FIFA World Cup Today Matches

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A Love Affair: The Case Of Japan And Alberto Zaccheroni

A Love Affair: The Case Of Japan And Alberto Zaccheroni

After leading the Samurai Blue to the 2011 Asian Cup, the Italian tactician, Alberto Zaccheroni faces and even bigger and to a certain extent (daunting) task—and that is to ensure a successful campaign in the 2014 World Cup.


Seasoned manager enters a budding football superpower

It seemed that Japan and Zaccheroni are perfectly matched for each other. As a matter of fact, it can be said that handling the Samurai Blue is the apex o Zaccheroni’s managerial career. The downfalls and shortcomings that he experienced in taking over renowned Serie A clubs such as AC Milan, Lazio, Internazionale and Torino have become the bases of his successful feats in Japan.


On the other hand, Japan is in dire need of a mentor. Since 1998, the country has been a familiar face in the competition. However, despite the evident skills and techniques, it seems to be stuck in the group stage. So far, their highest achievement was securing the 9th spot during the 2002 and 2010 World Cup tournament.
But things changed with Zaccheroni’s arrival and the increasing presence of Japanese footballers such as Inter’s Yuto Nagatomo, Manchester United’s Shini Kagawa and AC Milan’s Keisuke Honda. The timing was simply perfect.  Japan is on the verge of reaching its golden age and Zaccheroni, also on the verge of refining his techniques.


From 3-4-3 to 4-2-31

Zaccheroni is known for his 3-4-3 formation. To many, it was an unconventional approach, but it is the non-conformist nature of Zaccheroni, which brought Japan to its success.


Cognizant of the need for adjustments, from 3-4-3, he shifted his technique to the 4-2-3-1, which gave the Samurai Blues the attacking prowess that he readily envisioned. Indeed, it was Japan’s relentless attack that made them the first squad to qualify to Brazil and posit a great threat during the recently concluded, Confederations Cup.


The Winning Philosophy

Zaccheroni is fully aware that there are still plenty of rooms for Japan’s improvement. But this does not drive him to consider the squad as underdog in the group. It is his winning philosophy that gives him the confidence to say that there are no “gaps” between Japan, Colombia, Greece and Ivory Coast. And with the squad’s highly organized nature, indeed, the Samurai Blues elicit the strong possibility of being a big threat in the upcoming World Cup matches.


Image Source: The Guardian

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