Socceroos coach Graham Arnold has expressed sympathy for his Japan counterpart and former teammate Hajime Moriyasu, who is facing the case if Australia beat Samurai Blue on Tuesday night in Saitama.
The Socceroos have great confidence as they aim to extend their record of successive victories in a single FIFA World Cup qualifier to 12.
In contrast, Japan have lost two of their last three matches and are already six points behind leaders Australia in Group B in the third round of the Asian Football Confederation’s qualifiers for next year’s World Cup in Qatar.
Japan is six points behind in second place in Saudi Arabia, where only the top teams from Group A and B automatically qualify for the World Cup.
Reports from Japan have suggested that the job of Moriyasu, who was a teammate of Arnold at Sanfrecce Hiroshima in 1997 and 1998, is at stake.
“It just shows you how unstable coaching is,” Arnold said.
“He’s a great guy … Moriyasu has done a good job with Japan (but) a few losses and that’s (what) the coaching situation can be.
“It simply came to our notice then. That’s why I just enjoy one game at a time, one camp at a time and enjoy what I’m doing at the moment. ”
Japan’s recent losses to Oman and Saudi Arabia have not surprised Arnold, who is well aware of the recent general improvements in Asian football standards.
“There are many people who underestimate the quality of many of the Asian sites. Every game you have to be fully focused and you have to be completely ready, ”he said.
“You can not take any opposition lightly at all, and for me that is what I have ridden here with the boys – it is one match at a time, do not look beyond, forget the past quickly and be ready for the next game, because each teams have forces in Asia. ”
Arnold is ready to make a few changes to the starting line-up behind Australia’s 3-1 win over Oman in Doha last Friday morning.
“There will be a few new leg changes to this game. We need to keep that energy up, and the boys who have recovered really well who played the second night are playing, (while) those who (have recovered) a little less, we will probably make a few fresh legs changes (for them), ”he said.
Whether that means a change in attack is unknown, but Arnold still has plenty of faith in striker Adam Taggart, who unlike fellow strikers Martin Boyle, But Mabil and Mitch Duke has a hard time scoring.
“I’m very fond of him,” Arnold said of the former Japanese Perth Glory, Newcastle Jets and Brisbane Roar shooter in Japan.
“I have had a few conversations with him. Sometimes he gets himself in a way so it’s about the goal-scoring side of it.
“For me it is not. If you have a number nine (center-forward) who works hard for the team, the first line of defense is making assists, helping with the combination to play in and around the penalty box and leading by example up front, so in my opinion he does a great job. ”
Game day 4: Japan vs. Australia
Tuesday, October 12th
Saitama Stadium, Saitama, Japan
Kick-off: 21.14 (AEDT)
Broadcast: Live on 10 Bold and 10 Play coverage before the game from 20.30 (AEDT)