New Japan team and new tactics


On Thursday Japan's squad was announced as they start a new era under Hajime Moriyasu. It was a new-look side with a lot of players picking up one of only a few caps in the new-look side.  

New set up 

It is thought that the side will set up in a 3-4-2-1. This is similar to how the team set up during the World Cup. The idea is though that now this shape will be used for Japan at all levels. This will mean players coming up from the youth team can adapt quickly to the senior side.

Then as with a lot of teams now the side will start with just one out and out striker. They will, however, have two players playing off them, I can see this working well with Japan as they have talented attacking players but are lacking many out and out strikers.

It's been said the side will set up with Mourinho tactics while that might be a bit of a worry seeing the start Manchester United had to the season. Although aside from that the way in which Mourinho sets up his teams is to press from the front.

The players having to push up from the front puts a lot of pressure on the attacking players to work hard. This is something that they feel Yu Kobayashi will be able to do well. With Kobayashi of Kawasaki Frontale getting a call-up as they think he will work well in this position as an attacking player who can press the opposition. The other player who could play alongside him is Shinji Kagawa.

These players both have a lot of quality and possess the ability to finish chances. While players such as Takumi Minamino and Tatsuya Ito can add quality from the wings. Seeing these young players in Europe getting a chance for the national side should only be seen as a positive. This is especially true as attacking play was something of a weakness in the Japan side at the World Cup and it is clear Moriyasu is open to new ideas.

While further back on the pitch a key element of the Mourinho tactic as it is called is to play with full-backs who can both attack and defend. This is a position where the players need to be particularly fit to do this role well. As a fullback that attacks you can often leave space at the back so you have to be able to recover quickly if your side loses possession.

The pacy defender Yukitoshi Ito it is being mentioned could play as a fullback in this formation. While it was said at the press conference Shintaro Kurumaya could play as a fullback too. These players would both have to adapt however as these are not their natural positions for their clubs.

Overall it looks like the new look Japan side should be a well-drilled team with the ability to attack teams but also defend in numbers when needed.

The new Japan boss as one other big choice and that is who will be his number one goalkeeper. As Eiji Kawashima is not in the new-look Japan side as Moriyasu looks to create a new generation of stars. The three goalkeepers he picked all play in the J League 1 while between the three they have a total of 14 caps. It is expected that Masaaki Higashiguchi or Shūichi Gonda will be selected as his new number one.

Although with a long-term plan in mind and the World Cup not being for another four and a half years he could go left field and pick the 26-year-old Daniel Schmidt for his first caps for Japan. The American born player could be the future number one for his country going forward.

We will not have a long wait to see the new-look Japan side in action also as they kick off the new era as they face Chile on Friday at the Sapporo Dome.

The Japan Squad in full 


HIGASHIGUCHI Masaaki (Gamba Osaka)
GONDA Shuichi (Sagan Tosu)
SCHMIDT Daniel (Vegalta Sendai)


MAKINO Tomoaki (Urawa Red Diamonds)
SASAKI Sho (Sanfrecce Hiroshima)*
KURUMAYA Shintaro (Kawasaki Frontale)
ENDO Wataru (Sint-Truidense V.V./Belgium)
MUROYA Sei (F.C. Tokyo)
UEDA Naomichi (Cercle Brugge K.S.V./Belgium)
MIURA Genta (Gamba Osaka)
TOMIYASU Takehiro (Sint-Truidense V.V./Belgium)*


AOYAMA Toshihiro (Sanfrecce Hiroshima)
YAMAGUCHI Hotaru (Cerezo Osaka)
OHSHIMA Ryota (Kawasaki Frontale)
ITO Junya (Kashiwa Reysol)
NAKAJIMA Shoya (Portimonense S.C./Portugal)
MINAMINO Takumi (FC Red Bull Salzburg/Austria)
MISAO Kento (Kashima Antlers)
ITO Tatsuya (Hamburger SV/Germany)*
DOAN Ritsu (FC Groningen/Netherlands)*


KOBAYASHI Yu (Kawasaki Frontale)
SUGIMOTO Kenyu (Cerezo Osaka)
ASANO Takuma (Hannover 96/Germany)

* First-time selection

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