To the surprising and notable blow from Saudi Arabia against Argentina was added yesterday the extraordinary blow from Japan against Germany. The two lost 1-0, the two turned it around and ended up 2-1. Even more deserving. Japan is less surprising because it has been developing its football for a long time. At the beginning of the 90s they set the goal of reaching a World Cup, they had never been there. In 1998 they succeeded, since then they have won 7 consecutive World Cups and are the greatest Asian power.
They are growing little by little, but always forward. Order, discipline, will, we know, are part of Japan’s DNA. What is truly remarkable is his evolution in dealing with the ball. Neat, technical, purists convinced of playing on foot and treating her like a girlfriend. In ball control they are no longer below the South Americans, they know no less, they matched us and even surpassed us in several cases.
And they always look serene. They did not worry about being below Germany on the scoreboard. They continued in theirs and near the end they sealed a victory that, together with that of Saudi Arabia, begins to say things, to set trends. There is a loss of fear of the small teams. And a huge growth in terms of understanding of the game. Everyone already knows everything.
Arsene Wenger, the famous coach of English Arsenal, had a short, albeit productive, spell at Nagoya Grampus between 1995 and 1996. He told an anecdote “Arsenal came looking for me and I asked them to please release me. It was Arsenal…! I had a contract and I thought they would hinder me, because we had just won the Emperor’s Cup and then the Japan Super Cup. But they didn’t try to hold me. They told me that they had set out to make Japan one of the best soccer countries in…a hundred years. I was a part of the gear and his plan! It is a revealing fact of his relationship with time, of his persistence and determination”.
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At night we saw Belgium-Canada. We are ecstatic with the Canadian game. Fast, dynamic, enthusiastic, super offensive, with skill and power. With amazing physical performance. They sinned in the definition. They missed a penalty, the referee did not grant him another two very clear ones. He had a number of opportunities, but different reasons denied him the goal. They are machines, they overwhelmed the Belgians throughout the game. They widely deserved to win and… they lost. It’s hard to explain. But the result does not change our concept: fantastic. Higher even than Japan and Saudi Arabia. We would love to see the Argentine National Team play like this one day. The leader and the one who sets the line for the rest of the team is Edgar Davies, that chainsaw that comes and goes down the left wing of Bayern Munich. The others copy his strength, his strength and his desire to go all out to the front.
So good was that that we immediately wondered who is the coach of Canada…? An Englishman, John Herdman, 47, who from the age of 28 dedicated himself to women’s soccer in New Zealand first and then in Canada. Only in 2018 did he switch to men. It is quite a find. How does he achieve such performance in a country with so few soccer players…? It cries out for Premier League.