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GIANT KILLING – 22

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「#22」

With ETU down two goals after half time and only instructed by Tatsumi to stick to the original plan and enjoy the game, a miraculous comeback now is bordering on fairy tale-like levels. I would have preferred it if Tatsumi gave the team some sort of encouragement instead, even if it was just a simple, “things aren’t going exactly as we expected, but we’ll pull through if we stick to our game plan.” However, what I can appreciate about his excitement about being down by two is that it’s very Tatsumi-like. Part of the appeal of his character is that he’s really difficult to read, yet produces results that no one — especially not ETU’s players — can ignore. Much like Kuroda, everyone’s often left puzzled or frustrated about their coach’s seemingly unwarranted confidence, but then there are guys like Gino who will try to comprehend his so-called “method to the madness”. As such, I’m able to accept the fact that is the trend of the series, rather than just some wishful depiction of an underdog story that rests upon cliches.

Admittedly, it sure did feel like the latter case in the locker room scene though. Tensions were flaring and the team was in disarray with Kuroda calling out Sugie for not doing his job of shutting down Kubota. Somehow, we were expected to believe that was all calmed down by Tatsumi coming in with a ball boy’s opinion that this game would be really interesting if ETU came back to win it, which wasn’t happening in my eyes. My view changed when the second half actually got underway with Sugie stepping up his game and catching Kubota by surprise, and Kuroda showing confidence that he can get under Hauer’s skin, as I could sort of buy what Tatsumi had in mind in light of those visible improvements. His explanation of how ETU’s players had to change their mindset to one that believes they can win due to their play in the first half helped greatly in that regard too. What’s more, Gino taking the game much more seriously and coming back to support the defense gave glimpses of how he’ll be a pivotal part of this match like he should be. All that’s left now is for Natsuki to make good on the passes that are finally clicking and not upset Gino by wasting his efforts.

Given how this episode concluded, the change of focus to ETU’s forwards will hopefully translate to a momentum swing in their favor next time (i.e. goals). The individual games within a game as far as the players are concerned is what’s making this match interesting from my perspective, so I’m hoping we’ll see more of Akasaki, Sera, and Tsubaki’s mindsets. Interestingly enough, there’s been quite a stir-up in crowd between old school fans and the current United Skulls led by Hata as well. I honestly don’t care too much about that aspect of the story, but do feel it provides some depth. For now, my eyes are fixated on what’s happening on the field though, with anything happening outside just being background developments.

 

Preview

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August 30, 2010 at 3:38 pm
13 comments »
  • August 30, 2010 at 3:55 pmBoozerX

    You have to trust Tatsumi.

  • August 30, 2010 at 5:49 pmdanny zeto

    2-0 down at halftime? Stranger things had happened in soccer/football. Before the whistle blows at the end of the game, anything can really happen. And if nothing else…Trust Tatsumi.

    • August 30, 2010 at 6:14 pmMichael Chandra

      Club from my town once got back from 0-2 to 3-2 in the last fifteen minutes so yup, everything’s possible.

  • August 30, 2010 at 6:35 pmkanon78

    Don’t forget a lot of football matches really surpass “fairy tale levels”.
    I’ll just remind you of one of many legendary examples. A couple of years ago the (at the time) “almighty” AC Milan was leading halfway the Champions-league final 3-0 against Liverpool FC. And they miracously came back to 3-3 and in the end won the final on penalties.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/europe/4573159.stm

    • August 30, 2010 at 8:36 pmBluth

      I love Liverpool and everything about the club, but the CL final was nothing compared to Motherwell’s comeback vs. Hibs. 6-2 down with only about 25 minutes to go, and they tied it up on basically the last kick of the game. Best match of the season last year.

      I wonder if the key for Natsuki is to be selfish as a striker.

    • August 30, 2010 at 11:17 pmWolfsschanze

      What is so miraculous about it. AC had 45 mins to score 3 goals. Liverpool had 45 mins to score 3 goals. AC was just stupid to think they had the game wrapped up already.

      • August 31, 2010 at 10:44 pmkenshin514

        Surely, AC Milan scored 3 goals in 45 minutes and Liverpool backed in the game with less than 15 minutes of the second. It sounded like a great comeback. However, just look like the video @ 5:10 and onward after that of this game. Seriously, how can you not call that a dive?

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaewWKH2PIg

        Compare to this match between Man Utd vs. Spurs in 2001. Man Utd was 3 goals down in the first half and came back to win 5-3 at the end of regular time. Liverpool had to win the game by the penalties after the regular game. Which one is the better comeback now?

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2MHphmbp1E

  • August 30, 2010 at 7:16 pmKino

    Mmm… What a game that was…
    I still remember shouting myself hoarse during that CL game.
    Football is great in that everything is unpredictable, a team bounded by their spirits can always cause an upset and whether they can pull it off or not really depends on themselves.
    Now all I can hope is that Natsuki can actually pull something out of his bags of tricks and operate as the striker Tatsumi thinks that he is.

  • August 30, 2010 at 10:09 pmSecsuey

    This anime is like the cooler of the season :D

  • August 30, 2010 at 11:21 pmDragonite88

    Great Games our ones where the odds are against you my coach always said. I been injured for 3 weeks but watching this makes me want to play. I still have to wait another 3 weeks. Sucks when your playing attacking mid. btw pps looking for help to turn pro so if your willing please look for me on facebook (nike) for your support.

  • August 31, 2010 at 4:15 amL3g0la5

    certainly they do bring in the excitement that happens in real life. I remember a few seasons ago in the Tottenham vs Manchester United match. Tottenham went into half-time 3-0 up. Even the pundits had written off Man Utd only for one of the greatest comebacks to happen in premier league history. The Red Devils went ballistic in the 2nd half and the game ended Tottenham 3 – 5 Manchester United. So i’m really optimistic that this series will do something similar and have ETU unleash their potential in the 2nd half and make a comeback of epic proportions.

    • August 31, 2010 at 10:35 pmkenshin514

      Hell yeah, Man Utd’s comeback vs. Spurs in 2001 was the truly one of the best comeback ever. The whole second half was like 360 degree turned around compare to the first half. Many people may like Liverpool’s Champion League winner in 2005 final because it wasn’t long ago and it was CL final. However, maybe I’m Man Utd fan so I never really like that comeback. Why??? Surely, if anyone who saw the game or even watched the video, everyone can see that Steven Gerrard made a fake dive to earn a penalty and tied the game and I found that disgraceful for a player to do that. I’m sure all the Liverpool’s fans will probably probably want to kill me now. But seriously. I mean just look @ 5:10 and onward of this video. I’m not sure how that was a foul?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaewWKH2PIg

      Anyway, back to Giant Killing, it’s probably the nicest way to end the series with the great comeback to win against the biggest team in the league at the moment. It really suited the title of the series. Beside it has passed 15 minutes of the second half already and ETU hasn’t score yet. So it looks like they gradually improving and building momentum to make that great comeback.

  • August 31, 2010 at 7:59 pmIsland Esper

    The game was nice but… what’s going on with the fans (the old guys vs the new guys) that was kind of mean (not allowing then to hang the banner or whatever they were carrying). Also the reporter has fall to the shadows. I feel those plot lines will be left hanging with the pace of the show… yes the game is nice and 2-0 is doable in so many ways like some of you had said… ETU yay!!!!