Nishino names Japan squad for World Cup

By Jim Armstrong

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The way the team played against Ghana was embarrassing. While Japan may not have the players to make it to the knockout round it's looking like they may not even win one match.

This is what the Association gets for firing the head coach right before the WC.

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You might be right, Yubaru. I hope not.

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From the latest selection, the new coach Nishino excluded Takuma Asano and Yosuke Ideguchi even though these two players performed very well against the Socceroos. I struggle to see how Nishino could take Japan to the next stage with his veteran players who are now four years older and slower when they played in the last World Cup(s).

This saga reminds me how cronyism, through the appointment of Maradona as the head coach, ruined Argentina chances in wining the World Cup.

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Now the public and the officials see the names they wanted to see (+/- 2 players).

Under Halilhojich the team could look quite different with some of the famous guys out of the team. That's why he was sacked.

In reality I don't think the outcome would be different in either case. Just the player base happens to be in strange condition when experienced plyers are getting old and not in good shape while new fresh talents are not abundant from within J-league.

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All the senior players in as expected.

Japan does not have a lot of playing talent to call upon, so the choice is to fail while developing relatively unknown new players or to fail while giving the past-it big names a runout. It is a double shame because a team full of young players would give them exposure and possibly lead to them joining teams in stronger leagues who do not spend much effort scouting the J League. This would further their development as club players.

For all of the criticism of Halilhodzic, his win percentage was one of the best for a Japanese national coach.

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Okazaki a good choice. Clever forward capable of nicking a goal.

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Okazaki a good choice. Clever forward capable of nicking a goal

He hasn't been scoring that much for Leicester City though. Muto is getting better as a striker ever since he moved to the Bundesliga and I heard Newcastle are thinking of bidding for him this summer.

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"These players have experience but more than that they were picked based on their performance and the balance they offer."

Ummm... their experience in not qualifying in Brazil? Their experience in the friendly the other day? Their constant losses? No, amigo, they were picked because if they aren't Honda will cry to the public, who fawn over him. Oh, and they were picked because you have no clue what you are doing besides simply praying they might score for a change.

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smith, I have to agree.

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People in these comments are speaking of Honda, Okazaki and Kagawa as if they are relics of a bygone age. Honda and Okazaki are 32, Kagawa is 29, they are still in an age where they can perform in their range, and as it is, they are the greatest strikers Japan has. Also, while their performance was embarrassing in Brazil, it was still Honda who was the most dangerous Japanese player; also recall their successful world cup in 2010, even if that was a long time ago.

In Japans group they can qualify with a bit of luck, though they are probably one of the weaker teams in that group.

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