mercoledì 31 luglio 2013

Japan EAFF Cup review

The East Asian Cup came to an end and Japan won it by beating South Korea 2-1 in the tournament finale. They made it with a roster that not included players who play in Europe so coach Alberto Zaccheroni gave his players a chance to prove their worth. The following analysis will consider how those guys played and who showed to worth a chance with the big boys. Sanfrecce Hiroshima's goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa took his place enjoying solid performances as the final showed and maybe Zaccheroni could take a look to him as a true replacement for Eiji Kawashima. Although if they defended well in the final against South Korea, the overall Japanese defensive performances wasn’t solid. One of the tasks for Zaccheroni was to find defenders able to perform at the international level. This competition didn’t help. Both Yuzo Kurihara and Masato Morishige wasn’t impressive such as Daisuke Suzuki and Kazuhiko Chiba did against Australia. They didn’t show the needed positional sense and poise although they offered good things offensively due to their ball skills. But the weak point of Samuria Blue’s defence was on the flanks where neither Yuichi Komano and Tomoaki Makino played well. Take a note to the fact that Makino ‘s size and athleticism are usually utilized in the midfield with his club. Things went better in the middle of the pitch and up front. Hotaru Yamaguchi was named as the tournament’s MVP and he built a good pair of ball passers playing alongside Sanfrecce Hiroshima’s Toshiro Aoyama. FC Tokyo midfielder Hideto Takahashi too played well such as Cerezo Osaka’s Takahiro Ogihara did.  The problem is that Japanese midfielders displayed a lot of useful qualities, specially passing skills, but lack to provide the defensive support a back four needs in a 4-2-3-1 formation. The same happened latest Confederations Cup with Makoto Hasebe and Yasuhito Endo, two good passers with defensive weakness. Speaking about the offensive quartet, the better things was showed against Australia, when Zaccheroni lined up Hiroki Yamada, Manabu Saito, and Yuya Osako behind Yohei Toyoda. Japan National Team provided a lot of top-quality attacking players since the Golden Generation Era and there are still many prospects ready to step up and follow players like Shinji Kagawa and Keisuke Honda in the way to become successful stars in Europe. A former member of the London Olympic squad, Saito made a good impression starting as wide forward with his inside drifting runs. Genki Haraguchi proved himself and he seems ready to break into the Samurai Blue starting lineup. He showed his usual good passing skills and added defensive help to Makino on the left flank. Against China, when he was take off to make place for Saito, Japan was exposed on Makino’s side. The 26-year-old Sanfrecce Yojiro Takahagi left a mixed feeling about his performances: he played well enough against China while he had trouble showing his passing and dribbling skills against South Korea. Then, there was Yoichiro Kakitani. He  helped the Japanese to emerge winners after registering two scores in the final.  There are been a lot of concerns regarding the center forward position since Zaccheroni took the job. Kakitani showed to have potential to be the centre forward Zaccheroni is looking for. Good impression also was made by Sagan Tosu’ striker Toyoda when employed. Not the most technically gifted forward available, Toyoda has the size to challenge Mike Haveenar as target man for a roster spot. At the end, Zaccheroni get his chance to look at new options and unused J.League’s players as he wanted at the start of the tournament.

Nessun commento:

Posta un commento