This is what Jürgen Klinsmann (59), coach of the Korean national soccer team, said confidently last June. And three months later, the frustration and doubts felt by soccer fans were not resolved but only grew.
The Korean national soccer team, led by Coach Klinsmann, played a friendly match with Wales at Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff, England on the 8th (Korean time) and drew 0-0.
As a result, Coach Klinsmann’s first win hunt was postponed to another opportunity. Since he took office last March, the national team has not won a single game, with only 3 draws and 2 losses in 5 games. This is the worst start for a foreign coach in Korean soccer history.
On this day, Coach Klinsmann brought out the 4-4-2 formation. Son Heung-min and Cho Kyu-sung worked together at the front line, while Lee Jae-seong, Park Yong-woo, Hwang In-beom and Hong Hyun-seok formed the midfield. Ki-je Lee, Min-jae Kim, Seung-hyeon Jeong, and Young-woo Seol formed the defense, and Seung-gyu Kim (goalkeeper) guarded the goal. 토토사이트
It was a time when we absolutely had to win. Coach Klinsmann is the first foreign coach who has not been able to win even in four games since taking charge of the national team. As the controversy over working from home and traveling abroad arose, the only solution to change the atmosphere was a refreshing victory.
Expectations were shattered. It was a piece of work that had no substance, let alone a result. Britain’s BBC said, “Korea had more possession, but it was the home team, Wales, that had the better opportunity. For Korea, only captain Son Heung-min and Hwang In-beom had long-distance shots. The team most likely to win this game is “It was Wales,” he said.
Soccer continued with an unknown direction from the beginning. The build-up of playing the game from the back, which former coach Paulo Bento emphasized, was nowhere to be found. Director Klinsmann’s colors were not revealed this time either.
In particular, the midfield was completely deleted. It was difficult to expect the promised play of gradually starting from the waist using Hwang In-beom and Park Yong-woo. It seemed like Kim Min-jae’s main route was to make a long pass to the front line. Of course, the straight long ball tactic is not necessarily a bad thing, but it could not have been effective against the Welsh defense, which had a tight back five.
Even if the ball somehow made it to the side, it was a problem. As the center-oriented Lee Jae-seong and Hong Hyun-seok were in charge of the left and right wings, it was difficult to expect straight breakthroughs or bold dribbling to break down the defense. In the end, Son Heung-min, who felt frustrated, had no choice but to keep coming down to touch the ball.
As a result, Son Heung-min was also unable to display his skills. He played as the front two along with Cho Gyu-seong, but was mainly positioned in the center and played like an attacking midfielder, and was confined to a narrow space and could hardly show his strengths. Even if space was created on the side, it was not easy for Lee Jae-seong and Hong Hyun-seok, who are not professional wingers, to use their full strength.
Coach Klinsmann, with a frustrated expression on his face, brought out a number of substitution cards in the second half. European strikers including Hwang Hee-chan, Hwang Ui-jo, and Yang Hyun-jun took the field. However, only the players changed, but the overall framework remained the same.
The play continued, the purpose of which was difficult to understand, and instead faced a crisis due to Wales’ intermittent counterattacks. If the opponent’s decisive header in the 20th minute of the second half had not been fortunate enough to hit the goalpost, the game would have been lost.
In the end, Klinsmann finished the game without scoring, extending his winless streak to five games. During the 90 minutes on this day, Korea’s record was a miserable 61% possession, 4 shots including those blocked by the defensive wall, 1 effective shot, and 0 shots inside the box.
There are no excuses anymore. Coach Klinsmannho had performed poorly in the previous four games, but he had something to say about last March and June. In March, the opponents were Colombia and Uruguay, which were South American powerhouses, and the game was played immediately after his appointment, so there was no time to get to know the players.
Even in June, power was not normal. This is because he failed to properly utilize Son Heung-min and Kim Min-jae, the core of the offense and defense. At the time, Son Heung-min was unable to play against Peru due to the aftermath of sports hernia surgery, and only appeared as a substitute against El Salvador. Kim Min-jae was unable to join his national team due to his basic military training schedule. This is why, even while watching Klinsmann’s frustrating performance, I was able to think a little, ‘But next time.’
But not this time. Just looking at European players such as Son Heung-min, Hwang Hee-chan, Lee Jae-seong, Cho Kyu-seong, Oh Hyun-gyu, Hong Hyun-seok, Kim Min-jae, Hwang In-beom, Hwang Ui-jo, Kim Ji-su, and Yang Hyun-jun, it is not too much to say that they are the best in history. In addition, it is even more disappointing because most of the overseas players, including Son Heung-min, who scored a hat trick, Kim Min-jae, who played full-time, Hong Hyun-seok, who scored multiple goals, and Hwang Hee-chan, who scored his second goal of the season, boasted of their improved form last weekend.
Of course, Lee Kang-in was excluded due to injury. Coach Klinsmann also expressed regret after the game, saying that he, who could make creative passes, was missing. But there is no excuse for him failing to do anything against Wales, who have only one win in their last 13 games. Wales was in such disarray that the coach publicly said he did not want to play the game.
Above all, the most disappointing thing was that I could not determine the color of the Klinsmann at all. As with previous games, he could not see the direction he was pursuing, and the players did not work well together. The basic build-up was missing, and the attack only relied on Son Heung-min’s individual skills. Even the players who were so excited on the European stage fell into silence.
In fact, Director Klinsmann is not a director with a firm philosophy of his own. He said he likes attacking football, as he was an excellent striker during his career, but that’s about it. Even when he was leading Bayern Munich or the German national team, he was not a coach with outstanding tactical skills. Philipp Lahm also revealed that he only did physical training without proper tactical training under coach Klinsmann.
So far, Director Klinsmann has not been swayed by these criticisms at all. When asked about his tactical style in June, he answered, “Rather than saying, ‘This is my soccer style,’ we need to think about what the players have, what strategy they are suited for, and how to bring out 100% performance.” He even protested that he needed more time, saying “I want to ask him what kind of football he wants to play.”