Friendship Match: Japan vs. Netherland
Japan 0 - Netherlands 3. Well, my feeling is the coach Okada should resign not because the team lost the game, but because of his lack of consistency or rather integrity during the game. Friendship match is not a real, official game. So, there are two ways, or two strategies, to do the friendship game. One is to test players and tactics of the team. The other is to simulate the official game. Both strategies have merits. The crucial thing is that the coach must determine before the game which strategy he should implement. It appears that the Dutch resorted to the first strategy from the start till the end. But, how the Japanese behaved was totally unclear. This decision should be done by none other than the coach.
Let me elaborate on it. Okada started the game without Honda, and the team did what it was supposed to do in the first half: good defensive actions and lack of decisive offensive actions. It is typical of the Japanese team. So, if the coach wanted to simulate the game, he should have maximized his move in personnel changes. In this perspective, the insertion of Honda from the beginning of the second half is lack of surprise and ineffective. And it turned out to be ineffective. Many people thought, then, his strategy to the game was as the same as the Dutch's: test players and tactics of the team. However, the reality was that he did not have his own strategy. While in the Dutch side new players came out and played well, the Japanese players were getting tired not only from the game but also from the lack of new inputs from the coach. Then, it was obvious that after the Dutch scored one goal, the coach would insert one player to make up his own lack of strategy. That was what he did. After that, he did not change the personnel while he could. He let the Dutch bully the Japanese. That was his mistake. There is no merit in doing that.
So, what should have he done? If he would have wanted to simulate the official game, he should have withheld Honda for first 10 to 20 minutes of the second half of the game, keeping Tamada in the forward position for a while. Then, the insertion of Honda and the position change (Okazaki in the forward position) could have some surprise in the field. And, the team could have held a few more minutes against the Dutch. It would have been a frustrating game, but we could have expected a better outcome. Instead, if the coach would have wanted to test the players, he should have changed more players.
Lamentably, he could not choose between two strategies. Those who did not choose strategy don't deserve to be called leaders. His lack of consistency is totally clear. His comment after the game did not reflect his own sense of responsibility. Those who don't take responsibility don't deserve to be called leaders either. His lack of integrity is remarkable.