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I couldn't understand why Troussier substituted Alex in the last Japan game because he was the best player on the field.

The commentators said that he didn't wanted to face the possible criticism from the press because Japanese are unhappy with a foreigner playing on the national team. But I remember that there was another Brazilian before, so I don't understand why it would be an issue now.

Is it because he's black?.

It would be very sad if that's the predominant way of thinking in Japan especially considering that people from that country are always welcomed all over the world.
 

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Discrimination problems exist everywhere, sadly to say...

If you have ever heard of what some certain Japanese say about Troussier, you would understand how difficult it could be for people to be a "foreigner" (no matter where they are from, Asian countries included) in a country like Japan.

Some Japanese people are real kind and polite. Just some black sheep, I hope. I bet not that many people have heard of the right-winged groups there?
 

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It was very sad that Japan lose to uninspiring, boring Turkey. Japan dominated most of the match, but Japan couldn't creat many chances in spite of some midfield talents. Ono could have done better if he hadn't suffered appendix injury. Nakata was also in bad form. I think Troussier's dicision to replace both Alex and Inamoto was ridiculous. Still, I understand why he did so. Substitution of Ichikawa for Inamoto might be to creat chances from right side, as well as to 'punish' Inamoto for having done unnecessary dribble along 3 opponents. Substitution of Suzuki for Alex could be attributed to his lack of understanding of the coach's tactics. This sort of substitution isn't new to us, who witnessed Inamoto and Ono, effective players in the squad in that match, replaced at the beginning of the 2nd half of the Confederations Cup final against France (which Japan lost 0-1). After viewing all the matches of Japan NT, I have come to think that what Troussier's priorities in substituting are
(1) Balance between offense and defense
(2) The degree of tactical understanding

I don't think Troussier didn't give high credit to Alex's ability, but he apparently didn't see him fit enough for his tactics, especially defensewise. Besides, Alex' NT debut was only several months ago, so he didn't have much time to adopt to the team's tactics. So it sounds very strange to me to hear the commentator say that Alex's withdrawal was what the Japanese wanted to see. No way! Alex is a hero of Japanese soccer fans, and loved by Japanese high school girls. Do you know a few years ago imitating black people by painting face black gained popularity among lots of Japanese school girls? Amuro Namie (black faced) was popular, in sharp contrast, white faced Ayumi Hamazaki. At that time Naomi Campbell, Jannett Jackson and other black stars were highly adored by Japanese girls. It's a stereotyped view to think that Japanese hates foreigner. You would be surprised if you saw how Mboma is adored and cheered by Japanese soccer boys, Beckham surrounded by women, Zico's blonze statue in front of Kashima Stadium. Even Japan's H group teams, Belgium and Russia gained warm welcome from local people, I hear. Troussie is no exception, he is the most respected NT coach ever in history here.

Despite all what Troussier has in mind, I regret that Japan didn't take enough risk to threaten their opponent. Even when Japan was one point behind, Japan didn't take advantage of set pieces. Whenever cornerkick was conceded to Japan, only 3 or 4 players were in the penalty box! Most of the cornerkicks were short passes. That way no menace to Turkish defense, easy to read Japan's intention. In many occasions Japan lost in aerial fights. Apart from the appropreation of risk-taking and aerial fights, Japan exceeded in every respect. But in one sentence, Japan didn't deserve to be in the QF.
 
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