Football (Japan) Lost In Translation . . . Relaunched 2012!
Japan Football: Zaccheroni, Samurai Blue, and general J chatter
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After tainted Kimchi, will it be Dengue Fever?
I'm not a Yokohama Marinos fan, but ya gotta hand it to them for actually making it through the A3 Championships this last week in Korea. Last year saw them lose their two star forwards to injury (Kubo and Ahn), and repeated absences of a star defense line (Nakazawa and Matsuda) due to NT games. Now they start the year with the above four missing, plus a number more down first to the flu and then some sort of food poisoning (though the exact cause still doesn't seem to be clear). Not to mention another injury to Sakata, their so-far forward. Now they have to gear up for the Real Fight, the Asian Champions League.

Their next ACL game will be in Indonesia....and staff are already getting mighty uptight about making sure certain dangers are avoided. I've lived in various countries when I was growing up, where you had to boil the water, take malaria pills, get yellow fever vaccinations, and so on. And really, it's a crapshoot no matter how careful you are. And weak Japanese stomachs aside, there're so many ways you can get sick in foreign lands that you can only go so far in preparation. It's probably worse for the staff to be running around getting hyperworried about every molecule of air, creating a tense environment for the players. Get in, play, get out.

Take a hint from the JapanNT when they went to India for their WCqualifier last year. The team went in two days before the game, arrived at the game, sat in the dark for 40 mins during a "traditional" blackout caused by rats, won the game, didn't take showers in the lockerrooms because the water was brown, got on the bus, went to the hotel, and got on a plane and flew home that night, I believe. It doesn't get more business-like than that.

All I can say is, for the dream of being able to watch a Japanese club play the best clubs in world, please please win the ACL!

This being said, I do have mixed feelings about Managaer Okuda's reluctance to allow Nakazawa and Matsuda to make it on time to the NT training (before the Iran match WCqualifier) in Germany.

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