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Discussion Starter #1


I realized sometimes when discussing Kagawa's JNT situation I veer off into JNT stuff, so I figured I'd put a thread here so as not to clutter the Kagawa thread too much for those who aren't interested.

Japan has long been a stalwart in the East Asian Zone, and have had success in wider AFC competition as well. They have been one of the fastest improving sides in the Asian region since the kick off of the J-League, and now have dozens of players plying their trade across the globe to varying degrees of success. They are a staple show in most regional competitions, and are currently (2013 May) the highest ranked Asian side in the Fifa tables. What they lack in physical superiority, they make up for with solid zonal defense and an offense built on a short passing game as well as set plays, making for some occasionally highly entertaining football. With the Women's team having attained Women's World Cup glory, the men's team have some catching up to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Current Squad

Manager (Head Coach): Alberto Zaccheroni

#Pos.PlayerClub
23 -GK -Shūichi Gonda, FC Tokyo
12 -GK -Shusaku Nishikawa,Sanfrecce Hiroshima
1 -GK -Eiji Kawashima, Standard Liège
24 -DF -Gōtoku Sakai, Stuttgart
22 -DF -Maya Yoshida, Southampton
21 -DF -Hiroki Sakai, Hannover
16 -DF -Yuzo Kurihara, Yokohama F. Marinos
15 -DF -Yasuyuki Konno, Gamba Osaka
6 -DF -Atsuto Uchida, Schalke
5 -DF -Yuto Nagatomo, Inter Milan
3 -DF -Yūichi Komano, Júbilo Iwata
2 -DF -Masahiko Inoha, Júbilo Iwata
26 -MF -Keigo Higashi, FC Tokyo
20 -MF -Hideto Takahashi, FC Tokyo
19 -MF -Takashi Inui, Eintracht Frankfurt
17 -MF -Makoto Hasebe (capt),Wolfsburg
14 -MF -Kengo Nakamura, Kawasaki Frontale
13 -MF -Hajime Hosogai, Bayer Leverkusen
10 -MF -Shinji Kagawa, Manchester United
8 -MF -Hiroshi Kiyotake, Nürnberg
7 -MF -Yasuhito Endō, Gamba Osaka
4 -MF -Keisuke Honda, CSKA Moscow
25 -FW -Masato Kudo, Kashiwa Reysol
18 -FW -Ryōichi Maeda, Júbilo Iwata
11 -FW -Mike Havenaar, Vitesse
9 -FW -Shinji Okazaki, Stuttgart


Standard formation
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Recent results and fixtures

2012
24 Feb 2012, H-W, Japan 3-1 Iceland (FR)
29 Feb 2012, H-L, Japan 0-1 Uzbekistan (FIFA WCQ)
23 May 2012, H-W, Japan 2-0 Azerbaijan (FR)
03 Jun 2012, H-W, Japan 3-0 Oman (FIFA WCQ)
08 Jun 2012, H-W, Japan 6-0 Jordan (FIFA WCQ)
12 Jun 2012, A-D, Australia 1-1 Japan (FIFA WCQ)
15 Aug 2012, H-W, Japan 1-1 Venezuela (FR)
06 Sep 2012, H-W, Japan 1-0 United Arab Emirates (FR)
11 Sep 2012, H-W, Japan 1-0 Iraq (WCQ)
12 Oct 2012, A-W, France 0-1 Japan (FR)
16 Oct 2012, A-L, Brazil 4-0 Japan (FR)
14 Nov 2012, A-W, Oman 1-2 Japan (WCQ)

06 Feb 2013, H-W, Japan 3-0 Latvia (IF)
22 Mar 2013, A-W, Canada 1-2 Japan (IF)
26 Mar 2013, A-L, Jordan 2-1 Japan (WCQ)
30 May 2013, H-L, Japan 0-2 Bulgaria (IF)
04 Jun 2013, H-D, Japan 1-1 Australia (WCQ)
11 Jun 2013, A-W, Iraq 0-1 Japan (WCQ)
15 Jun 2013, A-L, Brazil 3-0 Japan (Confed)
19 Jun 2013, A-L, Italy 4-3 Japan (Confed)
22 Jun 2013, A-L Mexico 2-1 Japan (Confed)
21 Jul 2013, A-D, China 3-3 Japan (EAFF)
25 Jul 2013, A-W, Australia 2-3 Japan (EAFF)
28 Jul 2013, A-W, S.Korea 1-2 Japan (EAFF)
14 Aug 2013, H-L, Japan 2-4 Uruguay (IF)

