With Japan’s early defeat in the last FIFA World Cup finals, fans were eagerly awaiting a rebuilt and re-energized team under the guidance of new coach Javier Aguirre. This new national team is set to kick off for the first time on 5 September against Uruguay followed by a match against Venezuela on 9 September.

However, much of the excitement and anticipation held by fans of Aguirre Japan was quickly doused by a wet blanket in the form of a YouTube video posted on 2 September. In it we see what appears to be a practice session that looks…unencouraging to say the least.

In the video we see the players practicing a cross in which one player makes a lateral pass in front of the goal to another player who takes a straight shot. Some poles are set up in front of the goal to represent defenders and a keeper is also in play for this drill.

It’s a short two-minute clip, but we see about 21 cross attempts made. Among those one or two might have found their way into the net. Another one went completely in the opposite direction.

Of course, the million dollar question is: Is this really the national team in the video? The video is too far away to make out anyone in detail, the video’s description mentions the first crosser is Honda. It kind of looks like him, but it’s also easy to imagine that many young players in Japan might emulate his look.

While some viewers dispute this video’s authenticity, others were quick to lament the future of Samurai Blue.

“…that’s pretty bad isn’t it.”
“That sucks. Lol”
“Please do better in the real game.”
“This is like something you’d see in PE class.”
“Way off target.”
“The timing of these crosses are totally off.”
“This reminds me of a high school club.”
“Worse than I imagined. If they don’t raise their accuracy then it’s over. Both the crossers and shooters.”

Even if this is the real Japan National Team, we’re only seeing two minutes of what must be hours upon hours of training. Who knows what they’re up to the rest of the time? We’ll just have to wait and see what Aguirre Japan brings to the pitch tomorrow.

Source: YouTube
Original article by Takashi Harada
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