House Of The Rising Sun
Ange Postecoglou once stated if he and his team found themselves in a one off game, he would always send his charges out to win the tie, no question.
In some respects, the last derby clash was a one off tie, as it offered the opportunity to go top, and shift the momentum.
That’s very rare, almost a one off (game).
And he did what he claimed.
Had his bhoys fired up, had a gameplan to best the opponents, and went for the jugular so to speak.
Boom! Fantastic win, exhilarating football, a game to remember.
Sunday’s game has a one off feel to it. We have the chance to swat away the nearest challenger, placing destiny firmly in our own hands, and stating firmly ‘we’re the best team in the land’.
It’s a title decider in all but name. This team won’t drop six points in six games so close to the finale. The jockey need only guide his horse home, the hard work of getting into the lead already done.
With goal difference, you could call it seven points.
And both teams aren’t on an even keel. With those big European ties, and a decent chance to reach the final, I don’t see their manager putting absolutely everything into an unlikely title charge.
That means jaded players some weekends, less time to prepare for the upcoming opponent, less time on the training ground.
All a hindrance rather than a help.
Ange will go for the win, I’ve no doubt. It’s often stated on here their defense hates being run at with pace,,and if we know that you can be sure the gaffer does also.
Maeda and Jota first names on the team sheet then.
It also means Kyogo gets the nod over G-Mak. The big Greek would have foul after foul called against, men in blue rolling everywhere clutching every body part, appealing very vocally and in numbers, a dirty play on the old belief ‘if the players are appealing that much,there must have been something’.
Besides, those chaps are more used to having a big, physical, penalty box striker over a skillful, pacey and nimble alternative.
Plus Kyogo has done the business before, knows how to get the job done.
A Meada, Kyogo, Jota front three would be my choice.
Usual back four containing JJ and GT, with a midfield trio of Hatate, McGregor, O’Reilly. A very strong bench in reserve.
Should that selection come to pass its surely the very first derby game containing three Japanese players, another indication of a changing world.
In times gone by I might have wondered if the occasion might be too big, the game too physical, the pace too frenetic for such a selection, remembering Koki Mizuno’s anonymous contribution to his wildcard inclusion way back.
But I have no such qualms at this juncture. If Ange selects a player, he’s been deemed ready on all fronts, WGS take note. Our players have shown real character to reach this point, at this stage a big game is much more likely to fire them up, than leave them flummoxed.
They will remember how they embarrassed this team, totally had their number, and turned them into ‘shitebags’.
They will know a victory more likely than not seals the title.
They will be up for this.
I predict on Samurai Sunday we shall witness Ibrox become the house of the rising Sun, our Japanese bhoys coming to the fore despite the hatred.
Calmac should stick up a photo of the ‘Nakamura ate my dog’ banner just for extra fire in the belly, though the hatred will still pour forth.
Then their tears.