Japan have taken a big risk before the World Cup

Recently dismissed Japan manager Vahid Halilhodzic has said Japan is taking a huge risk by replacing him just weeks before the World Cup is about to start. In a press conference called by the Bosnian which took place in Tokyo, he defended his record and stated what had gone well during his time in charge of the Japanese national team.

He stated that ‘everyone back in France is that cannot be the case in Japan’. Your society is about respect, then he asks the media to judge whether he has been respected. He says it is an exceptional challenge for another coach to come in and do well in such a short time frame. With only 10 weeks until the start of the World Cup, Halilhodzic said he is capable of managing Japan at the World Cup but the JFA president said, ‘no, thank you’.

The reasons given for Halilhodzic’s dismissal were a lack of communication between manager and players and poor results in friendly games that had been arranged in the build-up to the World Cup finals. Halilhodzic replied to this by implying he has no communication problems with players and hasn’t criticized any of them in public. Behind closed doors, he did admit if he has a problem he will tell people to their face, which could conflict with Japanese culture but surely he has been communicating the same way since they employed him.

As for the poor friendly results in the World Cup warm-up games, he stated that was down to experimentation to prepare for the finals in Russia. Japan had won just one game since they successfully qualified for the World Cup, and this was given as a big reason for his sacking as the JFA pressed the panic button.

He went on to thank all the players and staff, while saying he really hopes that Japan does well in a tough group that includes, Colombia, Senegal, and Poland.

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