Tuesday, July 7, 2015

コテンパンだった女子のFIFA2015 - Women's Final





Triangle shot of legendary Sawa, Solo and Wambach

Everybody admits US was far superior. "Nadeshiko" Japan wasn't great this time as long as the overall team power was concerned, and thus their stepping up to the final was miraculous. I must praise the girls for their incessant efforts in this regard. At the same time, one must note the apparent deficiencies for the record:

1. Strategy
They did beautiful pass plays 4 years ago, but the Champion was carefully examined in detail by competing countries that focused on pressuring not only by one but plural players. Coach Sasaki's counter tactics was long passes that appeared as an easy "avoidance" instead of "confront and overcome" the pressure with more dribbles or more speed in passes. Without the strong spirit of offense, long passes tend to fall in the opponent's foot to make our strategy quite premature.

2. Physical Ability
The fundamental weakness was visible not only in the final but also in many other games. I think it is the instantaneous power such as the speed to reach the ball or the acceleration upon switching to the offense in the run. Nadeshiko's ball handling did not have much "gear changes" and tended to be slow constantly. This kind of physical level difference is familiar in the short tracks, and it requires awful amount of time to improve.

3. Media
The day before the final, most newspapers in Japan put up their optimistic view for winning without much argument about the ability and the strategy of American team. This was pretty depressing to me as it reminded me of the media behavior some 80 years ago before the war started. They simply believed in the government without any firm reason. I know they don't want to look like a pessimist, but I think they should pay attention to more cynical but realistic observations and opinions.

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