Soccer | THE BALD TRUTH Oct 2, 2001

Troussier calls out all Japan's stars for 'friendlies'

Like the Radiohead song, there were "no alarms and no surprises" when Philippe Troussier named his 25-man Japan squad for this week's friendly matches against Senegal and Nigeria, two teams the cohosts could meet at next year's World Cup. The Frenchman included European-based stars Hidetoshi ...

Soccer | THE BALD TRUTH Sep 18, 2001

Japan's taxi drivers will nip hooligans in the bud

If a bunch of terrorists can reduce the World Trade Center towers to rubble, imagine what they could do at next year's World Cup finals in Japan and South Korea. Unfortunately, this is not mere scare mongering. Potential terrorist targets: 20 stadiums. This is not ...

Soccer | THE BALD TRUTH Aug 21, 2001

Clowns at the circus of soccer

I was buttering my muffins the other morning when my Australian mate Nezbo called. So obviously I had to tell him how crap the Aussies are at soccer, didn't I? Japan's 3-0 win in the Asia-Oceania Challenge Cup last Wednesday was proof that, while Australia ...

Soccer | THE BALD TRUTH Jul 10, 2001

Troussier has no room for hanky-panky and circus animals

Its official: Philippe Troussier is not running a circus. The Japan coach was, in tabloid-speak, "gobsmacked" last Wednesday when he was quizzed about his team selection moments after Japan had defeated Yugoslavia 1-0 to win the Kirin Cup. Asked why he had left Paraguay-based Nozomi ...

Soccer | THE BALD TRUTH Jun 26, 2001

Japan's soccer prima donnas need a slice of wa

My girlfriend snores very loudly and dribbles on her pillow when she sleeps. By day, she transmogrifies from monster to model and is professional enough to keep both the dribbling and the chainsaw impersonation away from the catwalk. In contrast, Kashima and Japan striker Takayuki ...

Soccer | THE BALD TRUTH Jun 15, 2001

Japan owes Troussier a 'Merci'

Poor South Korea. Get blitzed 5-0 by France in the Confederations Cup opener, making Japan feel a whole lot better about life after Philippe Troussier's boys lost by the same score in Paris on March 25. Go out of the tournament on goal difference, ...

Soccer | THE BALD TRUTH May 29, 2001

Confederations Cup another step on the ladder

On Oct. 29 last year, Philippe Troussier sat, drenched in champagne, at his post-match press conference after Japan's nail-biting 1-0 win over Saudi Arabia in the Asian Cup final. The oversized fruit bowl of a trophy beside him, the Frenchman grinned like a Cheshire ...

Soccer | THE BALD TRUTH May 15, 2001

Who will stand up to captain Japan?

My friend Dave's grandfather once did a nude scene with Brad Pitt in the movie "Johnny Suede." This was doubtless extremely nerve-wracking and almost certainly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. A little bit like captaining Japan. OK, a slight exaggeration perhaps, but Japan coach Philippe Troussier has ...