Nuke - Canada got disqualified at the London Olympics for slightly stepping on the line and gained no advantage out of it, while Gatlin was WAY over the line. Changing batons outside of the official exchange zone and stepping into another lane are BOTH grounds for disqualification. The US should've been disqualified. The ironic thing about this for Canada is that they would've gotten the bronze had the US been disqualified this time around for the exact same infraction that cost them the gold at the Olympics. As it turns out, I guess nobody protested though and Canada ended up with nothing in both races.
1 ( +1 / -0 )
Shankun - I have been saying the same thing for years. I think people look at the pop-style presentation of Japanese morning news game highlights, or the Jay Kabira pre-game comments and misinterpret that as actual media optimism. If they're guilty of anything, it's cheerleading, in the "Go team!" sense, which I'm not a fan of. But when you ask people to give you ACTUAL quotes of where there has been any sort of guarantees of a Japanese victory made by the media, they come up empty. When people watch TV with preconceived notions, they tend to hear what the want (or don't want) to hear, and don't hear what is actually being said.
smithinjapan - You say this all the time, but what is the exact quote for the guarantee of the 15 gold medals? Giving an optimistic prediction and guaranteeing it are completely different things. Canada and other Olympic committees do the exact same thing before every Olympics. Japan is no better or worse than these countries. I have asked before, but you have never been able to give the exact quote.
-1 ( +0 / -1 )
Brazil was simply better than Japan, no question about it. The only players who were able to do anything productive at all were Kagawa and Honda. The rest of the team looked awful with the ball. Endo is really starting to look old against the more athletic opponents.
"Get some real strikers in there, not just people that depend on PKs or shoot wide (or both) all the time." I totally agree with you smith, but I know that's a veiled shot at Honda. The problem is, Honda isn't their striker so your blame is misplaced. Honda and Kagawa were the only two players able to keep any sort of possession up front. If they had a forward with any skill whatsoever, it would make a world of difference. Okazaki runs hard and his efforts are admirable, but you can't rely on him to create anything on his own, or to keep the ball for the rest of the team to join in the attack. Maeda is horrible and only contributes against lower ranked teams. Haavenar can be useful as a sub when pushing for a last minute goal, but other than that is another bad option. Morimoto is not great, but I have trouble believing that he's worse than any of the three mentioned above. At the very least, he wouldn't be pushed around physically by other teams, so I would like for him to get a shot. Whatever the case, Honda and Kagawa can't do it all alone, and it really showed yesterday.
ultradarkmelvin - "With that exception of that 1-0 miracle win Japan had against Brazil in the Olympics, Japan always struggles against Brazil and other South American teams."
They've actually had some decent results since the Olympic win. At the 2005 Confederations Cup, Japan drew 2-2 against Brazil, and came really close to winning at the end, and also had a goal called back at the beginning of the game for being offside when it clearly wasn't. Nakata and Nakamura were brilliant in that game.
They also beat Messi's Argentina 1-0 in 2010. That's just off the top of my head, although admittedly, even if I thought about it for much longer, I'm not sure the list would be much longer.
2 ( +3 / -1 )
That was obviously a cross meant for the Aussie player running towards the middle of the goal. A goal is a goal, and Japan was fortunate as well with their penalty, but Tommy Oar was just directing it to the front of the goal and hoping for the best. Not a bad tactic, but he wasn't aiming for the top corner there.
4 ( +4 / -0 )
Congratulations to Korea! Japan didn't "give up" like so many are saying here. They looked exhausted though in the second half. I would've liked to have seen Kagawa on this team, but you gotta play with the cards you've been dealt I suppose. Again, congratulations Korea, enjoy your bronze!
4 ( +6 / -2 )
Great game! Go Japan!
YongYang - Australia tried to enter, but they didn't qualify for the Olympics. A shame, because it would've been nice to see them there.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
Pukey - I completely agree with you, I see absolutely nothing wrong with setting goals, and I think Korea has every right to hope for the 10 golds that they've wished for, and I hope they get even more than that!
I also agree that Japan has set their goals a little too high, because there are always going to be those that choke under the enormous pressure of the Olympic games. I'm not sure how exactly they came up with the number of 15 golds, but I'm pretty sure they looked at the world champions on the Japanese Olympic team and other athletes with a top 3 world ranking and used that as their base. But I don't think it's fair to bash the JOC for setting goals, when so many other countries do the same.
