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Japan vs Germany Tonight
Hi Everyone,

Getting in the mood for the World Cup yet? Here in Japan, they have been doing lots of football segments on the news or on football news shows not only about the Japan team but also profiles of other teams and who the key players are. We have been seeing a lot of profiles on Australian and Croatian players and how the teams have performed in the recent friendlies against teams like Austria, Iran, Greece, etc. Of course, Brazil is the king, and everywhere you look you see Ronaldinho's face as well as Roberto Carlos and Ronaldo etc etc. So many stars! We also have seen programs building up the World Cup fever by introducing the other Groups as well.

Japan vs Germany

060529-9.jpgTonight, May 30, is the friendly game between Japan and Germany. I don't know if they are going to show the game in other countries, not just Germany and Japan, but if you are planning to watch the game, remember -- root for Japan! :)

But seriously, it will of course be a test match. Obviously, the first thing is that we want to see some good football, some good technique and creativity as well as spirit and toughness.

Focus on Defense

060529-1.jpgBut if you are also one to look for analytical things (strategy, etc), you may find it interesting to keep an eye on the defensive work. Right now, the Japan team is trying to figure out how they feel most comfortable defensively. In other words, different players are voicing different opinions about the defensive strategy. In many ways this is very worrisome, because at this point we would like to think that this kind of strategic philosophy should have been already decided by the team manager. But Zico is letting the players debate it out themselves.

So, in the Germany game, it will be interesting to see where the back line decides to maintain their position (how close to or far from their own goal) and also at what point the front players apply defensive pressure when Germany possesses the ball. In defense, timing and team unity makes all the difference -- against a powerhouse like Germany even the smallest adjustment problems will result in goal allowances. We should also watch out for long balls, mid/long-range shots, and of course make sure the areas behind the left and right sides are not exposed.

What about the Offense?

This team likes their offense. The key will be how easily or how difficult it will be for Japan to maintain possession. I am thinking that against a team like Germany, we will see fast attacks instead of slow passing build-up. Germany will put on tough pressure and fast defense, so the only way to get past people is to move the ball around quickly, using one or two touches. Japanese players will have to run run run to allow teammates good passing options.

As for forwards, from what I hear from media reports the forwards look pretty good. I don't know how many forwards Zico will substitute, but maybe we will be able to see all 5 on the pitch at some point in the game. In practices, the most worrying aspect of the Japanese forwards has been that if the team gets muddled in midfield the forwards will get lured to the midfield to help out on defense or offensive creation. If that happens, we lose numbers up front -- and the result is that when we do create a good opportunity we don't have enough people to receive the last pass for the shot. Or, they are tired out and their final shot is weak or lacks accuracy.

We could also argue on the other hand that if the forwards come down to midfield, it will be up to some of the free midfielders too make a run up to the top to go after goals. So in offense perhaps the thing to watch for is what kinds of position changes occur and who makes effective overlaps.

The game will air Live in Japan, but the time will be 4:30 AM!! So no sleep for me ...!

Friday, I will post the match review.

Fukunishi and Ogasawara fight for the ball Santos aims past opponent Oguro The team making some noise during shooting practice
Comment On This Entry
2006/05/31(水) 05:50:21 | | #[ Edit]
Hmm..i live like 30min from the city...
Anyways, never heard of that bar, is it going to be packed with Jfan's?

Man your lucky, wish i can be at Japan to feel the more Worldcup "atmosphere" than here....^^
2006/05/30(火) 23:06:56 | URL | Nak #-[ Edit]
Hey Nak, yeah dude I'm from Sydney where are you from? Unfortunately I'll be O/S when Japan take on the Soccerwho's ^_^ hehe so I wont be able to join the JNT fans down at the Shark Bar in the city :(
Did you see the game against Greece? Man skoko pulled that shot out his @ss haha...but its good cause it give the soccerwhos a false sense of security going into the match with Japan
2006/05/30(火) 16:07:27 | URL | sickemrex #-[ Edit]
2006/05/30(火) 15:39:24 | | #[ Edit]
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