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Posted in: Sebastian Vettel wins F1 Australian GP See in context

Awesome from Vettel, and the Sauber young pairing of Kobayashi & Perez looked very promising.

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Posted in: Gamba Osaka thrashes Melbourne 5-1 to open ACL See in context

Nice statement of intent from Gamba

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Posted in: Quake in New Zealand kills at least 65 See in context

TVNZ reporting that 22 Japanese students trapped in a language centre. Bad times for everyone in Canterbury Crusader-land. Really hope the news doesn't get worse.

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Posted in: From Scottish Highlands to Kaku-highballs: the rise and rise of Japanese whisky See in context


I lived in Oz for a bit and went to buy Macallan 18 year old from a liquor store (Dan Murphy's, I think) Anyway, when I asked them for a bottle, they radioed security to escort me to a triple locked glass cabinet where two people turned the key at the same time to open the cabinet!! It was crazt, like I was asking to view 25 carat platinum ring or something!!

Can't really say I'm a big fan of Laphroig. I find it too harsh, very strong when it hits my throat.

About 15 years ago, a friend of the family bought a case of Loch Dhu (not too sure of spelling) and it is an incredible drop - almost black in colour but with amazing flavour. I had some last year and will never forget the taste, aroma & colour. Now I think it retails for around 220 pounds a bottle - and I think you can only get it from the distillery and by internet order direct to the distillery. Very expensive, but Scotch lovers everywhere should try it at least once.

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Posted in: From Scottish Highlands to Kaku-highballs: the rise and rise of Japanese whisky See in context

If we are talking whisky then the Macallan 18 year old single malt is a very high quality drop. A bit expensive but well worth it and seems to be readily available in Japan. For something a little cheaper, a Glenmorangie single malt is a very good alternative.

As for blends, much of a muchness IMO. The Japanese blends hold their own against competitors. Can't say I'm a bourbon man to be honest - a bit sweet for me.

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Posted in: Green Bay Packers win Super Bowl 31-25 See in context

Get in there Rodgers!!! Green Bay's defence was beaten up at the end but somehow they survived the expected comeback from Big Ben & co. At the end of the day, you can't concede 21 points from turnovers and expect to get away with it, especially in the superbowl

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Posted in: Japan lifts Asian Cup with 1-0 win over Australia See in context

Great win for Japan. Japan v Australia is morphing rapidly into a great football rivalry.

Not too sure where the marking was for the goal, but it was one hell of a volley. Any professional will tell you that volleying is the hardest technique to get right, but Lee struck it beautifully leaving Schwarzer to just watch it nestle into the net.

Fujimoto looked well out of his depth, Maeda looked a bit leaden-footed and I'm still yet to be convinced that Okazaki has what it takes to be a good international forward. He just doesn't seem to have the calmness he displays for S-Pulse (now Stuttgart) and tends to try and make up for it with plenty of running.

On the flip side, Endo was once again magnificent, Kawashima came through when it mattered and Honda, for all his critics he seems to have for some reason, played well. He held the ball up, was able to pick passes and generally occupy two Australian defenders.

To win the final without Kagawa, Matsui (both injured in the tournament) and Morimoto (injured pre-tournament) says a lot for the depth of Japanese football at the minute. Hopefully more good times ahead. Congratulations Japan!!!!!

And, as an aside, kudos to all the Australian fans on here who complimented Japan on their win. No snidey remarks, no "we were robbed". Just very magnanimous. Nice.

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Posted in: Japan and South Korea lead way for Asian soccer See in context

While Bin Hammam is clearly a bit of a mug, his comments here aren't that far away.

Of course, Australia have to be put in there as standard bearers for Asia too, but it's domestic league is relatively underfunded and under-attended compared to the J & K leagues. The A-League is much newer and is still in it's fledgling years, and they have had some success in the continental competition - I think Adelaide United reached the final a couple of years ago. But, the A-League needs to establish itself and produce more quality homegrown players to replace the current, aging, Australian squad.

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Posted in: Japan beats South Korea to set up Asian Cup final clash with Australia See in context

This is my last one at you vg866

Although I must admit that Korea rarely takes the AFC seriously. Its more of a test run for the younger Korean players but thats besides the point.

Yes, all those talented youngsters like Ji Sung Park, Cha Du Ri, Lee Young Pyo. Sure.

What exactly is your point? It might not say that but facts are facts.

No, facts go in the record books where it will say Japan beat Korea on penalties. The rest is inference & speculation.

Japan would have faced the same shortage of top players

Japan were without Maya Yoshida & Daisuke Matsui against Korea. It is just Japan, at this moment, have greater depth than Korea.