1 ( +1 / -0 )
Feel really bad for the Korean judoka! I didn't agree with the initial decision, but I agree even less with the over ruling (if that makes sense?). I highly doubt it was the JOC's influence though. If that were true, the YUKO that the Japanese judoka had gotten during the match would never have been over ruled. Nonetheless, I hope that Cho Jun-Ho can make it back up through the repechage and at least win a bronze out of this.
0 ( +1 / -1 )
smith - China is the reigning Olympic and World champion in 2011. Japan won the silver in both of those competitions. I don't think it's unreasonable of the Japanese team to have been focused on China, though like Uchimura said, that might not have been the best idea.
"I hope the 15 golds Japan felt entitled to weren't dependent on Uchimura's performance, and seriously, I want an explanation as to he is an extraordinary human being according to J-media but has not beat ordinary humans."
He's been the all-around world champion three years in a row. The first time that's ever happened in the history of gymnastics. I think it's fair to call him extraordinary. But alas, he is human, and humans are prone to error. Usain Bolt (which NHK did a special documentary on as well to show how extraordinary he is) is another example of an extraordinary human who has struggled recently. Potential isn't always met when you play the games.
2 ( +2 / -0 )
edojin - Weightlifting works like events like the high jump and the pole vault. You have a certain number of tries allowed, and it is up to the competitor to decide how much they want to lift. You can obviously wait until the end and try to out-lift everybody, but there's the risk that if you can't lift it, you end up with a score of zero. Long story short, the Chinese competitor was head and shoulders above everybody else, and she felt that the weights that the other competitors were trying to lift were way too light for her to waste her energy on.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
smithinjapan - "Get the news conference ready to explain why the JOC's claim to 15 'self-entitled' gold medals were not met while SK tops them in the rankings. "
Here you go again with your warped 'self-entitled' arguments. Nobody in the JOC said anything about the team being entitled to 15 gold medals. If you can show me one quote where somebody says Japan is entitled to 15 gold medals, I will promise to eat crow. A previous article on Japan Today (which you commented on) stated that Korea has set a target of 10 golds and a top 10 finish. Japan is by no means the only country that does this. I don't remember what the total was, but the Canadian Olympic committee has done the same.
"Once again, agreed 100%. I can still remember the MONTHS of showing Fukuhara Ai as a 4-year old starting table tennis before stating she would get the gold medal, making her the flag-bearer for the nation, and her eventual meltdown (saa!). She hasn't done well since, and I think it's because of media pressure, and I remember banners at sports stores with her picture on it being taken down after her losses."
They never stated that Ai was going to win the gold. I don't even think her world ranking was realistically high enough to make that claim. But the reason she was the flag-bearer was because she plays professionally in China, is fluent in Mandarin, is well-liked in China and was the perfect ambassador for the occasion. Again, please show me a quote somewhere that claimed she would win gold.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
I think some people here are misinterpreting this as some political statement. The only reason he said that they shouldn't be preoccupied with China is because they were seen as the biggest threat to take the gold in this event.
0 ( +1 / -1 )
Wow. I'm definitely not the kind to be offended by harsh language, but I gotta say that I'm still surprised that the term "bullshit" is left uncensored in one of the quotes.
-1 ( +0 / -1 )
Hey, looks like it isn't just Japan that makes predictions for medals afterall, eh smith?
Is this an example of South Korea showing "a sense of entitlement" that you always claim that Japan does? I've maintained that all countries make set these goals beforehand and that there is nothing wrong with that, but how do you feel now that South Korea has done the same? I don't see anything wrong with it, do you?
0 ( +0 / -0 )
smithinjapan - "I think a lot of people are missing the point of those condemning the media for the portrayal of the win. First and foremost, take a look at the headline: "Miracle in Glasgow". Now, that implies a lot of things, but at even the most basic level it implies that Japan was not expected to win, and that is an insult to the talent of the players any way you slice it. On other levels it functions just as a lot of people have been saying -- the media downplayed the game before it occurred and now it's the only thing on the news and on the lips of people, including those who don't know the first thing about soccer (football) and it's rules, teams, or what have you. People are criticizing the media, and rightly so, more than the team itself, and anyone who is actually criticizing the team doesn't matter because Japan won. Will they win again? who knows, but I'll bet if they lose you'll hear 99% of the voices now chanting Japan's praises silenced, and the media shifting to Judo hopes or other sports. I've been scanning the channels for coverage of the archery events that should now be in progress, but instead there is a news report of London's terrorism of the subway system soon after winning the vote for the Olympic games, reports of how the world sees Japan's win, but not much else."
