What I Want to See from the International Week by Football Tribe Japan

by Ippei Tsuchiya, deputy editor of Football Tribe Japan


Next week is the international week. Japan travel to Europe and will face Mali and Ukraine to prepare the team to play against Senegal and Poland. Vahid Halilhodzic, current manager of Japanese national team, revealed roster for these two matches; Takashi Inui and Shinji Okazaki are not included.

Halilhodzic likes the style of pressing hard from opponents’ side of the pitch, and therefore he prefers a player who has great stamina and is willing to play as a part of the team. Both of Inui and Okazaki can play for the team. Inui is, arguably, the best Japanese footballer right now, Okazaki has experiences of having played last 2 world cup and has spent one of the best seasons since he joined Leicester City. So we should see them as safe candidates.

In my very personal opinion, Halilhodzic should believe in Gaku Shibasaki, he was called for these two matches. Former Kashima Antlers midfielder has adapted to La Liga, one of the toughest league in the world, smoothly and has shown his quality in Getafe. His cleverness and vision will give the team much more creativity.

The current team has often claim boring or too defensive or something like that. Actually it is just a style of play and unfortunately for the Halil-haters, it, boring style, is the most realistic way to beat a strong team in the world cup. Japan is arguably one of the weakest countries in this competition, and the group stage, with Poland, Senegal, and Colombia, is not worst case but it is tough.


There is no silly manager such as showing their cards or plan during the friendly match. Then what I want to see from these two matches is who will play as the starter and for each player how to adapt individually to two different countries. Only few time is left to show their potential. World cup is just around the corner.

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