The Korean team is far more talented. Japanese players are more likely to enter the Euro leagues but then again, those Japanese players are nothing more then bench warmers who were brought over just to access the Japanese market.

Nonsense. Shinji Kagawa has propelled Borussia Dortmund to the top of the Bundesliga. You know, the Bundesliga, where Cha Du Ri struggled to get a game at Freiburg. Keisuke Honda played for CSKA Moscow in the champions league. Korea only have 1 genuine European class player - Ji Sung Park. (and by European class I mean good enough to play at one of Europe's top tier clubs). Makoto Hasebe has won the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg so the Japanese players are making an impact in Europe. In the past I would have agredd that some Japanese players were signed for their commercial assets, but that isn't the case anymore.

Remember a few months ago when, Japans world cup team fought and lost 2-0 and 3-1 against Korea? Whats different this time was what Korea had to go through before facing Japan.

No, what is different this time is that it was meaningful, tournament football, not pre-world cup friendlies.

Didn't Japan tie Jordon a few days ago? The same Jordon who lost 2-1 against Uzbekistan? The same Uzbekistan who lost 6-0 to Australia? The same Australia who tied a fully rested South Korea? With Korea having higher ball possession?

Fail again. If you go by that logic, then Switzerland beat Spain, and Spain went on to be world champions. Does that mean Switzerland are the best team in the world? If you take it further, Switzerland were beaten by Luxembourg in WC qualifying. Maybe Luxembourg are the best team in the world?

The last time Japan faced Korea when both teams rested, it ended disastrously for Japan- 2:0.

Comfort yourself with that thought when you watch the final. And then think about why Korea didn't beat the Aussies - even though you claim Korea had higher ball possession stats.

Cheerio - and enjoy the final. By the way, I reckon Korea will easily beat Uzbekistan ;-)

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Posted in: Japan beats South Korea to set up Asian Cup final clash with Australia See in context

OK, I'll bite.

Firstly, in the record books it doesn't say "Japan 2-2 not fully prepped and rested Korea (3-0 on pens).

And Korea used C-class players? Not Japan's problem. That just shows the lack of depth in Korean football at the minute. And if you want to get into specifics then Korea played Australia, Iran & Japan and didn't manage to beat any of them in 90 mins. Still think Korea are strong?

As for being not rested, these are professional athletes, so what if they played 120 mins against Iran 2 days previously? Yeah, they were "so injured and tired" that they managed an extra time last minute equalizer. In the penalty shoot out, Korea bottled it. Plain and simple. Nothing to do with technique, just mentally not strong enough.

Erm, do you need anything else?

As the old saying goes "you can only beat what is put in front of you." Japan have done that, Korea haven't. Hence Japan have a final to look forward to, while Korea can get their players "fully rested & prepped" for the 3rd place play off with Uzbekistan.

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Posted in: Japan beats South Korea to set up Asian Cup final clash with Australia See in context

Who would have thought? Korean "supporters" lining up with excuse after excuse:

Had to play Australia & Iran Too tired "veterans" were too tired to take a penalty Japan got lucky

Face facts. Japan are in the final. Korea have a 3rd place play-off with Uzbekistan to look forward to. Japan won because they are mentally strong - they have had to deal with setbacks all the way through this tournament (Yoshida's red card, Korea's injury time equalizer, bad refereeing against Jordan) and yet they have come through it all to reach the final.

No-one is disputing that Korea aren't a good team, they have some very good youngsters like Koo Ja Cheol and Ki-Sung Yeung (apologies if the spellings are wrong) but the current Japanese crop of players are better, and will continue to get better while plying their trade in Europe's big leagues. Kagawa will improve, Honda will improve, Okazaki will improve, Hosogai will improve. Allied that to a technically adept coach like Zak - and you have reasons to be optimistic if you are a Japan supporter.

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Posted in: Japan beats South Korea to set up Asian Cup final clash with Australia See in context

Wow! What a game, worthy of being the final. Unfortunately, the ref once again tried steal the limelight. Korea's penalty? Well, I've seen them given - but not very often. As for Japan's penalty, quite obviously it wasn't a penalty. But then Yoshida's sending off against Qatar was harsh, so it evens it itself out along the way.

Honda showed the mental strength to step up and take the first penalty after missing in extra time. And I'll never understand why defenders take penalties!! Why let them do it when you have attacking players,whose job it is to regularly put the ball in the back of the net, standing around.

