’t even making it into regular games as a substitute.

    I think saying that it’s undervalued because the crowd sizes are small turns it into a chicken-and-egg question. IMHO it’s undervalued because it doesn’t do much more than prove which team cares the most about the Nabisco Cup. It adds more travel stress to the schedule for some teams and gives advantages to others through the bye week (see Agent Orange’s post on the subject – http://omiyaallezallez.blogspot.com/2009/03/apathy-abounds.html), and you can only watch your team play Shimizu or Kobe so many times.

    You want to make the Nabisco Cup interesting? Find a way to let J2 teams in on the fun. Give the 4 ACL teams a bye, why not.

    14 J1 teams + 18 J2 teams = 32 squads

    8 groups of 4 teams each, home and away. Top team from each group advances. Of those, the top 4 teams get a bye. Bottom 4 teams play the ACL squads. Winners of those matches play the top 4 teams that got a round 2 bye and then you whittle it down properly. Gives a break to the ACL squads as well as a break to the teams that did the best of surviving the group stage.

    Fans get to see some new opponents, J2 teams get some decent revenue from J1 supporters, everyone wins!

  3. I’m all for including J2 teams in any future Nabisco Cup schedules, but the only reason for the existence of the bye this season is because Japan now has four teams in the newly revamped AFC Champions League who receive a bye into the knock-out stages.

  4. >Mike Tuckerman

    …I’m a bit confused, how will this be different in future seasons? As far as I know Japan will still have 4 teams next year, correct?

  5. Yes, but last season defending Asian champions Urawa Reds did not enter the AFC Champions League until the quarter-final stage.

    That meant they were free to take part in a Nabisco Cup group stage – so there were four groups of four teams, with Gamba Osaka and Kashima Antlers taking part in the AFC Champions League group stage.

    The increase from two Japanese teams to four in the AFC Champions League group stage this season is what created a bye in this year’s Nabisco Cup.

    It’s not a very fair system – this year – but the bye is only a recent Nabisco Cup phenomenon. I don’t think that in the past teams could use an “unfair schedule” as a reason for sending out an under-strength team.

  6. Mike

    Teams are starting most of their regulars because the J League fines teams that don’t start their “first choice” squads. Because season ticket holders have paid for the tix along with regular season, the league has concluded that teams need to treat the fixtures as if they were as important as league games.

    I don’t know if Omiya will get fined or not as well as JEF Chiba. Omiya can make an argument that they use a rotation system for their attacking 4 so their first choice is different from day to day.

  7. Well who gives a toss if other teams are putting out their best XI or not!
    We won today, and after the start we’ve had I couldn’t give a fig if Kobe had put out their Under 17’s.
    dokool where are the trumpets and horns?

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