Japan has to toughen up, says J.League boss


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'style over substance' ..... a comment that could be applied to japan as a whole - not just their football team

4 ( +10 / -6 )

'style over substance' ..... a comment that could be applied to japan as a whole- not just their football team

It seems to me like you have not met many, or any, Japanese people.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

“I hope to see the J.League become tougher, quicker and more aggressive to help raise the level of the Japan national team.”

This is an excellent point. The problem is Japanese players do not use their bodies correctly to be able to do this. Just look at how the general population walks. The body mechanics are all wrong. People pull their legs forward rather than pushing them, and have very little shoulder movement. A result is underdeveloped hamstring muscles, so most Japanese soccer players cannot go hard at each other in an "air chair" fashion and then quickly turn. They hold back a little trying to delay, or go in sideways.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I think Mr. Murai very correctly identifies the problem to be that Japan is overly obsessed with playing pretty football. They generally want neat, tidy football (few to no tcakles) with short passes and dominating possession. This is fairly evident by the amount of circle-jerk that is seen in the J-media about both Barcelona and Spain.

The point he is making is that at the end of the day it is the results that matter. The Japanese team has demonstrated a total lack of grit, the ability to dig in and just see a game out. Pretty football is good up to a point, but it doesn't always win you games, as both Spain and Japan very painfully found out in the last WC. You need players who can break up play, who can put in a tackle even if it looks a bit ugly. Until Japan produces even higher skilled and technically gifted players, they should work on the mental fortitude of the players.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The Japanese players are always lying on the field, no stamina. Get up, run, chase the ball!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

As someone from England, I've been hearing the reverse about England for decades - all industry but no style. If the English national side could just add a bit of craft or Japan could add a bit of steel, they'd be okay. What it really means is the players aren't good enough. Japan got knocked out of the Asian Cup because they didn't have the quality to finish despite having most of the ball against UAE. They were beaten in the World Cup by two teams of superior quality and lacked the quality to break down 10-man Greece. This current Japan side isn't bad - it has some good players but overall it just isn't good enough, like most international sides compared to the powerhouses. Time to focus on coaching young players and to be brutally honest, hope there are some gems in there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is definitely a good point - Japan's football style is very reminiscent of Spanish and Italian football - incredibly dull and slow. Japanese football tends to be slightly faster than these 2 leagues however, similar to the Bundesliga, which is why you see Japanese players integrate comfortably in Germany. The best would be to adopt a Premier league style though as that's what really builds players and would also allow more Japanese players to move to the Premier League for more exposure, etc.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sorry, it's not "the world's gotten better" so much as it's Japan that's failed to. It's not like the other nations did particularly better than normal in the last WC.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

J.League boss Mitsuru Murai speaks the truth. The Japanese players have to up their level of play ... and play hard for the full 90 minutes ... or longer if the game goes into extra time.

They must also learn to play rougher. The other night I was watching an Italian league game on TV and there was a brutal play in which a player kicked the heck out of another player. The Japanese commentator said, "That's a red card play." Perhaps red card in J.League action ... but this is "normal" in the Italian league. The referee signaled "no problem" on the play and action continued.

I get a chuckle of how the Italian league players attack the legs of an opponent while the ball is long gone from the play. Kicking each other seems to be as much of the game as kicking the ball ... at least in Italian soccer/football. Toughen up Japanese players ... you still have a long way to go ...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

at least in Italian soccer/football

I have never heard any self-respecting football fan call the Italian League tough, in fact it's fairly common knowledge the Serie A is one of the softest leagues in Europe with an average of 40+ fouls per match. It would be a national disaster if the J League ended up like the Serie

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is not just football. They don't do very well at any internationally participated sport.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Tactical awareness, better coaches. This has been shown in Europe, where for example there are ten times more UEFA Pro License holders in Spain and Germany than there are in England.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Korean fans have known this for a long time. Japan has to wake and realize they're not Spain or Italy and snap out of delusion that it's some sort of sexy passing high technique team. JNT tries to string together nice looking passes that lead to no goal and get scored on a direct pass or a simple one two.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

'The best would be to adopt a Premier league style though as that's what really builds players and would also allow more Japanese players to move to the Premier League for more exposure, etc.'

Many people in England think the reason why England fail internationally is because they play a premier league style and are made to look like donkeys by sides who don't give the ball away by clubbing hopeful 60-yard 'passes' in the general direction of the forwards.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's not just football. Let's look at a product most would consider to be 'manly' - beer. Now most beer companies in developed nations use 'manly' ambassadors in their advertising. What do we have here in Japan? That's right - Arashi. Sporting products? Exile. I mean even ads for men's cosmetics! I could go on & on.

I played rugby for 11 years - with 1 year here in Japan for a university team. It was a lot of fun, but the one thing lacking above all was the 'hunger'. We would get in a circle and cheer "OK! GANBAROU!" before a game in an orderly manner. Back in Australia, it was like "LET'S TEAR THESE GUYS APART! NUMBER 3, YOU'RE DEAD!". You got fired up & felt invincible. Just on an entirely different level.

Japan needs proper role models! REAL MEN!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Wow. A poster makes the ridiculous claim that all Japanese people do not care about substance and I get the thumbs down? Seriously unbelievable.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Gee . . . Watching Japanese Soccer, I'd rather watch wet paint dry.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan does itself no favours by hyping up expectations for the Blue Samurai, and making all Family Mart staff wear blue uniforms in the lead up to games

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The world caught up with Japan playing volleyball and hopefully Japan can catch up with the world playing football. If one does not finish, there is no scoring.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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