Anyway, I thought Endo was sensational last night. Doing the simple stuff extremely well, tracking back, rarely giving the ball away. Superb. Honda (missed penalty apart) showed why he is the main man. His range of passing, his deft flicks, his strength on the ball all showed the way. He was generally half a second ahead of the Koreans in most things he did.

As for the final - Difficult one to call. I'd lean ever so slightly towards Australia, only because I think this could be one of the last chances for their recognized stars like Harry Kewell, Tim Cahill, Mark Schwarzer etc. They are getting on a bit (in footballing terms) so they will be desperate to win some silverware for their country. But hopefully it lives up to the billing of a continental final!!

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Posted in: Asian Cup clash is another chapter in Japan-South Korea rivalry See in context

Yessssss!! Get in there!!!!! Top stuff Kawashima!!!!

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Posted in: Asian Cup clash is another chapter in Japan-South Korea rivalry See in context

Just remember elbuda, Korea & Japan both reached the same stage of the World Cup as Mexico.

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Posted in: Asian Cup clash is another chapter in Japan-South Korea rivalry See in context

Remember, Korea fell on the most difficult group of the cup, played 120 minutes on the last game and had only two days to rest before this match while Japan had four.

Sounds like three excuses to me. The bottom line is there should be no excuses after the game. If you can't get up for this game, whether you played 120 mins in the last one or played with 10 men, then quite frankly you shouldn't be on the pitch.

Re: Honda. Players like Honda & Kagawa need licence to do what they do. Granted, they shouldn't see themselves as a one man team, but these players are matchwinners. We have seen it in the past, and we will see it in the future. Honda might shoot sometimes when there maybe a better pass on, but he backs himself - and that takes balls. He has the confidence to try things and that should be encouraged.

All the top players need that bit of greediness, to do things themselves. Honda and Kagawa are Japan's top men so lets give them the opportunity to do what they do best.

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Posted in: Japan beats Qatar 3-2 to advance to semifinals of Asian Cup See in context

As I said in a thread last night, Japan can't continue to do it the hard way - otherwise at one point they are bound to come unstuck.

But, the spirit in the team seems to be high, and Kagawa came to the party big style. No-one seriously doubts this boy is the real deal, he was sensational last night. I don't think he will be at United this season, but he could well be targeted in the summer. The only stumbling block would be that Borussia Dortmund are well on course to win the Bundesliga thus guaranteeing them Champions League football next year meaning they don't have to sell.

Hopefully Japan can ride this wave of self belief all the way to the title!

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Posted in: Japan faces host Qatar in Asian Cup quarterfinals See in context

Great work Japan. Shinji Kawaga proved why he is such a hit in Europe - that was a stellar display from him.

Japan have got to stop doing it the hard way, but they look pretty steely in their determination to get the job done at the minute. Congrats, and looking forward to the semi.

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Posted in: Kumi Koda to release compilation album in March See in context

with little more depth than a teaspoon.

Rather like your vitriolic sounding and vacuous comment. This woman has been at the top her chosen profession for a long time and has brought pleasure to the hundreds of thousands (millions?) of people that have been to see her perform.

She's not my cup of tea, but at least give her some credit where it is due.

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Posted in: Japan, Jordan advance to Asian Cup quarterfinals See in context

It is difficult to compare Honda & Okazaki because when they play as strikers, their roles are different. Honda's is to hold the ball up and buy enough time for the likes of Matsui, Kagawa or whoever is playing to get up the pitch & support him.

Okazaki is a kind of harasser, he s great at working defenders & never giving them a moments peace. He reminds me of Kenny Miller, the Glasgow Rangers forward, or a (very) poor man's Carlos Tevez in the way that he is always working off the ball.

As for the quarter final, it is a difficult decision for Zac but I think he will go with Honda and use Okazaki as an impact substitute.

As an aside, is this what we can expect from the Qatar world cup? Crowds of just 2000 or so?

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Posted in: Tokyo Auto Salon See in context

What are they promoting....flying carpets?


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Posted in: Japan defeats Syria 2-1 in Asian Cup See in context

Hey, roomtemp - did you mention Japan's previous opponents? If so, I don't think the mods allow the word Jor.dan in it's natural form.

Whiskeysour - so boring that you had to comment twice on the article? There are plenty of articles on here that you probably don't find boring. Go comment on those.

Miles offside, and I'm not sure where the Syrian players and staff get off haranguing the ref after the game. Anyway, the three points is what matters and they are in control of their own destiny in the group. Still looked a bit ropey at times, and really should have built on a half time lead but showed character to come back and win the game with 10 men.

