Japan vs. Australia

June 12, 2006

Japan lost. It’s bound to happen. Not that I favour Australia, afterall I love Japan. But the first 15 minutes already made me worry. And I know if Japan keep playing like that it will be pretty dangerous. Well, it seems that my worry does were proven right. The problem is that Japan’s play couldn’t develop much. Japan is strong in short passes and speed. Also in long shoot and set-plays. But since they were defending most of the time, those kind of play just couldn’t be done.  And no, Japan strong points doesn’t include defending. So, it’s just a matter of time before Japan defenses crumbles, plus Hiddink uses 3 striker from about half time. 

The question is, why does Japan have to defend so much? One of the main reason that I see is body balance. Australian (and most European) have big bodies. And comparing it to Japan’s body, they are like giants. With that, it took Japan all they power just to hold on to the striker and midfielder. Take Viduka, I think there were like 2 to 3 people marking him. And even with that stopping Viduka proved to be a very hard thing to do. Now, since Australia have 3 striker… it would take 2/3 of the squad to do anything considerable to Australian team. With that many players in the defense line, there’s nothing they can do but defend. 

Another reason for they lost is that Japanese strikers and midfielders doesnt perform well today. Nakamura couldn’t do anything much. Nakata tried his best, but noone support him. Yanagisawa runs well, but poor on execution. Takahara skills doesn’t show up. The best player of the match for Japan is of course the Goalkeeper Kawaguchi and the captain Miyamoto. Extraordinary saves and great decisions were made by the two that saves the team lead until the 80th minute. Eventyually the power of them two only were not enought to handle the Australian.

So what should Japan do in the first place? I can’t say much. Well, I’d really prefer if the Japanese suddenly have big and tall bodies, but since it’s not an option, the only choice would be playing attacking+keeping football using short passes and avoid body contact. Using speed to attack but still keeping the pass-lines opens. Never give up possesion or at least stop them in the middle of the field before they reached the defense line. Meaning, thicken the midfields. Using only one striker at the head, with long shooter along the midfields. Use Oguro in the front coz he can shoot very fast. That’s my opinion..

Good luck on next matches against Croathia and Brazil…

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