Following the disappointing draw to Uzbekistan, many are questioning whether Takeshi Okada can lead them through the qualification process.
While the JFA has responded with a vote of confidence, the fifty-two year-old manager is feeling the heat. In response to tactical questions against Uzbekistan he said:
"What I regret is that we got somewhat timid when the opponents unexpectedly exerted pressure up front. We often resorted to back passes. In the second half, we created chances but could not put them away."
In-truth, Japan not only didn't "put them away" but they were timid in the attack, lacked the killer instinct and instead of having the resolve of attacking, they looked for the perfect highlight package goal. Being "timid" won't take you very far and for Japan to be successful they need to play with more of an attacking spirit.
However all that might be too far in the horizon and Japan's qualifying hopes are too close for comfort. And with former manager Ivica Osim fully recovered from his stroke, the question looms on whether he could emerge back in Blue Samurai's future.