Wenger has become a top target for the JFA
The JFA (Japanese football association) will be looking for a new manager at the end of this month, and if you believe what is being reported in the papers already then you will know that that they have started writing up a shortlist of candidates for the role.
Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has become one of those names that has emerged at the top of their list, and if Japan can persuade him to become the manager of their national team it would be an absolute coup as well as a statement of intent to keep progressing after their excellent showing at the World Cup.
Nishino had Japan playing brilliantly at the World Cup, why doesn’t he stay on?
Akira Nishino made it very clear from the moment he took the role that he only wanted it until the end of the World Cup. Even though Japan stunned the world (a bit) by playing excellent attacking football and doing very well, Nishino has stayed true to his word.
He won’t stay on as Japan manager, and his contract runs out at the end of this month, we expect that he will resume his role as the JFA’s national technical director of football (if that is the correct title, I don’t remember exactly). Either way whatever Nishino decides to do now, he has enhanced his reputation on the international stage after the World Cup.
Why would Wenger be interested in moving to Japan, when he likely has an abundance of offers?
Wenger has previously worked in Japan before managing Nagoya Grampus Eight, he managed the J-League side from 1994 to 1996 before showing up in London in the role of Arsenal manager, with most people asking Arsene who?
He has spoken many times previously about how he loved his time in Japan, and that Japanese players are some of the best to work with in the World because they’re willing to run through brick walls without being persuaded basically.
JFA to attempt emotional persuasion
If the JFA do succeed in bring Wenger back to Japan then it will all be because of Wenger’s emotional feel for the country and Japanese people from his time working there. He obviously remembers that time in his life and career very fondly and the JFA could be trying their best to use this emotional persuasion to entice him back to Japan.
If it happens it would be one of the best appointments an East Asian national side has made. For it to happen though really depends how much love Wenger has for Japan.
Wenger would be excellent for player development and could easily take Japan to another level
If Wenger does decide he would like to manage Japan, then he has the potential to take them to another level. Everyone saw at the World Cup how technical a side Japan are, and with a manager like Wenger who likes to play very technical football it would be a match made in heaven.
Not only that, but he has a good record of working with young players, regardless of his final few years at Arsenal where he did stagnate a bit. His methods would be excellent for young Japanese players to learn from, and it could help propel Japan to go further than they ever have before at the Qatar World Cup in 2022.
For Wenger to become Japan’s national team manager it is going to take lots of persuasive power from the JFA, but if they do succeed in persuading him to move to Japan, then it would be the biggest and best coup by an East Asian country.