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Wednesday, April 13, 2005


Buchwald feels the stresses and strains of life on the touchline

When Guido Buchwald was a player and things weren't going right for his team, he could take matters into his own hands and do something about it.

Now, as manager of Urawa Reds, he must watch and suffer on the sidelines.

Hence the occasional Basil Fawlty impression at Saitama Stadium 2002 on Saturday, when Urawa slipped to the bottom of the table after a 1-1 draw with Gamba.

"During the game I have more stress inside than I had as a player, because I cannot run it out," Buchwald explains.

"As a player you can help directly and do it with the ball, but as a manager you give everything from the outside. You can only cry instructions, change the players and change the tactics, but you cannot move with the team for 90 minutes."

Buchwald's remedy to relieve the tension and frustration that builds up is to go out for a hard run . . . the day after the game.

"I'll run for 40 to 50 minutes and think only about the game, and after that I can relax. It is important for me."

But he makes no excuses for his touchline display of passion and emotion, or for his reaction at a referee's decision he doesn't quite agree with.

"I need it. I must go with my team and I must show it with my team. That is the reason I am looking sometimes angry and have stress, because I hate to lose the game."

With only two points from four league games, Buchwald is hoping that he will have his first win of the season at home against Shimizu S-Pulse on Wednesday evening.

Then the Thursday morning run might be a bit more enjoyable.

If it wasn't bad enough for Japanese defenders having one Emerson to deal with, in the future there'll be another just like him.

The Urawa Reds striker and his Brazilian wife, Taise, celebrated the birth of their first child on Friday afternoon, a boy weighing slightly over four kg and measuring 53 cm.

The following day, after the Reds-Gamba game, Emerson announced that his son's name would be . . . Emerson.

While winning no points for imagination, it may be a tactical ploy by the Brazilian speedster to keep opponents on their toes, knowing that there's another Emerson making progress year by year.

And, having been born in Saitama Prefecture, Emerson Junior will be eligible to represent Japan.

If only Zico could wait that long. . .

It's a funny old game (Part One).

A couple of weeks ago, Tsuneyasu Miyamoto was leading out Japan's national team into the caldron of Saitama Stadium 2002 for a World Cup qualifier against Bahrain.

At the same ground four days ago, Miyamoto was at the back of the queue for Gamba Osaka, quietly taking his place among the substitutes on the bench a couple of minutes after the starting members had entered the arena.

When he did get on, with 15 minutes remaining, the national team skipper played in defensive midfield rather than his customary position as anchor of the three-man defense.

Even Gamba's Brazilian captain Sidiclei expected Miyamoto to play at the back, and was already moving forward into midfield.

But Miyamoto pushed him back into the center of defense before taking up his midfield slot.

Gamba's manager, Akira Nishino, likes the balance and rhythm of the side without the national team captain, meaning Miyamoto may have to wait for the Kirin Cup international tournament in May for his next start . . . in the blue of Japan.

It's a funny old game (Part Two).

FC Tokyo fans have built up a reputation for their sportsmanship, and this was in evidence against Jubilo Iwata at Ajinomoto Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

When the teams came out for the second half, Jubilo goalkeeper Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi made his way toward the goal behind which the noisiest of the Tokyo supporters are massed.

The fans chanted "Yoshikatsu" as the popular 'keeper took up his position between the posts, and Kawaguchi responded with a wave of gratitude.

But maybe there was more to Tokyo's generous welcome for the opposition goalkeeper than met the eye.

"Of course they wanted Yoshi to do well . . . for FC Tokyo," said one, perhaps, overly cynical home supporter after the game.

Kawaguchi was only five minutes away from keeping a clean sheet on his Jubilo debut following a broken finger, when he was beaten by a sweet left-foot strike from Ryoichi Kurisawa to send the Tokyo fans home happy after all.

Player of the Week: Cerezo Osaka goalkeeper Motohiro Yoshida, who made a string of fine saves to protect his team's 1-0 lead against Nagoya Grampus Eight and earn Cerezo's first league win of the season.

Quote of the Week: "I'll gladly withdraw if I really obstruct Japan's national team . . . and if it certainly opens the road to Germany for us."

-- Hidetoshi Nakata offers to step down from the national squad if his presence disrupts the balance of the team in Japan's 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign.

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