Football (Japan) Lost In Translation . . . Relaunched 2012!
Japan Football: Zaccheroni, Samurai Blue, and general J chatter
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Japan NT squad for Ecuador Friendly
A 23 name squad for the friendly against Ecuador (March 30) was announced this afternoon.

GK
Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi - Jubilo Iwata
Yoichi Doi - FC Tokyo
Seigo Narazaki - Nagoya Grampus

DF
Makoto Tanaka - Jubilo Iwata
Shinji Murai - Jubilo Iwata
Tsuneyasu Miyamoto - Gamba Osaka
Akira Kaji - Gamba Osaka
Alex Santos - Urawa Reds
Keisuke Tsuboi - Urawa Reds
Yuji Nakazawa - Yokohama F Marinos
Teruyuki Moniwa - FC Tokyo
Yuichi Komano - Sanfrecce Hiroshima

MF
Yasuhito Endo - Gamba Osaka
Mitsuo Ogasawara - Kashima Antlers
Takashi Fukunishi - Jubilo Iwata
Shinji Ono - Urawa Reds
Makoto Hasebe -Urawa Reds
Yuki Abe - Jef Chiba

FW
Tatsuhiko Kubo - Yokohama F Marinos
Atsushi Yanagisawa - Kashima Antlers
Seiichiro Maki - Jef Chiba
Hisato Sato - Sanfrecce Hiroshima
Keiji Tamada - Nagoya Grampus

Narazaki and Tamada are back on the list for the first time since last year; these two have been out with injuries.

With the return of Yanagisawa and Ono to the J.league, I was wondering how Zico could shuffle around the other names in this all-domestic call-up. What was interesting is that he has listed 5 forwards (I don't think we've had 5 forwards in one listing before, or it's been a really long time since). And all the forwards are very different in style and personality. Kubo is still 50/50 with regard to his current condition (some trouble to his back and right leg in recent weeks). So who knows which pairing will get the starting nod. Tamada of course will be under pressure to catch up, given his competition have been gaining a lot of attention and momentum in his absence.

It is great to see Hasebe and Abe, as well as Murai, called back too. I know Motoyama was dropped, but I think balance-wise and overal performance wise, Hasebe deserves to nudge Motoyama out.

Malta Before World Cup

I forgot to mention this before: Japan will play Malta on June 4 -- it will be the last friendly before the World Cup obviously.

Lost in Translation Jokes Getting Old

The JFA has been trying to convince FIFA to allow more than one person (ie. the translator) in the technical area during the World Cup games. This of course is an issue for countries where the managers and the players speak different languages. In 2002, when Japan/Korea hosted, they made a special rule to allow two people into the area at the edge of the pitch, but this time things seem to have gone back to the original rule of "only one". Zico of course has said that he would hope they would allow the translator, but has also said that it isn't as big a problem though a bit of a disadvantage. He is not one to shout a lot of things from the sidelines to begin with, his policy being that the players have been getting instructions throughout the pre-game training week with a visualization of the game, and that the players are expected to think for themselves.
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