06 Sep 2013, Guatemala
10 Sep 2013, Ghana
11 Oct 2013, Serbia
15 Oct 2013, Belarus
 

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Lately JNT seems dropping, hope they can pick up form for confed
Want they can progress a bit, though they are in hell group
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Japan's half B-team beat's Iraq in Doha, to finish their Brazil World Cup qualification with a win before heading off to the Confederations cup. Notably, Japan's talisman Honda (CSKA) sat out due to stiffness in his thigh, and Captain Hasebe (Wolfsburg) could not play due to cumulative cards.




Iraq, who needed nothing short of 3 points from the game to keep their world cup hopes alive, played a very physical game and it was a relief nobody was seriously injured with some of the tackles and boots to faces going on. The ref was pretty lenient and missed a few calls, but he also didn't call fouls for a few of Iraq's many dives and appeals. Japan on the other hand remained composed without resorting to tit for tat. I thought it was rather poor officiating for a WC qualifier, but at least they had no agenda.

Japan struggled the first half, facing strong winds, with passes continuously pushed back short, losing the ball much more often than they usually do. They also seemed to struggle with the heat, and often lacked pace. On too many occasions, Iraq's man came out on top of a 1-on-1, but Japan's teamwork defense paid off well. Both sides made a few good plays, but nothing decisive. In the 2nd half, Japan continued to play poorly, frequently losing possession in situations where they'd normally retain the ball. Iraq was quick on the counter, but could not breach the goal. Overall though, Japan played the better game, and made more quality chances. Chances squandered due to the poor finishing that is endemic to the JNT's one-top strikers.

While Japan played it as a test match, Iraq was desperate for the win. Too desperate for their own good. As the clock ran out, their plays became more rushed, aggressive, and less calculated or coordinated. With every failed offense, their frustration grew, and 82 minutes into it, Iraq's Alaa Abdul Zahra received his 2nd booking of the day for booting DF Inoha in the face as he vainly attempted a shot on a ball too high, leaving Iraq a man short for the final stretch. Japan capitalized in the 89th minute, with a quick combination between Endo and Okazaki resulting in Okazaki's goal to seal the game. After a long day of getting kneed and kicked in the head, as he tirelessly contributed to both defense and offense, it was good to see Okazaki take the win for Japan. It was his 8th goal in his 14 matches of WC qualification.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Kagawa, on the upcoming Confederations Cup.
Source: Fifa.com

“Natural ability is an essential element of football, but I realised during the final qualifiers that playing hard until the final whistle and not giving up are just as important. Going through those tough games at home and away really underlined that point to me. It was a valuable experience that I’ll use as I build to next year’s World Cup.”

“We found a lot of space down the flanks in the second half against Australia, and we need to turn those openings into goals,”

“Our opponents are all excellent teams, so this will be a good gauge of how we can perform away from home with a year to go until the World Cup. We need this sort of preparation, and I want to see how we handle the atmosphere and how far we can go.We’re going there to win, so the question will be how we can achieve that. That’s my mind-set going into this tournament.”

“All the teams have many fantastic players, and each team has its own individual style. Our defence and attack need to be in sync, and even then we won’t win unless we work hard. But this is why I play the game, and I can’t wait to get stuck in,”[/quote]


Nagatomo, on the upcoming Confederations Cup.
Source: Fifa.com

“We’re taking part in the tournament, so I want to win it. Each one of us has a clear sense about our role in the team, and although there are many aspects of our game we need to work on, I’m focused on doing what I can so we lift the trophy,”

“We battled through several hard games, and I think we showed Japan’s strengths to some extent. But we still have a long way to go before we can compete with the major football powers. Therefore, as a team, we need to look again at what we must do over the coming year.”

“Compared with the previous World Cup, Japan has more defenders and forwards playing regularly abroad, and I think we’ve developed a lot,”

“We aren’t at the same level as the powers of world football. We need to all work very hard, and that includes me. We’re aiming to win the Confederations Cup and want to show the world what we’re capable of. As an individual, I’d like people to think of the name Nagatomo when they think of world-class left-backs.”
 

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I am a fan. They play very nice football since their emergence, never mind some results, and better than South Korea, Australia and one or two from Middle East.

