Kubo Takefusa’s “indifferent response” to defeat reveals “serious problems for Moriyasu Japan | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Kubo Takefusa’s “indifferent response” to defeat reveals “serious problems for Moriyasu Japan

Japan's Asian Cup final, in which the national team finished in the top 8, will be held on February 11.

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Kubo breaks through against Iran in the Asian Cup on February 3. Kubo was used as a starter for consecutive games in this tournament.

Japan, the team expected to win the AFC Asian Cup, lost to Iran in the last eight. The host nation, Qatar, and Jordan will clash in the final at midnight on January 11 (Japan Standard Time).

The Japanese team, which had been proclaiming itself and others to be the top favorite to win the tournament, had a bland and unenthusiastic performance. The final tournament matchups had the possibility of a Japan-Korea match in the finals, but South Korea, too, was eliminated in the semifinals by Jordan, one place higher than Japan. However, Korea’s fighting spirit had the “obsession with victory” that Takehiro Tomiyasu pointed out was lacking in Japan, and there was a passion that was at times wild and full of emotion. Watching the Korea match, on the contrary, highlighted Japan’s blandness.

Immediately after the Iran game, Kozo Tajima, chairman of the Japan Football Association, declared that Hajime Moriyasu would continue as coach, but the somewhat chilly comments heard from the players were indicative of the team’s current state.

Kubo Takefusa, who did not play a full match but started all but the first match against Vietnam, and was expected to play a key role in the team, was also indifferent. Kubo, who usually speaks relatively quickly, was extremely quick after the Iran game.

I think we could have done more, and I think we could have done more in the difficult moments,” he said. I think I could have done more, and I think I could have done more at difficult times, but I think that’s my limit for the whole tournament. I did what I could do, so I don’t have anything in particular to reflect on.

Kubo showed more ability and potential for the future than at any previous tournament. However, immediately after the loss to Iran, he looked somewhat indigested, as if he had given up halfway through the game, and yet he was nonetheless nonchalant about the situation.

Looking back, Kubo was forced to stay at a hotel to watch the Qatar World Cup last-16 loss to Croatia in December of the year before last due to a sudden onset of fever. The day after the match, however, a still-nasal Kubo, with a refreshingly honest voice, touched on his own disappointment and said, “I want to aim for the Paris Olympics,” and then switched his focus to the Olympics.

Going back even further, when Kubo missed out on a medal by losing to Spain in the third-place match at the Tokyo Olympics in the summer of 2009, she broke down in tears on the pitch, which was hard to imagine from her usual appearance. This time was somewhat different from the way she had looked immediately after such defeats in the past.

Immediately after a defeat, Kubo often spontaneously speaks of the issues and gains he felt, such as what he should have done differently, what was lacking, and what he would like to strengthen in the future. However, after the game against Iran, despite the lack of results, Kubo said, “That’s my limit right now,” and “I have nothing to reflect on. It was as if to say, “I lost because there were problems I couldn’t solve.

This was the first time for Kubo, who has often started on the bench for Japan’s national team, to start consecutively for the national team as he did this time. For Kubo, this was an important tournament in his quest to win a starting spot for the future. In the game against Iran, Kubo was substituted after 12 minutes when the score was 1-1, but he looks back on that as if it was something else.

I think this was my best game as the conditions were getting better and better, so personally, I think it was a little too soon to make a change, but that’s something a player can’t say,” he said.

Kubo shakes hands with Moriyasu after being substituted in the 1-1 loss to Iran. Was he satisfied with the result?

It is true that, as Kubo says, it is not up to the players to decide how to use the players, but rather to the coach and coaching staff, so there is nothing a single player can do about it. But he could have taken a little more interest in the team, his own issues, and how he was used, rather than saying, “It doesn’t matter what I say.

The World Cup qualifiers will continue from here, and I have no choice but to change my mind. I’m going back to the team and important games will follow, so I’m going to forget about the national team for now. First of all, I have another game today (with my team), so I will check it out. I’m sure I’ll be in the squad for the next game.”

Kubo returned to Spain and played a full match for his club, Sociedad, against Mallorca in the King’s Cup two days after the Iranian game. He could not let the defeat drag on forever, but “I’m going to forget about it” immediately after losing a national team game was clearly different from Kubo, who showed his passion after a defeat.

In the end, as a player, there were so many things that were beyond his control that he could no longer handle. Kubo himself did not make any specific criticisms or suggestions to anyone throughout the tournament, but midfielder Hidemasa Morita, who scored the first goal against Iran, asked the bench for specific instructions and precision in team building, saying, “I want you to present more things to me.

The JFA’s official YouTube channel shows that Kubo Takefusa exchanged views with Tomiyasu, Wataru Endo, and others at halftime to correct the defensive situation, while Moriyasu only tried to raise the team’s morale. In this regard, there must be a difficult situation here and there within the team, where Kubo has no choice but to say, “I’ve done my job,” despite finishing in the top eight in Asia.

Indeed, Tajima has made it clear that Moriyasu will stay on as coach, but even if he does, he will have to do it once and for all. Even if Moriyasu is retained, one cannot help but feel from the words of Kubo and the other players that it is necessary to reevaluate the battle. We need to start by examining the situation so that when we look back later, we will be able to say that we grew because of that defeat. First of all, we need to start from the verification.

  • Interview and text by Miko Ryokai Ryokai Miko

    Born in Saitama Prefecture in 1975. Started covering soccer in 2001, and became a writer in 2003 when she covered the World Youth Cup (now the U-20 World Cup) in the UAE. He has covered four World Cup soccer tournaments and three Summer Olympics on site. Lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany, since March 11, 2011.

  • PHOTO Kyodo News (1st photo) Afro (2nd photo)

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