Tuesday, February 16, 2010

From bad to worse for Takeshi Okada

Japan.
It may not have been delivered in so many words, but Japan coach Takeshi Okada received the dreaded 'vote of confidence' after surviving showdown talks with the Japan Football Association on February 15.

An emergency meeting was convened after Japan's 3-1 humbling at the hands of Korea Republic in the East Asian championships in Tokyo - a result that prompted a public backlash the following day.

Hundreds of Japan supporters phoned JFA House to demand Okada's sacking, but the erstwhile Yokohama F. Marinos coach has once again received the support of JFA chief Motoaki Inukai.

"I know that the media is calling for Okada to be fired, but it is a big risk to make such a change to a team that has been three years in the making just because of one or two results."

"I don't think it would improve the team only four months before the World Cup," writes Inukai on the JFA website.

While Inukai continues to brush aside suggestions that Okada should be removed from his post, many Japan fans are downcast about their team's chances at the upcoming World Cup finals.

An overwhelming majority believe that Japan will make a first round exit in South Africa, and recent performances have done little to lighten the mood.

Time is fast running out for Okada to wring some decent displays from his under-performing team, with morale seemingly at an all-time low under the struggling tactician's regime.

Japan's next game is at home to Bahrain in an Asian Cup qualifier on March 3, where the Samurai Blue will be desperate to put their indifferent form behind them and build some momentum ahead of the World Cup.

Copyright © Michael Tuckerman & Soccerphile.com

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