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Still Nakata… What Is With Ono?

Posted May. 27, 2002 08:56,   


Nakata Hidetoshi (Parma) and Shinji Ono (Feyenoord). The two `European-based stars` are going through light and darkness.

Japan’s evaluation match with Sweden was held at Tokyo National Stadium on the 25th. The two were to take a new test called `position change`.

As the first half began, Nakata was found little more front towards the opponent’s goal than usual. Japanese coach Philippe Troussier attempted to emphasize Nakata’s passing and shooting by appointing Yanagisawa Atsushi (Kashima) as forefront striker and Nakata as rear striker. Nakata as forward was impressive. He made the most shots in both the teams, as he tried 3 shootings.

Suzuki Takayuki (Kashima) and Yanagisawa formed the two-top in the second half, and Nakata came down to the midfield to control the ball flow. He had passed both as forward and midfielder.

On the other hand, `Soccer Kid` Ono’s performance was disappointing. He was assigned at right-side midfield for the first time during the first half, but his movement range was narrow and he seemed unadjusted. He, especially, was often stopped by Fredrik Ljungberg (Arsenal), failing to find offensive routes. Although he moved back to his original position, left midfield, during the second half, he did not make any improvement and was eventually substituted with Alessandro Santos (Shimizu) after 11 minutes.

Santos displayed fast speed and technique to attack the Swedish zone several times in comparison with Ono.

Reason for Ono’s new position at right is Troussier’s attempt to resolve the problem of double position with Santo. He tried to use both of them by changing Ono’s position, but failed.

Although Nakata is raising his value by expanding his territory to forward, Ono is about to lose his name on `Best 11`. Most of Japanese newspapers on the 26th reported that “Ono is not feeling good”. Ono has expressed his feeling after the game, “I am not satisfied with my play.”

Sung-Won Joo swon@donga.com