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May 15, 2006

Mad Zico...and we thought he was sleeping?

Can anyone explain this to me? Zico seems to have taken a page from Sven-Goran Ericsson's playbook by putting out a seemingly daft couple of choices for Germany.

His lineup for Japan in the World Cup does not include striker Kubo Tatsuhiko. Considering he is the most prolific of the Japan forwards and that Japan seems to have trouble scoring, it is a bit odd.

His explanation does not really help me:

Team coach Zico defended the controversial choice up front. "Kubo was not right physically and Maki is an interesting player who gives us another option," he said. "He's shown he can be a threat in the penalty box."

...another option for what?...a threat to whom? I have no idea whether this is a smart move or not, so anyone with reasonable knowledge of the Japanese team, please leave a comment.

He has also included Inamoto Junichi, who peaked in the opening stages of the 2002 World Cup and done little since, but as one of the few Japanese players in the Premiership one imagines he has to be selected. (Does anyone remember that Arsenal famously dropped Inamoto after the World Cup in 2002?)

For the BBC writeup and player list, click here.

Posted by Kirk on May 15, 2006 06:58 PM