Pride of Asia... football wise.

Edit: Expect somebody from Down Under to quote me to say otherwise.
 

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Oddman - regarding what Parskey said about Honda being Batman and Kagawa Robin... - are you happy with Honda in the hole and Kagawa not? would you prefer Shinji central or does Honda's play elsewhere deteriorate more than Kagawa's from playing wide?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Oddman - regarding what Parskey said about Honda being Batman and Kagawa Robin... - are you happy with Honda in the hole and Kagawa not? would you prefer Shinji central or does Honda's play elsewhere deteriorate more than Kagawa's from playing wide?
The reason Zacc chooses Honda, is more about the rest of the team than it is about Honda and Kagawa. Simply, Zacc values Honda's ability to hold the ball, over Kagawa's ability to move the ball forward, because A) Our strikers are not on the same level as our AMs, and B) our defense-offense switch is sluggish because we are not confident enough to take necessary risks.

Japan plays a 4231 with no classic wingers. LWF Kagawa needs the freedom to peel off the sideline. RWF Okazaki, is originally a FW striker. To compensate for the fact that our attacking four are all naturally better in the middle of the pitch, we rely on our two SB to push up and add width. Our offense is much better when sidebacks Nagatomo and Uchida can play above the middle. To allow our sidebacks to push up, DM Hasebe needs to dip back and support the back four, but Japan doesn't do this as smoothly as Brazil does. We tax our defense heavily, and when we are under pressure as we most often are, our back four + DM become reluctant to push up for fear of counters. Enter Honda's ability to retain the ball in the middle, he keeps the ball while the defense pushes up, the SBs overlap the flanks, and allow the two Shinji's to get inside.

Kagawa plays at a much faster pace. Instead of holding the ball in the middle and spinning around in circles waiting for everyone to move up, Kagawa is always setting up a pathway to the goal. Honda keeps possession by keeping the ball, Kagawa keeps possession by keeping the ball moving. It can be difficult when outnumbered, and partnered with a slow striker who doesn't see the play. If the team is controlling possession, the sidebacks are up high, we're crowding the middle and collecting loose balls, no AMF is better than Kagawa. When we're outnumbered and giving away every loose ball, Honda's holding ability becomes invaluable, to calm the team and get them to shift from defense to offense. Unfortunately, I think this is hurting our offense, as we're also giving our opponents time to set up their defense. We should just be rushing in on the counter and scoring. The best defense is a good offense. Shinji Okazaki is probably our best AMF in terms of goals. He scores, is sturdy, fearless, and not easily injured. On the other hand, Okazaki is not a playmaker and is not an option behind the striker. He's more of a FW than an AM. He's got a few hats for Japan and has had his moments in the Bundesliga, including this gem which won Bundesliga Goal of the Month, Feb 2012.


Instead of this

Uchida -- Yoshida -- Konno -- Nagatomo
-----------Endo------------Hasebe------------
Okazaki-----------Honda-----------Kagawa
--------------------Maeda----------------------

Personally, I would field this

Uchida ----- Inoha ----- Konno ----- Sakai
-----------Hasebe------------Endo------------
Okazaki--------Kagawa---------Nagatomo
------------------------Honda-------------------

Instead of having Kagawa cut in from the left and rely on Nagatomo moving up, I'd have Kagawa and Honda vertically aligned, and have them interchange. Honda can still pace the game, while Okazaki cuts in. DM Hasebe will cover so Okazaki can roam free on offense. Creative mid Endo would be moved in front of defensively solid Konno, allowing Endo to focus more on offense. Converting LB Nagatomo into a winger would add another point of ball retention further up the pitch. We'd make good use of Honda's shot foot having him higher up, and even 4+2 defenses would have difficulty putting 2-3 markers on both Kagawa and Honda.
 

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thanks Oddman - very detailed, interesting, and well explained, I appreciate you taking the time to answer my question :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
East Asian Games, game 1, China 3 - 3 Japan

China scored straight off the bat, from a harsh pen ruling. Japan turned it around with DF Kurihara scoring from a corner, followed by FW Kakitani scoring, then immediately setting up Kudo for the third goal. Japan dominated the game for a while, but China got back in the game with yet another pen. A reinvigorated China leveled it with a 3rd goal.

