The day before the J. League Nineteenth Sec.-Team Manager Finke  

Comment from Team Manager Volker Finke on the day before the 2009 season J. League Nineteenth Sec. against Nagoya Grampus
We have had to change our starting lineup members due to suspensions and injuries of players often in the past. I think we will have different starting lineup members again for this weekend’s match that will be very different from the ones we had last week. However, the play style we are aiming for will not change at all. No matter who will be on the pitch tomorrow, we will stick to our usual style and will try to play well so that we can have a good result.
As it became clear to us during the last match we played against Oita, we still have not completely mastered our new style. This is because the team played a completely different play style. For this reason, we need to learn basic skills over and over again during training. Especially speaking of strategies, the team needs to do various things. They have not understood everything. We will continue to practice our new style such as to play the ball oriented game by having the entire team sliding along with the ball. Our play style will not change regardless of the system we will have whether it will be the 4-3-3 system or the 4-4-2 system. I think it is important for the team to practice our new style through our training.
Generally speaking, when a team starts to have a new style like we do, it takes a long time for the team to have a good result. A good result cannot be attained in a short period of time such as half a year or so. However, I think our team has been winning games steadily. I think we are ranked high in the standings. Of course, loosing the previous match we played against Osaka was very unfortunate. Nonetheless, we are still ranked second in the rankings. I think we have achieved a satisfactory level of results in a relatively short time.
I require many different things from the players, especially mentally. This may not be easy for them to achieve as they are working on the type of soccer which is completely different from the one they used to play. They may face a hard time in the future as well. But, we can not stop what we are trying to achieve. What is important for us is to believe in our style and stick to it.
There is also the reality we should not forget. For one thing, we cannot acquire well established players from overseas with a lot of money like the team used to. This is something we all have to understand. We can not acquire players not only from Brazil but also from Europe. Considering our budget, we can not get well established players from European clubs. They will go to clubs in Arab nations. For example, it is no longer possible for excellent players with good records such as Pierre Littbarski, Uwe Bein and Guido Buchwald to come to Japan at the final stage of their career. They will go to Qatar or UAE instead of Japan.
For this reason, I think it is necessary for J. League to proactively train players from now. This applies to Urawa Reds as well. It is important to develop young players so that they will be excellent players. This is what we have to do. This reality may sound harsh. However, this is something that needs to be said. Players who used to play 60 or 70 matches for European clubs in a country such as Germany or France will no longer come to Japan. They will go to Arab countries instead. This is the reality of the international soccer industry.
Some young European players are available at a relatively low cost. However, they always ask why they have to go to Japan. They are worried that if they go to Japan, those concerned in Europe will not look after them. Their goal is to play in one of the top five European brand nations. Therefore, coming to Japan will not be good for them. For this reason, I am trying to be very proactive in training players here in Japan. What I am trying to do relates to the foundation of the type of soccer being practiced in Japan for over ten years. I believe what I am trying to do will bring a good result in the end and I get real pleasure working here.
Let’s get back the topic of the weekend’s match (lol). Tsuboi will most likely be a starting lineup member. All I will do now for him is to pray so that he does not get injured while he is working hard in his warm up (lol). If he will be able to play in the match, Abe will also play in pair with Tsuboi as a center back. Naoki Yamada will also likely be playing for the match tomorrow. However, I have not decided whether he will play as a starting lineup member or join the match half way through. I will decide from now.
I would also like to mention that the team may be able to get an excellent “new player” in two or three weeks. I can talk about him now. I am so glad that I had him to go through the operation. In a few weeks time, a new player called “Tsukasa Umesaki” may be able to play for our team as our new player.
As for Tadaaki Hirakawa, his condition is gradually improving as well. I think he will also be able to play in official matches in a few weeks time. This is something very important for the team. Since changing our play style, the team now requires two side back players. But, our team does not have many side back players in reality. For this reason, Hirakawa will most likely be one of the important options for us.