Hmm, who would’ve thunk that Tatsumi recognized a much more fundamental problem in ETU’s recent string of draw games. It turns out it wasn’t simply the discord over the sole forward position, but the one amongst all the players who weren’t on the same page in terms of team expectations. This was already hinted at last time with a few of the guys happy about their tie against Urawa Red Stars and Murakoshi quick to remind them that they didn’t win. The thought of that being the problem didn’t really occur to me at the time though, as Sera’s injury was the main focus. Interestingly enough, after all the attention his character got in terms of development, the contention for the starting forward position was merely glossed over this episode. Sera’s minor sprain had healed already and he subbed in for the second half of the match against Albireos Niigata (modeled after Albirex Niigata).

At first, this seemed to downplay the importance of Sera’s struggles as a player for the past three episodes, but that wasn’t the case when it was revealed he was getting more chances than Natsuki. Of course, it was more to reiterate that ETU finally started showing some good team chemistry after Akasaki called a bunch of them out for their half-assed play as of late. With tensions boiling over, Tatsumi was intent on letting a bunch of them argue to their heart’s content during half time, since it gave him indication that the players were finally thinking alike. I on the other hand, was simply wondering when the first punch was going to be thrown with how heated the guys got. Subsequently, the end result didn’t change despite a strong push in the second half, resulting in ETU’s first loss after going on a fairly long undefeated streak, but actually proved to be a step in the right direction for the team.

It’s a bit hard to believe that getting pissed off at one another would bring that about, but this episode went on to reiterate an underlying theme of what it takes to become a successful team. Skill would be an obvious one, as having Gino going absent without leave surely didn’t help ETU. However, here it was more about how ETU didn’t exude the makings of a championship team with the way some players were only content with ties while others were extremely frustrated about not winning against teams they feel they should have. While I still question if correcting this disparity in the players’ mentality is enough to turn ETU into a team capable of upsetting the still undefeated Osaka Gunners (modeled after Gamba Osaka), that’s evidently the direction the story’s headed. One thing that did catch my attention towards a huge giant killing in the Japan Football League though is Murakoshi reporting his view on the team to Tatsumi in private.

There hasn’t been much in the way of the relationship between those after Tatsumi reinstated Mr. ETU as the captain way back in episode five, nor the Japanese national team manager Blanc since episode six, so the addition of both looks like the stage has been set for the big showdown between Tatsumi and Osaka Gunners’ coach Dulfer. Tatsumi sure looks confident, but it appear the only change he’s making to counter the highly offensive opposition and their four forwards is changing up ETU’s formation to one with two forwards. That’s a change I’ve been wanting to see following the return of Natsuki, so it’ll be interesting to see what else Tatsumi has in mind.




  1. Did anyone notice how much authority Tatsumi now holds in the team. During the fight at half time, all the coaches tried to stop the players but it wasn’t until Tatsumi slammed the board everyone stopped and listened; clearly different from how he was received at the beginning which I assume isn’t actaully too long ago.

    1. Yeah, when Tatsumi has something to say, everyone’s going to listen. I don’t think anyone really doubts his abilities as a manager/coach anymore, given the team’s drastic improvement under his guidance.

  2. They should have changed to two forwards a LONG time ago. Only weakass teams goes play 1 forward team set-ups. Forget that, IMO soccer teams should at least have 3 forwards. Throw Gino or Tsubaki as another Forward. (Probably Gino)

  3. This is why I stopped going to mass events the flying bottles attack!
    It was a nice build up episode. However the 8-0 Osaka win felt weird. Jesus 8-0 !!! That makes them even bigger than a giant. A 4-0 was more believable. I want ETU to win of course but that win either means that Osaka is unbeatable or that the other team is even worse than ETU. Maybe is a trick to make us feel better with a ETU victory. Go team we need a victory or the merchandise won’t sell 🙂

    Island Esper
  4. finally…. using 2 forwards dammit!! lol… tatsumi should have used the 4-4-2 formation when they were in drawing streak but with sera’s injury…..hm do they only have 3 strikers only in the team?? well that will destroy the team when at least 2 of them gets injured…
    i think they have youth teams or second squad players if they are professional team…?

  5. Im Argentinan, hence a soccer fanatic, and its awesome this show represent the game. Focusing on the club as a whole: the fans, the staff, the players and even the media is there. Giving a lot of attention to the mental struggle of each player and the relationships between them.

    A very enjoyable show.

    PD: You will regret not blogging Shiki. Its turning out amazing so far.

    1. Hmm? I’m still watching Shiki even though I’m not blogging it. I don’t regret taking on less Thursday shows. I’m still watching Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu, Asobi ni Iku yo, Shukufuku no Campanella, Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru, and HIGHSCHOOL OF THE DEAD, none of which I’m blogging.

  6. There is nothing wrong with playing the lone striker as long as the wingers/inside forwards and attacking midfielders are able to complement the attack well. (Barcalona, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Man. U?)
    While we know that the right winger, Akasaki, is decent, we have yet to see the left side and from this episode, we can also see that the full backs are not really doing their jobs well.
    Ignoring the football banter, it was another great episode with really good voice acting from the Dutch coach and French one. The French accent was a bit weird but fantastic nonetheless.

  7. ahhh i cant wait for the match lol.
    I can only think whats shocking that he’s playing two forwards is that he’s replacing a defender for one, meaning hes gunna play 3-5-2 against a team that can win 8-0 XD, sounds like a tatsumi tatic 😛


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