Keisuke Honda doesn’t want to be on the identical continent because the Cambodia nationwide staff to know that he has fairly a job on his arms to take the Angkor Warriors ahead.
The continued 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup — of which the Japan worldwide performs solely a bit half — is proof of that.
The 1-Zero loss to Malaysia in Phnom Penh and the Four-1 defeat in Myanmar this week confirmed that there’s a lot for the 32 year-old to work with: Expertise, ardour and dedication. On the similar time there may be a lot work to do with: A failure to take possibilities, issues in defence and recreation administration as well as an inclination to fade within the ultimate a part of video games.
Even with an skilled coach available all of the time, the street forward can be lengthy. Honda, who signed for Australian A-League aspect Melbourne Victory in August as a marquee participant earlier than asserting his Cambodia job on the aspect, is the alternative of that nonetheless. The previous Milan man has no teaching expertise or qualifications and that is why his official title of basic supervisor doesn’t precisely replicate his position as de facto head coach.
Half-time head coach to be extra exact as he spends most of his time taking part in for the Victory. Usually, the sight of a participant scoring for his membership on Sunday night and then flying hundreds of miles to coach a nationwide staff the next evening can be seen as a bit bizarre. However Honda has by no means been one to comply with conference on or off the pitch.
One wonders whether or not the Victory would like their marquee to be taking part in for Japan than jetting round Southeast Asia with Cambodia. Ideally, he can be resting Down Beneath.
Honda, with his soccer faculties and corporations that make use of 140 individuals, doesn’t do relaxation however regardless of his crammed schedule the early indicators of his affect can be seen. The official head coach is Felix Gonzalez, an inexperienced and little-known Argentine, who stated that Honda had been serving to to practice the staff by way of video.
At instances in opposition to Myanmar, Cambodia handed the ball out from the again in a method that might have had followers of Japan nodding in appreciation and recognition. There was some clever motion in assault and a need to play engaging soccer.
Yangon shouldn’t be a straightforward place to go — and not simply due to the town’s horrible site visitors — however it might have ended in a different way. Not lengthy after Myanmar cancelled out Cambodia’s opener, goalkeeper Keo Soksela saved a penalty to hold the hosts from shifting forward. Moments later, the Angkor No. 1 spilled a easy cross and immediately it was 2-1 and from then, there was solely going to be one final result. The ball was dropped and so had been heads even earlier than the third, additionally softly conceded, went in.
The goalkeeping difficulty has been an issue for some time, a part of a mushy underbelly that can price confidence. Finally, Cambodia have a tendency to look good when all goes well however do not all the time react well to adversity.
On the different finish, a scarcity of a innovative makes defensive errors all of the extra critical. Reung Bunheing works onerous as the principle striker however the under-fire ahead has but to present he has the standard within the areal to snatch a aim out of nothing to earn a degree or three that the staff typically deserves.
Within the short-term, Honda can be in cost for the sport in opposition to Laos on Tuesday. Cambodia wants a win in opposition to the weakest member of the group however then so does the 32-year-old — it is important he will get a victory. The following day Honda will depart again to Australia, lacking the hardest take a look at within the group, the journey to Vietnam.
That’s the drawback of the entire scenario. Previous coaches in Cambodia have complained that they struggle to work with the gamers and enhance them in all elements however then they return to their golf equipment which aren’t but of the required high quality to preserve, not to mention enhance, the requirements that the nationwide staff decides.
But right here now we have a coach who not solely returns to his membership too, however does so hundreds of miles away. Throughout the A-League season, he additionally is just accessible throughout official FIFA dates. How this entire scenario pans out stays to be seen. Honda is attempting to change the way in which Cambodia performs and take the staff to the subsequent degree, however it won’t be straightforward to preserve the adjustments as Honda as soon as once more departs for his membership.