The Japanese media just can't win, can they? For years, you've complained about how Japan's media over-hypes its athletes, and how in your mind, they show a sense of entitlement in winning (which is completely untrue). Now they call this win a miracle because the Japanese media showing how much they respect Spain as a footballing nation, and now you're saying that the media should've done more to hype the team? And how exactly was this game "downplayed" beforehand? You also complain of them not having any coverage of archery, but none of the other events have even begun yet. Yet somehow, Japan's media is at fault for this?
1 ( +1 / -0 )
Was only able to catch the second half yesterday, but that was a great showing by the US. Japan looked completely gassed for the last quarter of the game.
Dog - This is the problem with japanese sport and why it's going nowhere on the international stage. Big in japan. as you well know, means zilch by international standards and even big in Japan is only mantained for the Japanese by ethnic glass ceilings and regulations. Watching Japanese sports news in the morning is hysterical. Unfortunately Ai Miyazato is the exception, rather than the model. She perfects her sport, rather than her hairstyle or smile for the TV cameras.
Japanese sport is nowhere on the international stage, other than Ai Miyazato? They're the reigning world champions, and Sawa Homare was the recepient of the Ballon d'Or last year. And not to take anything away from Ai Miyazato, but she has plenty of her own commercials and has been on a lot of shows in Japan as well. Not that I think there is anything wrong with that. I think this idea that because an athlete is on TV, they're not training hard enough is nonsense. The Nadeshiko players are on club teams, and they're not skipping practices to make these television appearances. Besides, Japan isn't the only country where athletes appear on TV programs. I also don't see how them being on TV is any worse than all of these athletes and celebrities in North America (and perhaps Europe, although this is admittedly just an assumption because I don't know anybody who does this for sure) checking and using Twitter all day to tell people what they're up to.
3 ( +3 / -0 )
smithinjapan - Just to be clear, I don't use the thumbs down option, but I don't think anybody is pressing that button because they are upset with the result. I don't see anybody making any excuses actually (Japan or Australia fans). Pretty much everybody agreed that the ref was atrocious, but that it went both ways and the game was at the very least, extremely entertaining. The only person here with any sort of rage is you, which is odd because you seem happier with the result than anybody. Why a draw has turned into a hissy fit about "90% of Japan" is beyond me.
14 ( +14 / -1 )
What a crazy game. Too bad about the crazy officiating, but enjoyed watching this one. Australia was smart to play constantly play the long passes to Cahill, because Japan is really bad at defending it, and the terrible pitch just wasn't fit for a short passing game. But despite a bad start, I thought Japan play decently enough. Kagawa is a joy to watch every time he touches the ball, and Honda was again the engine of the team. Most of the good chances that Japan had were created by Honda's ability to control the ball. Looking forward to many future games between Japan and Australia.
smithinjapan - "what I wouldn't give to see Honda get his much deserved yellow card (he truly is becoming a real soccer player!)."
Not sure what you mean by him becoming a real soccer player, but why in the world would it give you joy to see him getting a yellow card? Seeing a player you hate getting a red and being tossed from the game? I can see how that could be enjoyable, but a yellow card? What joy is there in seeing that?
"I guess the reason I'm not seeing it at all in the media is because Japan did not do as well as expected. Had they won, it would not only be the pic of the day on JT, but I would never hear the end of it for more than a week. As it is, thank the gods, people will suddenly not be fans anymore and not talk about it."
The Australian media were hyping up the Japanese team more than anybody. Nobody in Japan expected an easy game. They know better than anybody how dangerous Australia is and most Japanese fans are probably happy with the draw away. And despite your stereotyping, there are plenty of hardcore and knowledgeable fans in Japan. There are obviously bandwagon hoppers who talk about sports like they talk about the weather to make small talk, but this is one sport where the following is real.
4 ( +4 / -0 )
smithinjapan - I agree, that Europe gets a raw deal, especially when you see the level of play at the Euros, but if Asia gets 4 spots as a result of how they do at the World Cup. If Asian teams weren't making it past the first round, the number of slots that they are allotted would decrease. Looking at the other confederations, though obviously the level of play is fairly high, 5 out of 10 teams in South America got in the last World Cup compared to 4 out of 43 for Asia. And (though of course, I could be wrong) I believe that Japan, Korea and Australia would've beat out the teams that didn't qualify for South Africa like Venezuela, Columbia and Ecuador. If you're looking for an easy group to qualify for, I would go for CONCACAF. Mexico and the States are basically guaranteed a spot, while everybody else is fighting for the third guaranteed spot.
