Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pressure Even on Teams with No Chance

Japan is not going to win the 2010 World Cup. Just isn't going to happen. We could add another 15 countries here who Have No Chance, and take it to Las Vegas and bet it and collect in early July. All of Asia, all of North America, the lesser Euros, South America aside from Brazil ...

Anyway, wouldn't you think that the federations in those countries would remember that ... every minute of every day ... and give their coaches just a bit of wiggle room?

That is not the case in Japan. No-chance Japan. Which is getting increasingly agitated by the Blue Samurai (never heard that one, till today) and their lack of scoring punch of late.

Coach Takeshi Okada appears to be in danger of losing his job, even though it's getting quite late to change coaches in time for SA2010.

Tying China, which has a federation in crisis, isn't good. Getting "only" three goals against Hong Kong, which probably couldn't beat some street teams in Brazil, doesn't help.

But, c'mon, people. Japan is not going to win this World Cup. It would be a miracle if it survived the first round. Netherlands, Cameroon, Denmark ... any soccer fan who doesn't have a rising sun flying over his house already has marked Japan for last in that group.

So, if Okada has a decent history, and is a good guy, and at some not-too-distant point in history (like, during qualifying last year) seemed to know what he was doing ... just ride it out. It's late. Bringing in somebody at the 11th hour ... that's difficult.

Anyway, the point here is ... even the no-chancers feel pressure from fans and media and respond to it.

Maybe they're all thinking, "Guus Hiddink is still available!"
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