After finishing today’s training session-Team Manager Finke   

Comment from Team Manager Volker Finke after finishing today’s training session
(How is the condition of Hosogai who joined the team practice yesterday?)
I cannot be certain about this but he may play in the match at the end of this week. It is possible for him to be the part of the team just like Alex depending on the situation of the team. However, I cannot guarantee right here at this moment that he will definitely be playing in the match as part of the team. This is because I need to make the decision by observing how he is during training as well as his performance during this week.

(Was his return as you planed?)
Yes, it was. I had a discussion about this with trainers and we were expecting his recovery around this time.

(Will Alex continue to play in the left side back position from now as well?)
Based on my past experience, when a player who had been away from his team for a long time due to injury joined his team training and played in a match, the player could experience some kind of physical reaction in some way later on. We must watch for the burdens we put on him especially during training. If we put too much burden on him, he could get injured again.

(The Nagoya Grumpus will play in ACL. Did you watch their match?)
I have not watched the match they played yesterday. As we have a day off tomorrow, I would like to watch many DVDs. I have five DVDs at hand at the moment. Those DVDs were prepared so that I can study about our opponents. I would like to take time to watch them carefully tomorrow.

(During the press interview held after the match against Oita Trinita, you mentioned that Urawa Reds is not a “new team”. What do you have to say about that?)
It is true that I watched many DVDs and watched their live matches twice last year. Yes, I obtained lots of data from last year and watched lots of DVDs. I was also able to obtain their medical data after I conducted physical tests since I became the team manager. Due to several reasons, the team was physically not at its best towards the end of the season last year. For this reason, I wanted to spend a long time for good preparation before the start of this season. In reality, we do not have many new players compared to last year. In this regard, I do not think this team is a new team. However, the team was able to perform well throughout the preparation period. I think the players prepared themselves really well and I would like to commend them for that. The condition of the team was not so good towards the end of the last season. However, now the entire team is showing a positive attitude to adopt the new style. I would not say that we have a new team. However, players are working hard to move in a new direction.

(In regards to the offensive, what is your feeling about the challenges the team faces in the penalty area?)
I do understand that there is still a lot for us to overcome. However, compared to the end of last season, I think the team is improving positively. I think the level of the play as a team is also improving. I am trying to improve more to be of a high level and I get real pleasure in doing so. I assume that players feel the same way. As for the previous match we played, even though the result was one to zero, considering the fact that we created the chance to score a goal as a team, I think they played really well. Certainly, there are still many things that need to be improved. However, comparing the ratio of the scoring chances that both teams created was eight to two. In this sense, our team was able to create a lot more opportunities to score goals.
Of course, the score, one to zero, was the result of the opponent team scoring its own goal. But, I do believe that the opponent team made the own goal because of the pressure we gave them. It was not the type of goal that was scored out of mere luck. I wanted our team to score one or two more goals in reality. However, I am sure that the team will be able to score more goals by taking advantage of the chances they create in the future after they make improvements through hard training.
What is really important for the Urawa Reds is our supporters. So many supporters came to the stadium. When was the last time, the Reds won two home matches in a row with the stadium full of supporters? To be honest with you, as I do not have such data at hand, I do not know when that happened last time. What was important to me was the fact that the team scored three points in front of many of our supporters in home games. As a matter of fact, we won two home matches in a row. I would like to have good results like this especially for our home games.

(What kind of improvements need to be made?)
There are many things to be improved. However, I think the foundation of the team has been established through taking good steps. From now, we must refine details through many match experiences. Automatism of the team is also important. What I mean by this is that players understand what they have to do even when they are dragged out of bed late at night and forcefully put on the pitch. What we will try to improve from now as a team is very important but there are various points to be raised through the process. I would like to improve these points with the players through discussions during our training. It is necessary for us to make further efforts to maintain the feeling of joy we have now at a higher level.

