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Japan Football: Zaccheroni, Samurai Blue, and general J chatter
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And so we go on...
Oh, what a truly disappointing end of the story. I don't think it has really hit me yet, the reality that it is all over.

I've been also disappointed by the fact that I have been too busy to relax and really enjoy the World Cup. The way the schedule and time difference work out, most of the games are so late at night, and even those games I've taped I will have to wait a while to watch. I know I have been horrible about updating this blog, but maybe it was for the best... you all would be reading a lot of very frustrated entries!

As for our boys in blue -- well, their performance in this World Cup begs several questions.

- scoring. Japan really needs to develop true strikers
- coach. What kind of coach does Japan need?
- youth. With many of the players now in their late twenties and early thirties, it will be necessary to replace with a younger and inexperienced generation very quickly.
- style. Does the Brazilian style of football fit Japan's abilities?
- strategy. Was it too early to put together such a defense-light team?
- physical. Both in terms of strength but also in terms of stature -- our defenders were completely dwarfed by the opponents.
- conditioning. This team was out of top form going into the tournament -- too many injuries to too many players.
- mental. This was a relatively cool team, lacking in some of the emotional gusto of previous generations. What kind of personality do we want out there on the pitch?

- captain. I will be the first to admit, Miyamoto absolutely croaked out there. He is one to be extremely sensitive to details, and tends to get obsessed with the details. He fell apart this month -- something we caught a glimpse of during the first game against North Korea last year. On the other hand, someone like Hide Nakata, who often took the captain's armband in prior years, also had trouble bringing the team together, though he tried many tactics somewhere in there he lacked the natural power to bring the team closer together.

For now, I will leave these issues for you all to debate at will. Now, it's back to the drawing board for the JFA.

They announced a couple months ago that they would not begin serious consideration for the next National Team coach until July. Some people like the idea of going back to a Japanese coach for reasons of communication and commitment to Japanese football. Some people want to see another European style coach in the driver's seat. Some people don't care where the coach comes from just as long as he has a clear analytical and strategic mind, something more concrete than what Zico's philosophy offered.

The JFA had said last month or so that they intend to stick with a Zico-type philosophy for the future of the national team -- in other words, they want someone who will allow the players a degree of independence and creativity on the pitch as well as bringing to the team the intangible qualities of a classy attitude as athletes.

I really enjoyed reading everyone's comments on this blog -- it felt good to finally hear some of your opinions and hear how others felt. Thank you all so much for visiting and debating and exchanging information!!