0 ( +1 / -1 )
banz10 - I don't know if you've seen the Japanese version of his comments, but it infers that he felt that Australia was a lot more relaxed about the game (hence, so relaxed that teammates were eating pizza in the stands), and Japan was pretty serious and they still lost. His very next quote was that Australia was simply at a different level than Japan. For some reason, every English version of his quotes that I see tend to leave that part out. Sensationalism perhaps?
-1 ( +0 / -1 )
bicultural - Cheers! The only thing that Uchida has on Sakai is speed, and it only comes in handy when he's scrambling back because he's been caught out of position. I still have hope for Morimoto, although he really needs to find the perfect situation for himself for next season. It just seems like every time he's about to finally realize some of that potential, he gets hurt. I think Haavenar is a great option as a sub, but for him to become a regular, he needs to get stronger.
As for Miyaichi, I can't wait til we see the day that Kagawa and Miyaichi are wreaking havoc up front. I think once Endo is done with the national team, I wouldn't mind seeing Honda in Endo's spot, and having an in-form striker (whoever that may be) play right in front of Miyaichi, Kagawa and Kiyotake or a more mature Usami (though it may be necessary to have Okazaki's hard work on the right side instead). Anyways, lots to look forward to!
3 ( +3 / -0 )
banz10 - I just did a little research on that Nakazawa comment. Apparently Nakazawa (who was watching from the stands because he was injured), saw Australian national team players who didn't make the bench, eating pizza while watching the game from the stands. It had nothing to do with ethnicity or nationality.
1 ( +2 / -1 )
smithinjapan - "And how many goals did he score in the last WC?"
He scored two goals, assisted on another, and also scored on his penalty in the tie-breaker against Paraguay. In the four games Japan played, FIFA awarded him the Man of the Match award twice. Sure, he probably missed on a few chances, but so does everybody who plays the sport. No exceptions. Again, I don't know how you could think that he choked at the World Cup. If anything, he raised his stock and profile with his performances.
"Yet when other players were doing better the cameras still rolled to their golden boy and the commentators had few words for the viewers/listeners aside from 'HONDA KEISUKE!! HONDA KEISUKE!!!'
I don't remember them screaming Honda Keisuke!! when another player was "doing better", but the cameras used at the World Cup are international feeds, so it's not like the Japanese media was doing that.
"And how's he doing for the Russian team, by the way, since being passed over by Europe?"
Wow. I thought Russia was a part of Europe. And he was doing great for them, but as stated in the article, he's been hampered by injuries this past year and just came back. He still managed to score 8 goals in 25 games playing further back then he does on the national team. And he wasn't "passed over by Europe" like you state. It has been reported that teams like Liverpool and Lazio have tried to obtain him in the past, but CSKA asked for ridiculous transfer fees that the other teams wouldn't agree to.
"Look, you yourself admit Japan lacks a good striker while you sit here and praise Honda, in essence agreeing with me."
What? He most definitely is NOT a striker, so I don't think I'm agreeing with you at all. He doesn't play as a striker in Europe, and he doesn't play as a striker for Zaccheroni. The only time he has ever played as a striker was at the last World Cup because their other options were terrible, and Okada was desperate to try anything because they were in such poor form before the tournament.
banz10 - I had never heard the comment that Nakazawa made. Thanks for letting me know!
4 ( +4 / -0 )
Oh, and congratulations to Kagawa for being selected as a member of the best eleven this year by the ESM (European Sports Media). I believe he becomes the first Asian player to be selected. Tremendous accomplishment for the young man!
3 ( +4 / -1 )
smithinjapan - You constantly bash Honda, but the only two times that Japan has lost since Zaccheroni has taken over was while Honda was injured. His ability to hold the ball while giving players like to Kagawa to run into open space is invaluable to this team. And when has he choked in major soccer events? The World Cup? The Asian Cup? He was great in both of those tournaments. What major soccer events are you talking about?
banz10 - I completely agree, not having a decent striker is, and always has been a problem, but more than that, the back line worries me. Nakazawa (btw, why do you consider him a lowlife? I always found him to be extremely humble and hardworking and always a good example for the rest of the team) was a rock for them, and while age has caught up to him and he isn't good enough for the national team now, they haven't been able to find somebody who gives them a calming presence since the last World cup.
