Well, I'd heard that the Japanese were generous, but this is ridiculous.
I sat down to watch this more interested in how I'd react to seeing two of my favourite countries playing each other, and I have to admit I was happy to see Japan go one goal up after seven minutes. Now, I figured, England had a challenge – something to battle against and I expected them to raise their game.
Well that didn't happen until the second half, so for most of the first I found myself frustrated by an England that huffed and puffed a lot and kept the ball well, but never looked too dangerous. Considering that most were playing for a place in the team that goes to the World Cup, there was a lack of verve about their play. They do say that the sign of champions is to win while playing badly, but I can't see that working in the later stages of the World Cup, so unless we gel quickly, we're not going to get further than our regular plucky quarter-final defeat.
Japan, though, impressed me somewhat. It's the first time since the last World Cup that I've watched them for a whole game. Despite deflecting two crosses into their own net, they seemed to have the right idea about the game and I think need not be too pessimistic about their chances in their group.
But it's only a friendly, and we'll see how the players react once they get to the tournament itself.
As for this blog, I expect the amount of J-drama I watch to drop quite sharply in favour of the pantomime injuries and innocent faces of international football. But since the four nations that make up my four main cultural sources have qualified (England, USA, Japan and Italy) I'll be writing about each of them as and when they play. It may not necessarily be about TV, but it's better than nothing.