It wasn't a bad effort from a JNT side comprised mostly of new call ups, and entirely drawn from the J-League. Considering some of the players had only begun practicing with the team two days ago, some combination and teamwork issues were unavoidable, and they lacked composure after China leveled the score. There were some positives, notably Cerezo's Kakitani wrecking it up top, but defensive issues plagued the backline resulting in a draw.
 

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I kind of love that now we've got Kagawa, we get complete reports on the Japan national team. I utterly love it, thank you Oddman! :)

Is Honda definitely 100% going to AC Milan? Would he work at Man Utd or would he be overkill in the AM/FWD department? He's a free agent in 5 months...
 

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I kind of love that now we've got Kagawa, we get complete reports on the Japan national team. I utterly love it, thank you Oddman! :)

Is Honda definitely 100% going to AC Milan? Would he work at Man Utd or would he be overkill in the AM/FWD department? He's a free agent in 5 months...
I believe Honda can play deeper if he wanted, his long passing is great.
 

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I believe Honda can play deeper if he wanted, his long passing is great.
Has he played there before though? I would be shocked if we weren't looking at him as an option, but I guess there are some strict restrictions on the number of non-Eurozone players we can have in our squad in terms of CL and prem games. I wonder if the Chilean guys we bought are taking up some of those slots. Ando prob has an EU passport by now, Rafael and Fabio will be naturalised I think, but not sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Is Honda definitely 100% going to AC Milan? Would he work at Man Utd or would he be overkill in the AM/FWD department? He's a free agent in 5 months...
Well, all the media are strongly suggesting it will be Milan, but it also sounds like he is going to run down his contract at CSKA and walk on a free. All the papers said Thiago was a lock, and we know how that went, so I wouldn't rule out the possibility of him ending up elsewhere.
I believe Honda can play deeper if he wanted, his long passing is great.
Honda is an AM, but personally, I think Honda can CM as well as FW. He's more physical than Kagawa, but less of a trickster. Honda's better at keeping the ball while under pressure from defenders, but Kagawa is better at pushing the ball through congested areas, and Kagawa has the better first touch/trap and better football brain when it comes to creative distribution. Honda's a bit like Rooney, in the sense that he has a strong shot foot, can hold the ball, but doesn't have the best acceleration and takes a few strides to hit top speed. That acceleration difference makes Kagawa better at beating a mark when pressing forward, but Honda's physicality makes him better at keeping the ball when pressed.
He's undoubtedly a good AM, but his effectiveness does depend on the system he's played in. He's good in systems where the ball is held behind the striker while the flanks push up to receive the ball, before punting it back in. He's less effective in systems where offenses are based on fast-paced dribbles down a vertical line, whether a flank or the middle, though he's not a bad second striker and can definitely pick up a rebound opportunity. He's a maverick at FKs, and can shoot from outside the box too.

United could make good use of him in a forward lying CM/AM role, but I personally think he'd do better in a team like Everton. If they lined up Fellaini and Honda, that would be a very strong vertical one two punch, and he also works well with the left flank, so he'd make good use of the Baines-Pienaar duo.


Coleman ---- Jagielka ---- Distin ---- Baines
------------ Fellaini ------- Osman --------------
Mirallas --------------- Honda --------- Pienaar
--------------- Anichebe --------------------------

If Everton sold Fellaini, I'd say they would definitely do well to buy Honda to CAM.


If we had him here, I'd probably want to see a formation like this.

Rafael ---- Evans ---- Jones ---- Fabio/Evra
------------ Carrick -------------------------
Zaha/Nani----------- Honda --------------
------------------ Kagawa ------- Januzaj/Welbeck
-------------RVP-----------------------------

He's got a good left foot, so I might play him on the left if we had a better CM choice. He wouldn't make a good DM though, as he's too attack minded. So I don't see him functioning well in CM unless it's beside/ahead of Carrick or another solid anchor type. I think he'd be a fine choice for a direct Anderson replacement, and getting him would definitely alleviate the impact of a Rooney departure as between him and Kagawa we'd have two solid trequartistas in case either were injured.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Kakitani footage from East Asian games. Kakitani joined Cerezo in the same year as Shinji, and has been carrying Cerezo's offense after Shinji, Inui, and Kiyotake all departed for Europe. I'm pegging him as Cerezo's next Euro export. Not the best display of his talents, but you'll see some glimpses of his style.
You'll see combination issues galore and an overall lack of cross and longball accuracy from the whole team. Far cry from the JNT first team, but bear in mind for most of these guys this is their first JNT call up, and they didn't get a chance to practice together until two days ago, plus some of them don't play a 4231 in their clubs and are being played out of position.

