Japan: good between the boxes

June 9, 2014
Japan: good between the boxes

If this World Cup becomes a disappointingly defensive tournament with few sides playing proactively, Japan will be one of the sides praised for bucking the trend. Read more »

Ivory Coast: need individual magic

June 9, 2014
Ivory Coast: need individual magic

The Ivory Coast’s appointment of Sabri Lamouchi as coach in 2012 still feels extremely strange. Read more »

Greece: ten years on, a similar approach

June 9, 2014
Greece: ten years on, a similar approach

It’s now ten years since Greece shocked Europe by triumphing at Euro 2004, with three consecutive 1-0 knockout victories against the holders, the best team, and then the hosts. Read more »

Colombia: absences to prompt tactical re-think?

June 9, 2014
Colombia: absences to prompt tactical re-think?

Colombia are the South American equivalent of Belgium – after being absent for a few World Cups, they’ve suddenly turned up with some brilliant footballers, especially in attacking positions. Read more »

Cameroon: need to get the midfield balance right

June 9, 2014
Cameroon: need to get the midfield balance right

With Cameroon, off-field issues are of greater concern than tactical factors. Read more »

Mexico: talented squad, but highly unpredictable

June 9, 2014
Mexico: talented squad, but highly unpredictable

No other country has such a frustratingly consistent record at recent World Cups. Mexico have been eliminated at the second round stage in 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010 – often after some promising performances in the group stage. Read more »