Anyways, good luck to Japan. If I were to make a couple of suggestions to Zaccheroni, the first would be to avoid using Maeda up front at all costs. I think he's horrible, but would love for him to prove me wrong. I would also substitute Uchida on the right side for Sakai. The timing of his runs and his crossing abilities are so much better than Uchida. Frankly, I'm not exactly sure why Uchida is so highly rated.
2 ( +4 / -2 )
tmarie - You think he's arrogant because he says he wants to play for the Mariners? He's a FREE AGENT!!! The purpose of free agency is to allow a player to go to a team of his choosing. Whether the player chooses a team because of the money, or because they have a shot at winning, or because they would feel comfortable is entirely up to him. If this were the draft, I would agree. I absolutely hate it when a teenage athlete pouts about what team he gets drafted to, but free agency is a whole different ball game.
sfjp - I agree, the starting pitchers for the US at the WBC were obviously not the best. But Oswalt wasn't the only notable pitcher on that team. Peavy's a CY young winner in 2007, and that bullpen, especially with Bell and Broxton (in 2009) is full of star relievers. And as for the rest of the team, this year's MVP Ryan Braun, 2007 MVP Jimmy Rollins, David Wright , Derek Jeter, Evan Longoria, Curtis Granderson, Brian McCann and another former MVP in Chipper Jones. That team is stacked. There is no way around it. The US came with a cast of all-star hitters.
The WBC is not without its flaws, but it is the only tournament where major league players can suit up for their country. To me, that makes it more of a legitimate competition than the Olympics. Really I think it's silly to suggest that the NPB is anywhere near the MLB in terms of talent. But at the same time, I think it's silly to suggest that Japan didn't win the NPB legitimately. The rules were set, and most of the best players in the world played. If the US wins the next WBC, then they could claim to be world champions. Until then, Japan is.
0 ( +1 / -1 )
So nothing on the ridiculously tasteless sign that some of the Jeonbuk supporters were proudly holding up at the game?
1 ( +1 / -0 )
Had a feeling the game would turn out like this. I'm glad they were able to win it at the end though. Kagawa had no space to make his runs without Honda there to attract defenders, and I'm afraid of the next game against Uzbekistan. Hoping for another win (and also hoping that Kashiwagi doesn't start next game).
1 ( +1 / -0 )
There is nobody on TV that I hated more. He was a narcissist, and he used a bunch of young talento to boost his ego in exchange for giving them a career. Granted, if I wanted to be on TV, I probably would've sucked up to him as well, but you could tell for every good deed he performed, there was something cold and calculated about it. I suppose you could say that about most people in the world, but something about him always rubbed me the wrong way, not to mention the assault that many posters have already mentioned, and the way he would insult people non-stop for laughs. Oh, and the music he produced always made me want to puke. So long Shinsuke.
8 ( +8 / -0 )
vg866 - I know how frustrating it is to not have your team at full strength, but you seem to be conveniently failing to mention that Korea still had 6 players from Europe, including star members of the national team like Park Chu Young, Koo Ja Cheol and Ki Sung Yeung (my apologies if I didn't spell the names correctly), not to mention a number of players playing in leagues outside of the K-League (5 players who have chosen to play in the J-League, and another player who plays in Qatar). Japan was also missing Nagatomo who plays for Inter Milan, and they still haven't even called up youngsters like Usami (Bayern Munich) and Miyaichi (Arsenal).
I completely agree that the loss of Park Ji Sung is huge, but that's the way it goes sometimes. Japan lost Nakata to retirement when he was still in his 20's, but nobody was sympathetic towards the Japanese team when they struggled after losing him. It may take a bit of time, but Korea will be strong again in a couple of years.
bicultural - They're not only missing Nakazawa and Tulio, but Kagawa wasn't a regular member for Okada either (although he really should have been). I think if you look at the starting members for Okada's World Cup squad and Zaccheroni's starting lineup yesterday, only 5 out of the 11 remain the same.
smithinjapan - What's with the Honda bashing? He's playing very well in Russia this year with six goals. He may not be the quickest of players or the flashiest with his footwork, but he's ridiculously strong on the ball and he does very well to keep possession and allow other players to make their runs into space. He's an extremely important part of the national team, as well as CSKA Moscow.
Anyways, I think Japan was still a little sloppy with their short passing game at times (although they were fantastic for most of the game), and their defending wasn't great (granted it was after scoring their 3rd goal), so there's still room for improvement. Looking forward to the World Cup qualifiers next month!
2 ( +2 / -0 )
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