Tuesday, 12 July 2011
Ryo Miyaichi - Close up
Close up? No, this isn't a close up personal account of the life that Ryo lives, as this piece that I am about to write is all about Arsenal's new wonder-kid - Ryo Miyaichi. There has recently been prolonged talk from Arsenal supporters stating how disappointing they have been with Arsene Wenger's activity in the transfer market, with reserve player, Carl Jenkinson, and the highly-rated Gervinho being their only signings as far. However, Arsene Wenger could still spend around £25 million on a star player, but the best summer business for Arsenal could be sealing the work permit of Ryo Miyaichi.
After signing a professional contract in the later stages of January, Arsene aimed to build on the club's long-term relationship with Feyenoord, and thereby sent Ryo out on-loan to gain the experience of a footballer whilst playing the 'right' way in the Eredivisie. It turned out be a shrewd move by Wenger, as the youngster went on to have a successful spell at the De Kuip. He started his first game against Vitesse, with the Feyenoord manager, Mario Been, instantly showing a liking to the Japanese youngster. Ryo had made an excellent impression in his first game, which resulted in a 1-1 draw. But there was more to shout about after his quite tremendous 90 minutes; he has been named man of the match, in which was a significant prize for a player with no past experience of playing professional football.
That game was seen as the internal working model for Ryo and his adopted club, for the time-being. In other words, it means that the basis was set, and that his standard of performances should remain high, with Feyenoord also showing faith in Ryo - a two way process. Did his performances remain to a high level? That would be an astounding yes! Not only did Ryo turn into a star in Holland due to his tremendous talents, but he worked hard for his place in the team and has now been rewarded for his work-ethic.
He scored his first goal for Feyenoord against Heracles, with the second goal in the game also being created by him. But arguably his best, and most complete performance came at the De Kuip when Willem II visited. Not only was this yet another special performance from Ryo - scoring two goals, and having two assists to his name - but his ability to turn the match on its head was admirable (Feyenoord was a goal down before winning 6-1 quite comfortably). That is exactly what would be welcomed at Arsenal - a player who will be able to use his initiative and go on to win a game when nobody else is seemingly shining.
Enough of the facts, and on to his true ability. Did you know that the Feyenoord supporters used to call him "Ryodinho" with the "inho" most likely coming from a Brazilian background, hence being a compliment? Ryo's skills dazzled in Holland, and so did his pace. He isn't the type of player who'll need to perform several movements with his feet ("flip-flap" etc) to beat his man. Ryo has the raw ability to beat his man with a quick turn of pace and drive down the line. His tendency to stay out on the touchline, will add a new dimension of width to the Arsenal attack, which is a must need along with his pace.
Another convincing attribute of Ryo is his capability of turning up in the right place at the right time - getting into goal-scoring positions. Some people say that it is just natural, but I beg to differ. It's all about the movement of a player and interpreting when to get into the right positions when needed. Finally, to end his great attacking potential, I'd also like to add in that Ryo Miyaichi's delivery is top notch, and he can deliver them in various styles - such as whipping the ball in at head height, floating it in, and even producing a hard low cross which can be difficult to execute. Add his attacking attributes together, and it seems as if Arsenal have one pure offensive talent on their hands.
Now to his defensive game? An offensive player with a defensive game? What is going on here? Well, Ryo may be as skillful and delightful to watch as many of the world's best players, but his defensive work needs to be appreciated. Throughout his successful spell at Feyenoord, it became apparent to the audience watching that Ryo had true grit. He would lose the ball up the field, and then chase the opponent until he had got the ball back in his possession again. Its similar to Lionel Messi. An offensive player who has just scored 50+ goals a season , and looking for more, loses the ball, and chases down the opposing attacker as he attempts to get the ball back. It's terrific work, and his non-lazy approach will be great to see at the Emirates.
Anything he could improve on? In my personally opinion, the only flaw that Ryo has is that his final ball can be inconsistent. Not to a great extent, but inconsistent nonetheless. There are times where he can put in sumptuous balls with the strikers licking their lips, but there were quite a few times this season where the ball didn't reach its target, and I'm certain that the coaches at Arsenal will groom him well in this area.
Overall, Ryo can become a special, special player, capable of reaching the great heights of football - perhaps even on the world stage. He has the talent and effort to do so, and I'm more than sure that he'll become vital to Arsenal sooner rather than later. Ryo is only 18 years of age, and is still rather raw, but Arsenal can take advantage over his rawness and let the hungry youngster run riot in the Premier League. A work permit is still a problem, but I believe that his talent should do all the talking in welcoming him to English football.