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Our new boy Ryodinho, a special talent (although not in England)

By Walter Broeckx

Some of us had high expectations on Wellington Silva who would join Arsenal in January. But as he didn’t get a work permit he was send on loan to Spain.

A bit under the radar was the signing of Ryo Miyaichi. Some knew he had done a trial last year then went to Ajax, broke his leg and then it became a bit quiet.

But he recovered from his injury and signed for Arsenal. There were some clips on You-Tube where you could see a very fast forward running on the left flank for his school team. Arsenal asked a work permit and as usual it was refused. He wasn’t a special talent or not enough according to the people who know such things.

And then Arsenal decided to send him on loan to Feyenoord. I think most of us know Feyenoord. One of the big teams in Holland who have won a lot of titles and cups in their history. Last year they finished in 4th place but there were some signs on the wall that is was all going a bit downhill.

And so this season Feyenoord went from being a top club to being a bottom of the league club.  They even had to go through the humiliation of being beaten 10-0 (Ten – nil that is) by PSV. I was looking at that match live on TV by accident that day and this really was hitting the bottom on that Sunday 24 October 2010.

So on the day that Ryo went to Feyenoord they found themselves 4th from bottom. And as there are 3 clubs going down in Holland and they just had a 4 points advantage above the 3rd last club things didn’t look good at all for this traditional club in Holland. Just 20 points from 21 games.  Only 5 wins in 21 games. Things looked bad for Feyenoord.

On came Ryo. And all of a sudden things changed. From their last 6 games in which Ryo played they won 4 and had to settle for 2 draws. Games which also could have been won if it wasn’t for some bad defending.

I must admit that at first I didn’t really noticed it. It was only because of the Dutch TV broadcaster (NOS) that I by accident saw that they started talking about Ryo and his incredible performances for Feyenoord.  So I paid some attention to the summary of the game and saw really exciting things from this only 18 year old Japanese schoolboy.

Well in fact it is a story that sounds like a fairy tale. A boy comes from a school team, gets a chance in professional football at a team that is struggling and suddenly when he plays the whole team plays better and starts winning things. If you see this scenario in a Hollywood picture you just wouldn’t believe it.  Currently Feyenoord are joint in 10th place and if they keep playing like that they could even get in the play offs for European football next season. Their season has been completely turned around.

And as I come from Belgium we also have the Dutch TV channels over here in Flanders and I am a very privileged spectator. Since I noticed Ryo I know record each program from the Eredivisie on my hard disk so I can see at how he is doing. And he is just doing great!

What do I like about Ryo? Well he is fast. Not as fast as Theo I think but he has one asset that could turn him in to a real golden boy. It doesn’t matter which speed he runs the ball is almost always under control and I mean close control.  Dare I say it? Well, why not, he reminds me a lot of Christiano Ronaldo for that part of his game. The way he dribbles is amazing to see and he can come on his left foot or right foot it doesn’t seem to matter to him.

What I also like about Ryo is what happened at Den Haag. A team that has some, well let me call them some Birmingham-Stoke thing about them. After having terrorised their right back for almost the whole game that back had enough of it. Ryo ran past him once again as if he didn’t exist and that back brought him down with a vicious body check. The defender got a yellow card and Ryo was down and most 18 years old would stay down and run home to their mother. But Ryo got some treatment. Came back on the field and seconds later he got the ball in a similar position and with the same right back in front of him. And then he just did what he had been doing the whole game long: just ran at him and left him behind. Now that is why I called having guts.  He is not that easily intimidated. A great asset.

What also is a very good thing is that he doesn’t shy away from working for the team. When they have to defend he will defend. He doesn’t look lazy and that also will be a big plus for him in the future. Since then in a few games the teams that play Feyenoord are trying to double mark him by putting 2 players against him. Just the fact that other teams adapt their tactics to stop Ryo is a big compliment for the way he has played so far. And maybe a big important thing about this double marking is that this has given much room to the other attackers from Feyenoord and they can exploit this and have done so.

Is he there yet? No, he isn’t. A lot of work has to be done. But after seeing him play 6 games in the Eredivisie and seeing him turning the season from Feyenoord on his head I surely would say this guy seems to have a special talent.

The Feyenoord fans are going crazy about him. If you could read Dutch and understand Dutch you can find a lot of clips, blogs, comments from the Feyenoord fans who think that Ryo has made the change possible for their club. And also the manager is full of praise for this new boy in town. In fact he keeps him on the field for the whole game because he is the kind of player that can change a game with one action. The fans have given him the nickname Ryodinho already for his trickery and performances.

And Ryo is like we over here expect people from Japan to react. He seems to be standing with both feet firm on the ground. Passes praise to his team mates and thanks them for their help. Just says he is trying to do his best for the team, has a lot to learn and wants to work even harder to even get better. And if you realize that until a few months ago he never really played anything near to professional football this really is amazing.

If he keeps this attitude and if he can keep injury free we really could have something special in our team. If only he could get at work permit this summer, I would love to see him running on the left flank and Theo on the right flank. What a combination that could be.

