Crane wrote:Surely you would place World Cup matches over the Asian Cup? Even if it's the final? And even if you didn't, I would still place Japan's WC group as a bigger challenge than Osieck's Australia.
I would place Osieck's Australia as his biggest match, not necessarily his toughest match. The fact that he's brought continental silverware to them I would rank higher than getting out of the WC group. Just look at Huh Jong-mu's reputational legacy. They've won it before, but it's still more important.
The next level for Japan is becoming a team that can dominate World Cup teams and break down well marshalled defences (something the US needs to work on too). The fact that he was having success doing exactly that (in Asia at least) suggests they were on the right track even if they didn't get a breakthrough against Greece. If Zac doesn't have the tactical nous to get them to the next level then I don't know who they can get who will. I would rank Zaccheroni at least on par with Hodgson and probably above Prandelli. Maybe Lippi if they can afford him, but they should steer well clear of the likes of Capello or Berti Vogts.