Wenger helping Japan before World Cup
Wednesday 28 April 2010
Japan coach Takeshi Okada has enlisted the help of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger to gain inside knowledge on World Cup rivals Cameroon.
Okada had dinner with Wenger during his recent visit to Europe and the Frenchman is even set to pay a visit to Japan's World Cup base in South Africa.
"I asked Wenger whether (Cameroon coach Paul) Le Guen was a pragmatist or an idealist and he replied that he had a pragmatic style," Okada told Wednesday's Nikkan Sports newspaper.
"That gave me a clue to how they will approach their game against us," added the 53-year-old, whose side take on Cameroon in their opening Group E game on June 14.
"Idealists stick to their own beliefs and methods while pragmatists react to their opposition. They will probably look to exploit Japan's weaknesses and catch us on the counter-attack."
Okada added: "I'm not sure if knowing too much on your opposition is a plus or a minus but I will make sure we're not worried by mind games."
Returning to Japan after checking up on European-based players Keisuke Honda (CSKA Moscow), Makoto Hasebe (VfL Wolfsburg) and Daisuke Matsui (Grenoble), Okada showed a rare humorous side.
Asked what Japan's strategy for dealing with Cameroon, Netherlands and Denmark at the World Cup would be, Okada joked: "Feed my players lots of food so they grow big and tall."
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