And based on the reactions in Feyenoord circles they must be very, very pleased with the not-given special talent work permit for this special talent.

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Are Premier League Matches Fixed – part 2 of the article, concluding the review of the evidence

30 comments to Our new boy Ryodinho, a special talent (although not in England)

  • Wrenny

    Our loss has definitely been Feyenoord’s gain. Although it’s hardly a loss when Ryo gets to play every week in a strong, technical European league. And Feyenoord have always had a very strong academy, so they know how to nurture talent.

    That special talent work permit shouldn’t be far away though. It seems like Ryo will be called up to the Japan national team soon, maybe as early as this month, and that would make a big, big difference to the strength of Arsenal’s next permit application.

  • Dark Prince

    Its a good sign, but we cant assume anything until he comes to play in Arsenal. Wellington Silva, though howmuch ever hyped before, has recently been playing poorly and has not been in favour in the starting 11. His attitude problems has affected his career and his fitness. Seems to me that he might not even play for Arsenal ever. Unless, these players are not at our club, they seem to deviate sometimes from progress on the pitch.

  • GoonerTerry

    Well I am already on the record with my prediction that Ryo Miyaichi will be a huge player for Arsenal. I just love this player – the way I loved Cesc when I first saw in play in the reserves. Miyaichi will be one of those players that breaks all the rules regarding young players and will be a first team player in less than 2-years..

  • bc

    Lets hope we can get a few more players out to Feyernood soon and may be bring one or two over here De Vrij and Vlaar would be very interesting. Perhaps Ozyakup and Ebicilio could join Ryo and even Miquel, Cruise, Henderson & Murphy. I think, having some Arsenal boys out there with Ryo will only help him when he finally gets his permit.

  • realistic tony

    good news!

  • RedGooner

    Walter we have spoke about him a few times here on this forum I think he is the one player in all the loanees who has the ability to change a game and make a difference to a team like Cesc.
    Thats not said lightly either as many Arsenal youth stars are over hyped, he looks like he will be become a BIG part of Arsenals first team for years to come.

  • walter

    I am not pretending that I know it all of course. But I must say that when I saw Cesc for the first time I had a feeling (like most of us did): this guy is special.

    I had the same thing when I saw Jack Wilshere playing for the reserves on Arsenal TV online(oh happy days…), you just felt he was special.

    I just have the same feeling with Ryo. I didn’t expect a lot from him at first. I think nobody did. But the way he played with guts, skill and also hard working made him special.

    So in a few years I could be wrong but based on my experience with Cesc and Jack there is a good chance I could be right.

  • Sammy The Snake

    I’m just copy & pasting:

    Arsenal are reportedly set to sign another Japanese sensation – the younger brother of Gunners starlet Ryo Miyaichi.

    According to Young Guns, Miyaichi’s 15-year-old brother will undertake a three week trial with Feyenoord, with the possibility of securing a work permit to join Arsenal’s academy at a later date.

  • Johnny Deigh

    He is easily good enough to start for us now. He was voted the best player in the Dutch league last month, and I’m sure if he were Dutch he’d be getting called up for their senior squad. There are also rumours that José Mourinho is trying to tap him up for Real Madrid.

    It is also understood that Ryo will compete for Japan in the Copa America this July in Argentina.

  • Adam

    @Walter when this lad turns 21 will he be classed as home grown or will the year(or more) on laon count against him and we have to register him as a foreign player even though he would have been an Arsenal player 3 years prior to turning 21?

  • Wrenny

    You’re not wrong Walter, it’s not just that Ryo is quick, skillful and two-footed (although that helps!), it’s his maturity and awareness, his hunger, his desire, his confidence – the total lack of fear when suddenly thrown in against players twice his age having barely left Japan and high school football level.

    From his very first game with Feyenoord he was running at players, trying to make things happen, taking responsibility. Most youngsters making their debut just don’t want to make a mistake! Special players don’t think like that, they only think about impressing. Cesc and Wilshere are like that, and Ryo appears to be just the same.

  • nicky

    It’s all very well raving about this Ryo and how well he is doing for Feyenoord. If we still can’t get a work permit for him, it won’t help us. It looks as though Welligton Silva may prove to be a non-starter, in which case we ought to be pressing the jobsworths for Ryo to be allowed to join the Emirates. Our need for new replacements/additions to the first team squad before next season is already urgent. If this guy is good enough, he’s old enough.

  • steven

    Haha The FA (Favour Arsenal) slap a 5 game ban on my Feggie………what a way to further create the siege mentality that Feggie loves. He will sit 2 rows back with his tartan blanket over his trews and his hip flask in his pocket laughing all the way. The ABU and media’s lust for sanction after sanction against anything MUFC has been sated. However, just at the worst possible moment for the opposition because this will galvanize the team which is starting to purrrrrr and will turn into a full blown growl….How fitting that the FA ban Feggie from one of their showpiece events, you see, the media will focus more on Feggie not being on the touchline than mentioning the FA Cup event itself. I would love United to appoint Bryan Robson to lead out the team and I will be telling Feggie just that the next time I speak to him. Can you imagine the emotion that will cause and the effect on the United team, the media, the fans. My Feggie will have the last laugh……(right, wheres my mobile)

  • Leopold


    He will be considered a homegrown player because he is already registered with the Arsenal FC.

