Japan can again prove they can match it with the FIFA World Cup’s “golden standard” — but will Hajime Moriyasu let them? & More Trending News


In his pre-match information convention on Wednesday forward of a decisive 2022 FIFA World Cup Group E conflict in opposition to former champions Spain, Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu as soon as again expressed his admiration for European soccer.

“The golden standard in the world” is what Moriyasu used as an outline.

Just final week, forward of their match opener in opposition to Germany, Moriyasu had praised the affect German soccer has had on the improvement of the their recreation, with quite a few Japanese gamers — together with eight of the present crew — plying their commerce in the Bundesliga, the place they have undeniably improved as footballers.

Having humility and displaying respect for the opposition is way from a foul factor. It is a typical and well-regarded trait in Japanese tradition, and Europe has certainly been the customary bearer for world soccer for many years now.

The larger subject with Moriyasu’s fixed exaltation of European soccer — and his overgeneralisation, given there have been a handful of groups from the continent which were woeful at this World Cup — is that it is bordering on turning into an inferiority advanced that would have his gamers pondering they are already crushed even earlier than the opening whistle.

That in itself wouldn’t be that irritating if not for the undeniable fact that Japan have solely already come from behind to beat Germany 2-1 every week in the past.

It can be barely complicated for Moriyasu to name on his gamers to “believe in themselves” that they can beat Spain, but then declare “we are trying to catch up (and) still have a lot to learn”.

By opting to put the opposition on a pedestal, Moriyasu is failing to indicate his personal gamers the respect they deserve.

Out of the 26 gamers he referred to as out for the match, solely 5 had by no means plied their commerce in Europe earlier than.

They boast 100-cap stalwarts like Maya Yoshida and Yuto Nagatomo, gamers who’ve and nonetheless are taking part in for a few of the largest golf equipment in the world like Arsenal defender Takehiro Tomiyasu and ex-Liverpool man Takumi Minamino, and rising stars similar to Takefusa Kubo, Kaoru Mitoma and Ritsu Doan.

The identical crew that beat Germany ought to simply have picked up one other three factors in opposition to Costa Rica on Sunday, which might have been sufficient to seal their place in the Round of 16 with a recreation to spare.

Instead, whether or not it was again from displaying their opponents an excessive amount of respect or simply Moriyasu’s risk-averse methods even in matches the place they are clearly the favourites, Japan had been tentative and passive.

They had been missing in endeavour and invention, and they had been finally hit by an 81st-minute sucker punch, which has dragged them again right into a crowded four-horse race for Group E’s two qualifying berths.

It is plain that Japan — and Asia’s different representatives — are nonetheless a way off from persistently matching the degree of the perennial challengers similar to Spain and Germany, and even France, Brazil and Argentina.

But in a match setting, particularly one like the World Cup the place upsets are by no means too distant, the Samurai Blue may simply spring a shock on powerhouses like Spain over 90 minutes.

They have already executed it in opposition to Germany.

Now if solely Moriyasu put his cash the place his mouth is when he asks his costs to indicate perception in themselves, by displaying related confidence in sending them out with the system and intent to beat Spain and declare their place in the knockout spherical.

Japan can again prove they can match it with the FIFA World Cup’s “golden standard” — but will Hajime Moriyasu let them?

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Japan can again prove they can match it with the FIFA World Cup’s “golden standard” — but will Hajime Moriyasu let them?

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Japan can again prove they can match it with the FIFA World Cup’s “golden standard” — but will Hajime Moriyasu let them?

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