 

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Well, all the media are strongly suggesting it will be Milan, but it also sounds like he is going to run down his contract at CSKA and walk on a free. All the papers said Thiago was a lock, and we know how that went, so I wouldn't rule out the possibility of him ending up elsewhere.


Honda is an AM, but personally, I think Honda can CM as well as FW. He's more physical than Kagawa, but less of a trickster. Honda's better at keeping the ball while under pressure from defenders, but Kagawa is better at pushing the ball through congested areas, and Kagawa has the better first touch/trap and better football brain when it comes to creative distribution. Honda's a bit like Rooney, in the sense that he has a strong shot foot, can hold the ball, but doesn't have the best acceleration and takes a few strides to hit top speed. That acceleration difference makes Kagawa better at beating a mark when pressing forward, but Honda's physicality makes him better at keeping the ball when pressed.
He's undoubtedly a good AM, but his effectiveness does depend on the system he's played in. He's good in systems where the ball is held behind the striker while the flanks push up to receive the ball, before punting it back in. He's less effective in systems where offenses are based on fast-paced dribbles down a vertical line, whether a flank or the middle, though he's not a bad second striker and can definitely pick up a rebound opportunity. He's a maverick at FKs, and can shoot from outside the box too.

United could make good use of him in a forward lying CM/AM role, but I personally think he'd do better in a team like Everton. If they lined up Fellaini and Honda, that would be a very strong vertical one two punch, and he also works well with the left flank, so he'd make good use of the Baines-Pienaar duo.


Coleman ---- Jagielka ---- Distin ---- Baines
------------ Fellaini ------- Osman --------------
Mirallas --------------- Honda --------- Pienaar
--------------- Anichebe --------------------------

If Everton sold Fellaini, I'd say they would definitely do well to buy Honda to CAM.


If we had him here, I'd probably want to see a formation like this.

Rafael ---- Evans ---- Jones ---- Fabio/Evra
------------ Carrick -------------------------
Zaha/Nani----------- Honda --------------
------------------ Kagawa ------- Januzaj/Welbeck
-------------RVP-----------------------------

He's got a good left foot, so I might play him on the left if we had a better CM choice. He wouldn't make a good DM though, as he's too attack minded. So I don't see him functioning well in CM unless it's beside/ahead of Carrick or another solid anchor type. I think he'd be a fine choice for a direct Anderson replacement, and getting him would definitely alleviate the impact of a Rooney departure as between him and Kagawa we'd have two solid trequartistas in case either were injured.
I remember in the 2011 AFC that Honda played a bit deeper in the early group stages and his long passing left me shocked. The man has an excellent vision.

I'd love to sign Honda, he'd be an amazing and versatile player to have.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
EAFF East Asian Championship. Japan vs Australia results and recap.

The starting sheet for the Australia game came as a bit of a surprise. True to his stated mission of testing new talent, coach Zaccheroni overhauled all 11 slots from the previous game against China (3-3 draw).


Starting sheets against China (Left), and Australia (Right). Forgot to add GK Nishikawa against China, and Gonda against Australia.

Although JNT Coach Zaccheroni insists the first team is well rounded and it would be difficult for anyone to break into the main squad, Japan's first team is not without it's weaknesses. The defense has repeatedly shown a frailty that needs to be addressed, and the team lacks an out and out striker aside from Okazaki (Mainz), though Maeda (Jubilo Iwata) has cemented his place as a hardworking forward defender. Havenaar (Vitesse), who has been frequently selected to add height on the frontline, has failed to impress. The selection of the EAFF team suggests Zaccheroni may not be convinced by his own words, with 7 slots taken by strikers, 8 filled with defenders, while he selected no pure AMs or trequartistas; an area well populated by the likes of Kagawa, Honda, Kiyotake, and K.Nakamura. In their draw against China, Cerezo's Kakitani and Reysol's Kudo both came through with a goal and an assist. Today, it was Marinos' Saito, and Kashima Antlers striker Osako's day.