(Takahara is showing his dedication through his play. What is the real situation with him at the moment?)
If I were to have been criticized back in Germany, it would have been based on the fact that forward players who played in my team were not scoring as many goals as they should have. This was because in part of the way played as a team, many players including players who played in various positions scored goals. It was not that only forward players but also an entire team moved around to score goals. In the teams I led, it was not rare that mid fielders score six to eight goals through out the season. I have a strong original philosophy. Combination football can be played anywhere and this is my style as a team manager. I have never changed this belief. The teams as well as our supporters not to mention myself get real pleasure by playing such football and we can have good results as a team in this way. I need you to understand that with my style it is not possible for only one forward player to get many goals. I hope that you understand that with my style not only forward players but also many mid fielders score goals.
For this reason, it is important for forward players to make space for mid-fielders or pass the ball to them not only score goals. Scoring goals is not the only important thing for forward players. The last pass before the scoring shot as well as the pass that leads to the last pass are as important. When I assess my players, I value not only the final shot but also the last pass before the scoring shot as well as the pass before the last pass. I value these three elements. I assume you can see my point in saying that scoring goals is not the only important thing for forward players.
After I came to Japan, I was very much surprised when I looked at J. League documents. The score sheets had not only the names of the players who scored goals but also other information such as how the goal was made and who pass the ball to the player who made the final goal and so on. Everything was written in the sheet. This was, in a sense, a real pleasure for me to look at this. This is because I thought the people who compile official documents also understand that scoring goals is not everything. It is important for our players who provide valuable play for our team to have their names written many times in the lower section of those official documents. It is necessary for us to value those players in the offensive like this who pass the ball and created the scoring opportunities not only making the final scoring shots.
As for Takahara, I do appreciate his dedication to the team. I am certain that he will make many scores in the near future. This is because he always plays for the team once he is on the pitch. I also discussed this with him but on the pitch there are about five or six aggressive players in the team who in turn play on the pitch in different positions. I think he will continue to deliver valuable play for us in the future. I feel that his situation is also improving more and more.

(Doesn’t the German official record have the process that led to goals written in it?)
Compared to the J. League record, Bundesliga’s record contains only about 10 percent of that of J. League’s (lol). Yes, it is true. It is not surprising. The record only contains the names of the players who played in matches, scores and the score time. It contains nothing more. Sometimes, ball retention rates are written. However, they are provided as an additional service for the media. The official record has nothing more than that written in it. The Japanese record contains the names of the four referees, match commissioners as well as stadium guardsmen (lol). However, the German record does not contain any of those. To sum up what I said, the Japanese official record is such an important document that has a lot more information than the German record. Different countries have different cultures.

(Do you have good communication with the president elect?)
I will not make any detailed comment about this even if I already had dinner with him twice or no dinner with him at all. What I want to ask you is not to take my stance as something offensive. I do not think it will be a good idea to talk openly about what happens within the club as well as our organization. I believe that any one on one discussion should be carried out based on the trust between the two parties. There will be no point in discussing things between just two people if the information is out in public. For this reason, when I talk with someone such as players, staff members or president, I would not like to talk about what we discussed in public.
Since there are not many people today, I would like to spend some time to explain my beliefs and the situation in Europe. In England that has lots of information as well as in Germany where I used to work, when players who belong to a team speak to the media, they will only talk about their own play but will not talk about the tactics. This is because players are not in a position of doing so. Only their team manager can talk about the tactics. Players should not talk about such things. In Germany, what young players have to learn straight after they become professional players is not to comment negatively on other team players. They also should not speak negatively about their own club that pays their salaries. I think it is common sense not only in football associations but also in general companies.
I don’t think you, the media people talk about your own companies negatively in public. Such things should stay within the organization and should not be discussed in public. Players must understand what their jobs are. To be more precise, I assume you all have some kind of complaints about your boss when you conduct your day to day business (lol). You may have a different opinion to your boss. However, you will never criticize your boss in your article that will be published tomorrow. You are keen to ask players about the team tactics, starting line-up members the team manager chooses and so on. But, there is something wrong with this picture. You should ask the team manager when it comes to something like this. I think it is wrong to ask players about tactics.

(Are you consciously trying to utilize the side during training?)
I do not intend to talk about our tactics in details. However, I think it is important to have certain objectives for training as well as matches. In my opinion, it is important to attack the space behind the opponent’s defense area about five to six times during the first as well as second half of the game. In the case of the last match we played, there was a time when Alex had the ball on the left side and repeated passes four times. Ponte took over the pass in the end and passed the ball to our opponent’s goal line. Alex came running to keep the ball in. Alex was in the position of making a cross kick from there or passing the ball in the opposite direction. This is one of our objectives while playing a game. One of our objectives is to try to get down to our opponent’s goal line as many times as possible such as over ten times for each half of the game. One of the objectives we are trying to achieve is to make the most of the scoring opportunities we create in doing so.
For example, there was this kind of situation in the previous match we played. Tatsuya received the ball in the penalty area of the opponent and went near the goal line. He kicked the ball to Naoki from there and Naoki tried to kick the ball into the goal. Unfortunately, it did not work out that time. Naoki thinks he was fouled. This shows that our players were able to bring the ball to the side space through combination play and created the opportunity to score a goal. Once they are in the zone, they can pass the ball in the opposite direction as well as make grounder passes in the direction that is parallel to the goal line. This will create decisive opportunities for us. One of the objectives of combination football is how well players can bring the ball to either side of the opponent’s goal. Opponent defenders will also try to defend the ball by sliding into the space close to the goal as much as possible. When our opponent players slide in as a whole, this will create some space for us. This is the space where we should attack. I should not tell any more than this to our opponents through newspapers.