Created: Thursday, 14 November 2019
Written by Matsu

Another Sluggish Step for Samurai Blue

Japan's 2022 World Cup qualification match on Thursday evening was another chance for the Samurai Blue to try out new players, tactics and formations against a small but feisty opponent. Instead, we got pretty much the same old, same old. Fortunately, next week's clash with Venezuela and the mid-December East Asian Cup should give us a chance to look at some new faces.

Read more: Japan-Kyrgiz 191114

Created: Wednesday, 06 November 2019
Written by JSoccerMagazine


There are two Japan national team squads in the coming weeks as they play a World Cup Qualifier - the 1st XI, and then a Kirin Cup friendly - a chance to give some lesser-experienced players a chance to shine.

Read more: Samurai Blue Squad(s)!

Created: Wednesday, 30 October 2019
Written by GameBoyBoy

What to Do When the J.League Season Is Over?!

The end of the J.League 2019 season is just around the corner.... but soon the exciting story lines will conclude, leaving a need to be entertained and to compete until the top division of Japanese football gets underway once again.

Read more: What to Do When the J.League Season Is Over?!

Created: Thursday, 10 October 2019
Written by Matsu

Going Through the Motions

Japan's first home match in 2022 World Cup qualification was played on Thursday evening, against that mighty footballing behemoth, Mongolia. If that intro doesnt set your pulse to racing . . . . well . . . . to be honest, this report on the Samurai Blue's performance isnt going to do so either. So pull up a pillow, and . . . .

Read more: Japan-Mongolia 191010

Created: Thursday, 19 September 2019
Written by Alan Gibson

Current Kyoto Sanga head coach Gert Engels is interviewed in issue 28 of JSoccer Magazine - and the pages are clipped for your perusal below! You can get an actal paper copy of the magazine by sending $10 inc. worldwide shipping to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. via Paypal, and leaving your address! Enjoy the musings of a man who has been in our game longer than many of us have been alive!

Read more: Gert Engels - A Life in Football

Created: Saturday, 14 September 2019
Written by Matsu

Clash of the Titans

The J.League resumed play this weekend, as the season moves into its final stretch. The top four teams all played one another, and the results narrowed the title chase significantly. 

Read more: J1 190914

Created: Tuesday, 10 September 2019
Written by Matsu

A Rainy Night in Myanmar

Japan's opening match in 2022 World Cup qualification was played on Tuesday evening, in Myanmar. Though one match generally doesnt tell the whole story, Samurai Blue fans may have received some hints about Coach Moriyasu's plans for the future of the National Team.

Read more: Japan-Myanmar 190910

Created: Thursday, 05 September 2019
Written by Matsu

Back to Basics

Japan's friendly against Paraguay served as Coach Moriyasu's final opportunity to prepare for the start of World Cup qualification. While June's trip to South America seemed like more of a rehearsal for the 2020 Olympics, this contest featured an older, more mature unit.

Read more: Japan-Paraguay 190905

Created: Friday, 19 July 2019
Written by Matsu

A word or two on Jay Bothroyd’s twilight years in the Land of the Rising Sun  

Anyone curious enough to have a look at how Jay Bothroyd is getting on in the Japanese top-flight will be shocked to see that the former Cardiff striker seems to be playing with the ease and grace of a man half his age. Bothroyd, now 38, can’t go on forever and logic tells you that retirement is the next milestone in his career, but there’s no sign yet of the sun setting on his playing days.  And what a career it has been, with Bothroyd playing for as many as 12 different clubs since he became a professional in 2000. Indeed, it has been a career that has taken him from London to Perugia , before ending up at Cardiff, then finally on to the Far East with stints in Thailand and now the J-League in Japan. 

In many ways, it’s been a strange old ride at times with the common denominator being that Bothroyd has a tendency to fall out with people around him. When he speaks of Mick McCarthy and calls him a 'clown manager' you are inclined to believe that he is susceptible to confrontation. After all, his last act in an Arsenal shirt was to throw it at his coach Don Howe after being replaced in a Premier League Youth Cup final when he was 18 years old. The next thing Bothroyd knew was that the Gunners had sold him to Coventry. 

Despite it being a productive time in Japan with Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo, it hasn’t been one that has produced any silverware. It must be said, though, that it is proving impossible to stop Kawasaki Frontale from their current domination of the J-League. The latest odds on Japanese soccer as far as the winners of the J-League go will show Kawasaki Frontale at outrageously short odds of 1/33 to defend their title.  With that in mind, you can understand the enormity of the task that awaits Bothroyd and his Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo teammates every season.  That is, of course, the same for every J1 team as they try and make their mark on the league. 

Whether Jay Bothroyd will still be playing by the time Kawasaki Frontale are toppled remains to be seen. The Englishman’s contract is up at the end of January 2022. If it is to be the end, that will mean that Bothroyd would have spent the longest that he has at any club over the course of his career. The smart money, however, would be on a contract extension for Bothroyd. Indeed, something just says that the lanky striker will carry on plying his trade in the J-League well into his 40s.


Created: Thursday, 27 June 2019
Written by Alan Gibson

Japan Building for Future Challenges