Striker doesn’t look like a problem spot for the Samurai Blue anymore, but central defence and central midfield are … problematic.
Makoto Hasebe – I am not a fan. Its hard to see what he adds to a team. Something feels like he is slowing down and isn’t able to cover as much ground as he could … despite not yet hitting 30.
So I am checking out Who Scored . com – its fun, you see a very non-romantic view of individual players. If you follow the Japan team, or any team in Asia – probably you will judge there players on how they compare to other players in that country, or maybe across Asia. Yeah, Hasebe is the best central mid available for Japan … But who scored are comparing players against the players in their league.
Their description of Hasebe is not very romantic / idealised at all. No significant strengths. Discipline very weak. Crossing, tackling, defensive contribution – weak. I giggled. That description was an indictment! If his tackling and defensive contribution are weak, then what exactly is he contributing?
But once I stopped giggling, I felt a little surge of respect. Hasebe has had a solid career in the Bundesliga, and probably gotten every ounce of ability out of himself that he could. He’ll never wonder how good he could have been if he really went for it. No what ifs / I could have been a contender speeches here. Worked his @rse off. Got rewarded for it with a solid career.