Thursday, 12 January 2012

Philippe Troussier at FCCJ Tokyo in The Daily Yomiuri on 17th June 2006

Troussier positive on Japan's chances
By Stephen Taylor / Daily Yomiuri Staff Writer

Philippe Troussier, the French coach who led Japan into the second round of the World Cup four years ago, believes that Japan still has a chance of qualifying again this time, in spite of its 3-1 defeat against Australia.

While a win over Croatia on Sunday is necessary to maintain an interest in the tournament, Troussier had a positive outlook on Japan and his successor, current Japan coach Zico.

"He [Zico] has to trust the system he has in place...and I'm certain that the players will want to gain their revenge," Troussier said at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo on Friday.

On Monday's defeat, the 51-year-old pinpointed the Socceroos' equalizing goal from Tim Cahill in the 84th minute as the turning point of the game.

"The small mistake made by goalkeeper [Yoshikatsu] Kawaguchi when he came out with too much confidence was possibly linked to a wonderful stop he had just made....That shows the fragility.

"Just a small detail, like Kawaguchi's mistake, was enough to topple the house of cards," he said.

Psychologically, Troussier felt the side was unable to bounce back from such a setback, putting it down to a lack of experience of the players.

"Eighty percent of the performance of the national team is directly related to the clubs the players represent and when you have teams with 90 percent of the players from European clubs, obviously they'll play better," he added.

But Troussier was not in complete agreement with Zico's squad selection for Germany

"[Le Mans' Daisuke] Matsui was selected as one of the best foreign players in France and didn't make it into the squad of 23 Zico selected, which is a pity given his form and experience."

Troussier felt that the Japanese national team is best served by a coach who imposes a system for the players to follow, not surprisingly like the method he employed during his time in the post.

"They need to be shown what to do... it also happens to be the way Japanese society is organized. A lot of freedom might actually be detrimental."

He felt Zico would be more suited to a team which allows the players to express themselves such as France, England and Brazil.

"Stars...must be left free to express themselves, which is why I think that Zico would be a very good coach for teams like these," he noted.

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