  • Ian Trevett

    Cheers for the report Walter. Can’t wait to see him play.

  • xD

    what’s steven been smoking? ‘Feggie’ :S

  • burtsagooner

    Yup awesome player, i live in the Netherlands and have a few football loving dutch mates. The consensous is: He’s better than Ronaldo at that age!
    Have to admit have caught the highlights of his games and he does oooooze class. You can see the defenders are scared to death of him. Get him a visa now!!

  • GunnerFanUSA

    I can’t wait to see him wear an Arsenal jersey. The UK needs to speed up his special talent visa! Here’s a video tribute I found on youtube of him, Amazing skill!:

    Out of curiousity, anyone know how Chicharito was able to get a work permit so quick for Man U, but we seem to have trouble with wellington silva and now Ryo? Hernandez only made his debut for the Mexican team after the work permit, and silva has played in the under teams as well.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Aye ,Walter this boy is the real deal .He is possibly the best prospect we have had in recent history.The clips of him running at the defence rally excites me and I can’t wait to see him play in the EPL and terrorise the left backs , especially a certain Cashley Cole.
    He does help in defence and starts runs from deep within his own half.He will no doubt be an asset on our right flank.
    Hope to see him in action in Arsenal colours real soon.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Oh and I did forget to mention that he was the start of an attack that lead to a few goals for Feyenoord also.
    Brickfields gunners, he usually plays from the left in his first games. But in the last game when their keeper made a terrible blunder and the score was 1-1 he was changed to the right wing. And then he just did the same job from the right flank. So he can play both flanks it seems.
    With him and Theo on the flanks… just the thought…

  • jeungnovi

    Ryo is a special talent. As Walter pointed out, he is not as fast as Theo but he is by some way a better dribbler and genuinely two footed. He loves running at defenders.

    Ryo on the left. Theo on the right. VP in the center drawing defenders out of position and Cesc now has two options to send the mighty through pass. [If Cesc stays beyond this summer]

  • prick

    It seems I need to go and change my pants. The thought of both Theo and Ryo on the flanks is too much!!

  • walter

    Same here prick.. and being at work… well better not think to much about it 😉

  • Johnny Deigh

    @Gunnerfan – Chicharito was one of Mexico’s best attacking players in the World Cup. It’s understandable he got a visa.
    Supposedly Ryo will play for Japan’s senior squad in the Copa America in July and he may get called up for Japan before that as well. When you consider he is one of the best players in the Dutch league, I can’t see how he won’t get a visa, normal or special talent, the next time Arsenal ask.

  • Johnny Deigh

    @Walter @prick – It is reported that Ryo has run the 100m in 10.83 seconds. I think this is comparable to what Theo ran it when he was 16 or 17. So yes, I too have been imagining the thought of both Theo and Ryo terrorizing the opposition fullbacks on the wings.

  • FinnGooner

    Thanks for article Walter. I saw him play (via internet stream) and he looked great. And I can’t wait until he playes for Arsenal. Also I think it’s nice that Arsenal is really looking after him with banning all interviews and media appearences to prevent too much hype…
    Also it seems his teammates really respect him. I mean how many 18 year olds can get whole team wear black armband (Dutch FA rules say that all members have to wear one or no-one can and Ryo wanted to wear one for Japan).

  • walter

    off topic but just seen the Rangers-PSV game and recalling Bartley is no option anymore I think. I’m affraid he will be where the other CB are: injured…

  • pires

    Has anybody else been following the progress of Ryo Miyaichi since his loan to Feyenoord? he was put straight into the first team and has set the team alight. He has started every game since joining them and has already been suggested as the next Messi? I have watched quite a lot of the highlights and the lad look`s the real deal. Two great feet,very quick and very skillful. To be honest he already looks better than the likes of Arshavin,Vela,Rosicky etc. Shame we were unable to get a work permit sorted as this lad would have offered us a lot over the closing stages of our season.

  • The Blaze

    I live in Rotterdam and i watch games of Feyenoord and go to them once in a while.

    When he arrived at the training centre, he blew the whole Feyenoord-team away with his dribbles. The foul against ADO Den Haag you were talking about has left Ryo with some bruised ribs and since then, he hasn’t made the same impact as before. Even though he isn’t at 100 percent, this 18-year old kid has lifted the entire team.
    Feyenoord beat FC Groningen [who was 4th in the league at the time] with 5 goals to 1. Then they beat SC Heerenveen 0-1, the first away game won in over a year. Feyenoord won last weekend against NAC Breda and even though Feyenoord still isn’t playing well, they are getting the results. Players have more belief, because with Miyaichi, you have the feeling that something is going to happen. Players like Biseswar and Wijnaldum are now much more confident in their moves.

  • Jonathan This was the stoke tactic “bodycheck”