TOKYO (AFP) - Alberto Zaccheroni's appointment as Japan coach was welcomed by local media who said Tuesday his attack-minded style could help the Blue Samurai build on progress made at the last World Cup.
But they also expressed concern that the 57-year-old Italian -- a former AC Milan coach -- lacked experience abroad or at international level and had enjoyed little major success in the past decade.
The Japan Football Association (JFA) on Monday named Zaccheroni, who won the 1998-99 Serie A title with Milan, to succeed Japanese Takeshi Okada, who guided the team to the last-16 round at this summer's World Cup.
The infuential Asahi Shimbun daily labelled Zaccheroni, famous for his tactic of fielding three strikers up front, as an "offensive type" of coach "who knows global standards".
But the newspaper added: "It can be said that his skills for guiding the Japanese national team are unknown."
"He hasn't produced results in the past 10 years and is called a past great general," the Sports Hochi noted, adding that "it is unknown how he would cope with the culture and language barriers".
Zaccheroni, the sixth foreigner to manage Japan and the first Italian, follows in the footsteps of Brazilian legends Zico and Falcao, as well as Frenchman Philippe Troussier, known for his success with African club sides before his appointment in 1998.
Zaccheroni was due to be presented to the local media at a press conference later Tuesday.
He has coached a dozen Italian sides, also including Lazio and Inter Milan, since the age of 30, and took over struggling Juventus last January. The Turin side finished the season seventh.
The JFA has been looking for a new coach who could push Japan "one rank higher" at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.
In South Africa, Okada's Japan upset Cameroon and Denmark and narrowly lost to the Netherlands to reach the World Cup knockout stage for the first time on foreign soil.
With a highly organised defence but lacking solid offensive tactics, they lost to Paraguay on penalties after a goalless draw in 120 minutes in the last-16.
The JFA had failed to sign Chilean Manuel Pellegrini, who was sacked as Real Madrid manager in May, and Spaniard Ernesto Valverde, who commited to Greek side Olympiakos.
Former FC Porto coach Victor Fernandez and former Mexico coach Javier Aguirre were also mentioned as possible candidates in the media.
Zaccheroni has reportedly agreed a two-year contract worth 200 million yen (2.35 million dollars) a year with a two-year option.
The Nikkei business daily saw little risk of the Italian going back to European clubs with handsome deals in the middle of his tenure.
"New challenges in his first overseas job and his first assignment as a national coach may well fire him up," it said.
|UEFA Europa League Preview: Brondby and Slovan to protect handsome leads|
|Bentaleb pens new long-term deal at Tottenham|
|Barca agree Turan deal|
|FIFA bans Mayne-Nicholls|
|United States v Honduras: Klinsmann demands improvement ahead of Gold Cup opener|
|CONCACAF institutes extensive reforms in wake of FIFA corruption scandal|
|Mauri completes Milan move|
|City sign Turkey striker|
|Women´s World Cup final draws huge US TV ratings|
|My first Chelsea team better than current crop - Drogba|
|Bertrand set for lay-off after knee surgery|
|New five-year Juve deal for Marchisio|
|Allegri extends Juve contract|
|Koeman reiterates Alderweireld interest|
|Valencia bag Bakkali|
|New York City FC complete Pirlo capture|
|Panama v Haiti: Collat ready to challenge the best of CONCACAF|
|UEFA Champions League Preview: Harrison eyes TNS progression|
|FIFA sanctions Yemen for fielding ineligible player|
|Toulouse rubbish Ben Yedder exit reports|
|Mourinho ´knows what he´s doing´ with Falcao signing|
|Watford shell out club-record fee for Capoue|
|Braafheid signs Lazio extension|
|Nani finalises Fenerbahce move|
|Liverpool confirm O´Driscoll appointment|
|Liverpool have to start better - Lucas|
|USA simply too good - Sasaki|
|Portland Timbers 1 San Jose Earthquakes 0: Jewsbury wins it in stoppage time|
|No move yet for Van Persie|
|Lloyd wins Golden Ball, Silver Boot awards|
|Mascherano: I never grabbed Banega|
|Dunga requested Brazil not appeal Neymar´s suspension|
|United States 5 Japan 2: Lloyd stars with hat-trick|
|Fiorentina deny Inter criticism|
|Nani relishing Fenerbahce opportunity|
|Newcastle hold talks over Northampton youngster|
|Cuadrado´s agent plays down Chelsea exit rumours|
|Liverpool´s Alberto set for Deportivo loan|
|Leverkusen suffer surprise defeat, Stuttgart hit six|
|Inter ´dismayed´ at Fiorentina vice-president´s Salah Twitter outburst|
|Blaszczykowski ruled out of Dortmund´s Asia tour|
|Gerrard gets the beers in for LA Galaxy fans|
|De Gea coy over Real links|
|Former Brazil star Carlos handed Delhi reins|
|Ciftci will not push through Celtic switch – agent|
|In-demand Mitrovic considering Roma offer|
|Lehmann calls on Cech to ´get over´ Chelsea|
|Marlos double sinks Monaco|
|Mauritius 0 South Africa 2 (agg 0-5): Bafana set up Angola qualifier|
|Keane relishing Gerrard arrival|
|Palace confirm Cabaye interest|
|Hamburg bring in Spahic after head-butt ban|
|Blatter hits out at France and Germany over World Cup votes|
|Sanchez: World Cup exit spurred Chile to Copa glory|
|Jojic makes Cologne switch, Santana move falls through|
|Carrillo keen to get going at Monaco|
|Micronesia thrashed 38-0 as Fiji triumph in Olympic qualifier|
|Schalke stunned by ´machine´ Caicara|
|MLS Review: Keane shines at Gerrard´s Galaxy unveiling|
|Counter-attacking the key for Japan|
|Jimenez happy at Atletico|
|Gerrard predicts ´successful future´ with Galaxy|
|Iniesta can´t see Real selling Ramos|
|Keshi sacked as Nigeria coach|
|Three finals, three defeats for Messi, Mascherano|
|Nani close to Fenerbahce move|
|Sampaoli revels in ´unbelievable joy´|
|Bravo: Copa victory a dream|
|Martino: Argentina should have won|
|Chile 0 Argentina 0 (4-1 on penalties): Hosts end trophy drought|
|Germany 0 England 1 (after extra time): England make World Cup history|