Overall, it was a typical JNT game, both good and bad. Japan came strong, showing off some tidy passwork, and opening the scoreline 26 minutes in, with this sublime dribble and shoot from Marinos' 23yr old ace striker Manabu Saito. Moyes might have ended up with a worse scoreline in Yokohama if he hadn't been called up.


26" Manabu Saito

The first half ended with Japan leading 1-0, and the tide of the game leaning Japan's way. However the gulf in class between the first team and this C-team was well apparent in the little things. First touches bounding long, rushed passes, and pass accuracy issues gave away the ball frequently, despite Japan holding the momentum. Defensively the first half was played fairly well, with Japan contracting into a compact 442 when defending, and keeping the line notably higher than the China game.

The 2nd half looked to be more of the same, 56 minutes in, this time Kashima Antlers' 23yr old striker Yuya Osako scored off Toyoda's heel pass.


56" Yuya Osako

But this is Japan. Japan just can't let the whistle blow without making things interesting (and stressful). 2-0 lead? Time to let the defense take a nap and concede a few goals, no?


76" Mitchell Duke


78" Tomi Juric

And we're back to 2-2. First team, B-team, C-team, it seems we just can't shake that habit of giving away a goal from a lousy lapse in defense. No matter how much we control a game, we just have to let them score. Jordan, Bulgaria, Brazil, Italy, Mexico, China, and now Australia. In 2012, we only conceded more than 1 goal in two games. This year, 7 times we've conceded 2 or more goals, and it's still July. Where has our defense gone...

But on the day, our young lads did not let the Aussie comeback dampen their spirits. Immediately after the score was leveled, Yuya Osako came through with this.


79" Yuya Osako

Australia spent the rest of the game applying heavy pressure, and threatened the goal, but Japan held the scoreline, to pick up their first win in the EAFF East Asian Championship. Japan spent some periods looking in command, scored some solid goals, but gave away the ball frequently with little errors here and there, gave away momentum despite having the lead, scrambled back, then held on for dear life. A typical JNT game.

Results
Japan 3 - 2 Australia
Shots 12 - 10
Corners 4 - 4
Possession 52% - 48%

Positives. Manabu Saito showed a different kind of striking ability from what our first team strikers have. Yuya Osako also impressed. On top of Kudo and Kakitani's performances against China, Zaccheroni would do well to consider adding a striker to the main squad in place of Havenaar who has consistently disappointed. Ogihara in midfield made an argument for being groomed as a successor to Endo who isn't getting any younger.

Negatives. If we were looking to fill the holes in our first team's defense, we aren't likely to find solutions here. Why don't we just bring back Marcus Tulio Tanaka? He can beast the back, contributes offensively, and is better in the air than what we've got.


Sure he's 32 going 33, but give him his last World Cup?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thoughts on the Aussie performance Oddman ?

Well, they weren't near the Aussie A-Team that always gives us a very hard game, but they matched our C-Team pretty well. Can't deny Japan had the better of them for most of the 90 minutes though. I think they lacked the technical finesse Japan's youth displays, but they had a high workrate, and kept the pressure on us when we had the ball. I was surprised to see Osieck seemed to be testing a more short pass based game than the straightforward classic counter that the Socceroo veterans use to good effect against Japan.

Defensively, they were better when they pressed us in our territory. In the middle, their blocs weren't able to eliminate our vertical passing courses. When we got the ball into their final third though, they lacked the physicality the A-team frequently displays, allowing our nimble forwards to dribble and needle 1-2 passes through. They did have a good eye for an opportunity, and beat us to the loose balls a fair bit, particularly in the second half. A for effort, but Thwaite's no Wilkshire.

They had a few good counter runs, but against Japan's compact defense, they dawdled a bit too much in midfield, allowing Japan to regroup. They missed Bresciano and Cahill in particular I think. Both their goals came from more direct attempts, and I think that style suits them better than the cautious build up. Particularly in a game like today where they won back the ball often enough, I think they should have been more bullish.
Milligan and Thompson were composed, but they have a lot more international caps than most everyone else on the pitch on both sides, so I think that should be expected. Midfield, I'm not sure who's going to step into Bresciano and Cahill's shoes, but Zadkovich showed up in some annoying areas. Not exactly a youngster though. Up front though, Juric looked genuinely promising. That Duke kid scored as well, so that's something to take home. Between Robbie Kruse, Juric and Duke, Australia could have a pretty good team of strikers in a few years.
 
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