The Samurai Blue head to a seventh in a straight-line Japan World Cup under the observant eye of head coach Hajime Moriyasu, who will be hoping to keep away from more agony in the Qatari city of Doha. With Spain and Germany in their group, that may be a big ask…
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The 54-year-old was named to lead the country’s Olympic men’s group after winning three J Association titles with Sanfrecce Hiroshima and having been a partner in Russia 2018. A previous Japan universal, Moriyasu made a difference win the nation’s beginning with Asian Container in 1992. He was moreover on the pitch amid the notorious. “Agony of Doha” occurrence in 1993 when Japan missed out on the taking after year’s World Glass by surrendering a late equalizer to. Iraq in their last gather diversion of a qualifying competition held in Qatar. Though he was able to direct Japan through a challenging last. Asian qualifying bunch against the background of the COVID-19 widespread, he has seldom had excited backing from the common public. Foreign media covering Japan’s press conferences will discover him to some degree equivocal. His interviews over the past two long time have been light on strategic detail (he lean towards a 4-2-3-1, in spite of the fact that some of the time fiddles with a 4-3-3) and overwhelming on tributes to the therapeutic laborers and back staff that have enabled the team to play throughout the pandemic.
The household name you haven’t heard of yet
Winger Junya Ito’s European career may be moderately low-key compared to those of a few of his peers. With three and a half seasons at Belgium club Genk some time recently a summer move north to Reims in France’s Ligue. But the 29-year-old has been a driving constrain for Japan on the correct flank, scoring four objectives. Including two game-winners — within the last World Container qualifying bunch, conjointly giving two assists. His capacity to hold up the ball within the assaulting third is more than coordinated by his cross. Which more often than not have at slightest one target holding up on the accepting conclusion. And readiness to cut through restriction shields and bring. The ball is into the box in arrange to set up a chance. That desire is something Japan hasn’t continuously overseen to inculcate in its players. But Ito is among a number of developing triumphs in that regard.
No strikers? all right. Just two of Japan’s 12 goals in the final phase of qualifying came from center-forward. And Yuya-Osako, the two-time World Cup experienced person who scored them both, was a shocking oversight from this squad. Instead, Japan’s attack is incarnate by its vast array of talented attacking midfielders. All of whom are able of pulling a rabbit out of a hat when the occasion calls.
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Japan’s need for a slaughterer is intuitive. Whether before objective or attempting to see out laughter against a decided opponent within the closing minutes. Could be a sore subject that has taken after the group for about as long as their World Container desires have been taken genuinely. The flip side of the team’s midfield-propelled physical attack. That there aren’t any genius forward players capable of carrying this squad on their backs. When the event calls for it, especially. Within the post-Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa era. If Japan’s structure is inclined to break down anyplace it’s within the back: Veterans Maya Yoshida (34). Yuto Nagatomo (36) and Hiroki Sakai (32) are nearly positively playing in their final World Mugs. And the likes of Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu (24), Ko Itakura (25), and youthful upstart Hiroki Ito (23). Will be tried in their debuts on the big arrange. Between the posts is of the most noteworthy concern within the long term, with 39-year-old Eiji Kawashima. Knowledgeable of the 2010 competition — still within the squad,
Japan’s seventh straight World Cup is evidence of the great strides the country has made in developing world-class players. Since its debut in France in 1998. Takeshi Okada’s squad that year featured a full slate of 22 players from the household J League. Whereas this year includes 19 competing for European clubs and an additional three who have widespread European experience.
The J League itself will rejoice in its 30th anniversary next season. Having long drawn out from 10 clubs in 1993 to 60 across three divisions for 2023. But the league’s vaunted academy systems aren’t the only sources of quality talent. Nine of Japan’s squad played for university teams before going pro, including Brighton midfielder Kaoru-Mitoma.
While hundreds of fans — including Ultra Nippon, the national team’s main supporter group. Are predictable to make the journey to Qatar, don’t be astonished. If it takes them time to find their full voice. Active support such as singing and chanting has been largely forbidden in Japan since. The start of the pandemic, with limitations finally lifting in stages this summer.
Expectations back home
The chance to face two previous world champions in Spain and Germany has been welcomed with enthusiasm. Fear in equal measure While it will be a rare chance for the Samurai Blue to take on two of the game’s strongest teams in spirited matches. There’s no mistaking the challenge Japan will face in order to escape this group. A win over Costa Rica in the second game and a draw against either of the European giants is almost certainly the most attainable route.
Fans will move toward the matches with their usual hopefulness. The country’s football media will be no less excited in backing the team. But while reaching the knockouts would debatably be considered the greatest achievement in the team’s World Cup history. A group-stage exit would not come as a revelation.
Moriyasu would surely face disapproval in the wake of a poor showing, but the man under the most pressure might be JFA president Kozo Tashima, whose contentious tenure — including his handling of then-head coach Vahid Halilhodzic’s shock dismissal less than three months before Russia 2018 — has estranged many long-time allies.
FIFA World Cup 2022: Who is the head coach of the Japan football team at Qatar WC?
A previous midfielder of Japan, Hajime Moriyasu, has been related to the national set-up for five successive years now. Four years back, he worked as a supporter of Akira Nishino. The Russian World Cup, where Japan lost to Belgium in the pre-quarterfinals.
Moriyasu began his coaching occupation with his former club Sanfrecce Hiroshima in 2012. He had a successful stint, winning the J1 League title in his first season and three times in total during his rule.
Since then, he rehabilitated the team, which had players aged above 25 in the 2018 World Cup. In his 26-member squad for the Qatar World Cup only two players from the preceding edition. Maya Yoshida and Hiroki Sakai – could keep hold of their places. This move drew severe censure for Moriyasu, particularly after Japan finished fourth in the Tokyo Olympics.
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