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Home   /   The Japanese squad for Qatar World Cup was announced on 1st November.

This is the seventh World Cup for Samurai Blue and Hajime Moriyasu, the manager of the national team, announced his squad aiming to reach the quarter final.

press conference

Whilst many well-known players will go to Qatar as expected, Haraguchi, Hatate, Osako, and Furuhashi who were supposed to be in the squad have been left out. On the other hand, it can be seen as a surprise that some young players like Maeda and Soma have been called instead of them. In addition, as for some injured players like Asano and Itakura, many fans are doubtful if they can make it to World Cup.

It could be the best world cup ever for Japan. There are some positive aspects that make Japanese football fans optimistic as some key players maintain their good form in European top leagues. Tomiyasu, a defender for Arsenal, has played as a starter lately and has been counted as one of the indispensable players. As for Mitoma, he keeps showing his talent on the south coast. Needless to say, Kamada, a star player for Frankfurt, put his name on the top of the list ranking the average rating in Bundesliga. These players in form are expected to play an important role to lead Japan to the quarter final.

Moriyasu described his decision-making process by using the word ‘difficult’. “I’m confident to say that I chose our best members so far but there are many players supposed to be in the squad so I’m feeling so complicated. We must do our best in WC for such players.”, he added.

When asked about his enthusiasm, “We are aiming to reach the last 8. It is not an easy goal in World Cup where many big countries participate but by being supported by all the supporters, it could be possible.”, he reacted.

six members from the domestic league

However, some supporters have been skeptical about his ability as a manager, as his national team had struggled to get through the Asian qualifying round. In fact, some key players like Minamino and Mitoma have indicated that his strategy has relied on individual skills too much. As they pointed out, it cannot be denied that there is no explicit ‘Japanese style’ so far, which is the biggest issue Japan has.  

Considering the characteristics of the members, the squad implies what kind of strategy Moriyasu intends to take. As for some controversial selections like Maeda and Asano, their advantage is speed. Given they are going to take on two giants, Germany and Spain, in their group league, no wonder the manager uses the strategy focusing on high press and counterattack. In the game the opponent will mainly dominate, such merit of these players can be an advantage for Japan.

On the other hand, when it comes to facing lower-ranked teams, the aforementioned problem has been laid ahead. As they had difficulty scoring against teams like China, when they take on Costa Rica expected to use quite a defensive formation, the burdens of respective players could be heavier due to a lack of a plan as a team. In Japan, therefore, it is widely predicted that there are lots of difficulties lying ahead while it can be said that the quality of the squad is the best ever.

Their World Cup will start with a match against Germany on 23rd November.

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May 2024