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Posted in: Arsenal signs 18-year-old striker Miyaichi See in context

Inamoto: played for Arsenal & Fulham in the Premier League; played for Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga, Galatasaray in the Turkish superliga and scored for Japan in the World Cup on home soil. Not bad for an "overrated joke"

I'm not an Arsenal fan but Miyaichi is at one of the best clubs in the world for developing young talent. Just look at some of the young players that Wenger has helped develop: Fabregas, Kieran Gibbs, Denilson, Alex Song, Wilshere, Carlos Vela, Robin Van Persie. Arsenal bought most of these players at a young age and Wenger has schooled them in the way of bright, one touch attacking football- they way the game should be played. Even if you don't like Arsenal, you can't ignore the fact that they play some beautiful football.

I've only seen snippets of Miyaichi, but his technique looks superb, has quick feet and seems to be able to pick a pass very quickly. If Miyaichi keeps his head down and learns from those around him, then there is no reason why he can't become successful, despite what some of the predictable doom-mongers on here might say.

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Posted in: Race wide open for 2018, 2022 World Cups; Japan promises high-tech tournament See in context

I'm already looking forward to Afghanistan 2026!!

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Posted in: Race wide open for 2018, 2022 World Cups; Japan promises high-tech tournament See in context


Your sentiments are noble, but looking at it from a practical view the Qatar decision doesn't make sense. First, Qatar is a tiny country - there is no getting around that. What about the hotels? restaurants? Policing facilities? Can they deal with the influx of people that the World Cup brings? The logistical side of that bid has huge question marks on it. In fact, the FIFA adjudicating panel said that staging it in Qatar was, quote, "high risk". How has it gone from "high risk" to the best option in just 5 months?

And the weather. Just a quick glance at cursory figures shows that the average temperature in the summer in Qatar is 41 degrees in June and around 46 in July. Surely that is too hot to be playing football in. Although, I suppose they might build indoor stadiums.

12 stadiums will be in a 20 mile radius. If all world football fans were well-behaved, that wouldn't be a concern. But they aren't. And so having that many football fans (and possibly other non-football elements too) in such a limited area is going to be difficult to handle.

I appreciate the sentiment you are trying to put across, but I just can't help thinking that these two decisions - Qatar in particular - are very bad ones.

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Posted in: Race wide open for 2018, 2022 World Cups; Japan promises high-tech tournament See in context

Bad decision. Very bad decision. That is all I can say.

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Posted in: BBC accuses 3 FIFA World Cup voters over payments See in context

Of course most English people would love to see the World Cup hosted in the home of football, but if it means paying off corrupted, self interested supposed "guardians" of the game - yes Jack Warner I'm looking at you, yes Ricardo Teixeira you too - then no thank you.

Jack Warner is drunk on power. Already been criticised this week for with-holding promised bonuses for the Trinidad & Tobago world cup 2006 squad, this guy should not be in a position of power within FIFA.

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Posted in: 'Naked Gun,' 'Airplane' star Leslie Nielsen dies at 84 See in context

R.I.P. Leslie Nielsen

"I like my sex like I like my basketball: one on one and the less dribbling the better" - From one of the Naked Gun movies

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Posted in: Ireland swallows bitter pill, asks EU for loan See in context

Pity the Irish, screwed again

Sorry, but the Irish people & government were more than happy to accept the billions of Euro that came their way from the shared subsidy pots. Ireland garnered huge sums from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) & the European Development Fund (EDF) to name but two.

The problem is, is that that they haven't used that money wisely at all, speculated in the grandest way possible, and the Government, voted in by the Irish citizens, decided to guarantee the two main banks' debt, instead of doing what Frungy said in a previous post. That guarantee is set to cost around 35m Euros, just for one bank - Anglo Irish. Now they have to go cap in hand to the countries that gave them this money in the first place and say "Oh, yeah, we didn't actually invest money wisely or look after it properly and now we need some more of your money to cover the shortfall."

Whichever way you look at it, Irish people are going to be facing huge cuts in order to refinance their debt. It isn't going to be a particularly pleasant time there in the forseeable future.

But, nah. No feeling sorry for the Irish on this particular matter

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Posted in: Nagoya moves closer to first J-League title See in context

I can't see Grampus having an S-Pulse/Urawa style collapse from here. They have been the best team this year, so hopefully they can go on and clinch the title.

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Posted in: San Francisco Giants win World Series See in context

I thought the "World" in "World Series" referred to a newspaper that sponsored the finals series at the time. The newspaper - called The World Report (I think) - sponsored it only if it could attach it's name to it. Hence the World Series.

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