I will continue to look back at this team as the months pass, and perhaps come to some conclusion about what we can take from this experience. I have to admit, it was a bumpy and strange ride, but aren't they all...!
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2006/08/01(火) 00:18:44 | | #[ Edit]
Urawa tickets
Im looking to get home tickets for Urawa v Avispa on 15th October. I understand they won`t be available just yet. Do Urawa have away fans at Komaba?? Anybody got an idea when (if at all) I might be able to get a pair.I know the ground is too small and their is great demand. Do all tickets go to season ticket holders or are they ever on general sale??Any clue especially potential release dates would be most gratefully recieved. Cheers
2006/07/11(火) 22:05:15 | URL | Nick #-[ Edit]
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2006/07/10(月) 21:56:36 | | #[ Edit]
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2006/07/10(月) 15:56:18 | | #[ Edit]
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2006/07/10(月) 14:59:36 | | #[ Edit]
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2006/07/07(金) 10:41:55 | | #[ Edit]
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2006/07/05(水) 14:27:50 | | #[ Edit]
Bad thinking??
I didn`t say he was a bad player,i said he was decent in his time. His time (on the world stage) is over and has been for a while.His performances have been very poor for a number of games in the National Team.If anyone can say he had a good performance against Australia (the most important game of the tournament) especially and Croatia I congratulate them on their positive outlook.All sportsmen have an upward slope followed by a downward slope in trying to reach the top of their respective careers.Everybody starts off as an unknown in a youth team somewhere,in Nakatas case at Bellmare,he then progressed to the first team and got noticed by national coaches and went to france 98.he then got noticed by foriegn coaches and moved to Italy,again he got rave reviews for Perugia.Moving up he got a big deal move to Roma.Whilst there he scored a some important goals as a sub but struggled to dislodge Totti from the team.His time at Roma has to represent the pinnacle of his career in terms of prestige of club,teammates and competition.From here on he has been on the downward slope.A move to Palma for 3 years whereby he played for an average team followed by Fiorentina and Bologne two more average teams never in with a chance of winning anything.Following this, a transfer to Bolton (last season apart) a perrenial struggler or mid table team at best.Whereby he warmed the bench for most of his time. For a man of his considerable ego, this cannot have been pleasant.I feel he retired as he knows he is on the downside and doesnt want to represent the weaker clubs again as most players do. If you`ve sat at the top table,why go back to washing dishes?? Its fair enough. I feel he has had a decidedly negative effect on the Japan team for so long,its as if other J Leaguers are scared of him and his influence. Where was he when japan were winning the Asian Cup?? They didn`t need him. Im happy for Japan. They can move on regroup, get some new,hungry players in and get some competition for places now the old guard is stepping down.They desperately needed a change and they are getting it. New coach,new players, great!!
2006/07/05(水) 07:37:43 | URL | Nick #-[ Edit]
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2006/07/04(火) 18:32:16 | | #[ Edit]
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2006/07/04(火) 18:13:42 | | #[ Edit]
Shocking but I am cheering at the news!! He is most definately on the downside of his career.He peaked at Roma and has been on the slide ever since,his teams becoming weaker and weaker and his play becoming weaker and weaker culminating in a diabolical World Cup. A decent player in his day but his dancing days have been over for some time.At least he`s had the good grace to go and not hang around stinking up the Japan team any longer. Hurrah! Hurrah and thrice Hurrah!! Out with the old and in with new, truly exciting times for the New Japan. Hopefully Yanagisawa (PLEEEEAAASSSSE retire from internationals!!!!!) and a few others will take note and start thinking the same.
2006/07/04(火) 08:16:57 | URL | Nick #-[ Edit]
Hopefully Osim will call up the new players we wrote about<especially Marques,as I am a fan of his> and bring them to camp and see what they look like against each other!That is one way to see what kind of PASSION they have!!!I have the feeling that Japan team members,once called up take things for granted and don`t realize how fortunate they are!If each player knows there are others on their heels,the team can only get better,as they push each other!
2006/06/28(水) 11:51:17 | URL | john #-[ Edit]
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2006/06/26(月) 12:09:42 | | #[ Edit]
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2006/06/26(月) 09:10:36 | | #[ Edit]
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2006/06/25(日) 22:56:25 | | #[ Edit]
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2006/06/25(日) 22:20:58 | | #[ Edit]
goals,goals,goals...as long as you are Brazilian!!
goals,goals,goals...as long as you are Brazilian!!
I honestly think one of the problems in Japanese football is the over reliance on foriegners to do the job that cost Japan a decent run in the World Cup,ie score goals!! Virtually every J1 team has foriegn strikers (mainly Brazilian) and while these guys do a great job in entertaining the crowds with their exciting play,where are the up and coming Japanese strikers supposed to cut their teeth?? In the satelitte leagues or J2?? How is japan ever going to produce even one decent striker if they don`t get a chance in their own domestic league?? Why are the vast majority of foriegn players strikers?? Its almost as if Japan accepts that they will never be able to score goals so theyll leave the responsibility to someone else. Everybody should be shouting at the top of their lungs about this situation especially after the pathetic display just seen in Germany. Maybe its time for a new European style foriegner rule?? I know the rule is currently 3 foriegners on the field at once but how about an extension to include three foriegners but NO STRIKERS!! Completely impractical I know but something has to be done. At the moment there is a SEVERE lack of talent up front lets hope the next generation have a bit (not a bit a shed load more!!!)more to offer... Hiroyama,Cullen,Morimoto,Havenaar we will be waiting!!!
2006/06/25(日) 07:23:25 | URL | Nick #-[ Edit]
Osim the man with the plan??
Hello all,Just read(Mainichi Daily News so about as reliable as my postman...) Osim from JEF United is the new man in charge....reckon he can tell Nakata just what he can do with his chicken haircut!! Not to many chicken haircuts in Sarajevo back in the day though otherwise he would have had a word with Abe at JEF!! Bad haircut but good player,maybe now Zico`s gone others `ll get a crack.Let`s hope so!!
2006/06/25(日) 01:29:46 | URL | Nick #-[ Edit]
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