The Tavern 23 Man World Cup Squads

The official squad list for Brazil will be announced on Thursday (in Korea), but just for fun, who would the five Tavern writers take to Brazil?

The premise is quite simple. I asked each Tavern writer/contributor to send me their 23 man list for the World Cup. No strings or requirements attached, except the FIFA rule that their must be three keepers. Below is each person’s list along with a paragraph or two (or three) about their selections.

Roy’s List

GK Jung Sung-Ryong
GK Lee Bum-Young
GK Kim Seung-Gyu
DF Lee Yong
DF Yoon Suk-Young
DF Kim Young-Gwon
DF Hong Jeong-Ho
DF Park Joo-Ho
DF Kim Jin-Su
DF Cha Du-Ri
MF Han Kook-Young
MF Ha Dae-Sung
MF Park Jong-Woo
MF Lee Chung-Yong
MF Kim Bo-Kyung
MF Son Heung-Min
MF Ki Sung-Yeung
MF Koo Ja-Cheol
MF Nam Tae-Hee
MF Ryu Seung-Woo
MF Ji Dong-Won
MF Lee Keun-Ho
FW Park Chu-Young
FW Kim Shin-Wook

*Jae’s note: Nice list Roy, but you fail at being Hong because you have included 24 players (please cut one in the comments).

Update: Damn – I hate cutting players!  So where the hell did I get 24 as the limit? 24 hours in a day?  24 Hours – the TV show?  Ok, so Park Jong-Woo, you did not make the island cutoff, sorry! I have a soft spot for him for his international incident of (unintentional) troublemaking for holding a fan-made sign that translated as “Dokdo Island is Ours” after winning the Bronze medal match against Japan in 2012.  He almost didn’t get his medal, getting it back on appeal to the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland on appeal.  Back to the 23 man roster…

I’m taking a risk putting Ryu Seung-Woo in. The few times I’ve seen him play, he looked dangerous. I think Hyppia under utilized him at Leverkusen – given the chance, I believe he would’ve given Leverkusen a few more goals that could come in handy right about now. I will get scorn for suggesting Ryu, but I think there is magic in that young man…

Some stat I saw recently showed Lee Bum-Young with some impressive figures in the K-League this season. Jung would make sense (kind of) as the starter, but if Hong Myeong-Bo went rogue, Lee Bum-Young could be the 1st keeper of choice.

I am getting more comfortable with the idea of Cha in the 24. Not as the starter – but should injuries occur – it gives me some peace of mind that he’s an option.

I get bad feelings about Kwak, I heard he didn’t have the greatest season in the desert. You all might think this is daft but shifting Ki as a backup centerback is preferable for me rather than bring Kwak along. The precedence: the departed Michael Laudrup at Swansea put Ki as his centerback for a few matches, including the league cup final. It’s obviously not Ki’s preferred position, but I think he can still be effective with distributions from there rather than subbing Kwak in for an injured Hong Jeong-Ho or Kim Young-Gwon. Boss Hong would feel more comfortable executing that option with a lead in the score, but if we were behind, well to paraphrase Yoda: predict the future, difficult it is…

Jinseok’s List

GK Jung Sung-Ryong
GK Kim Seung-Gyu
GK Lee Bum-Young
DF Lee Yong
DF Hong Jeong-Ho
DF Kim Young-Gwon
DF Kwak Tae-Hwi
DF Hwang Seok-Ho
DF Park Joo-Ho
DF Yoon Suk-Young
DF Kim Jin-Su/Cha Du-Ri
MF Ki Sung-Yueng
MF Son Heung-Min
MF Kim Bo-Kyung
MF Koo Ja-Cheol
MF Han Kook-Young
MF Lee Chung-Yong
MF Nam Tae-Hee
MF Ha Dae-Sung
MF Ji Dong-Won
MF Lee Keun-Ho/Kim Seung-Dae/Lee Myeong-Joo/Park Jong-Woo
FW Park Chu-Young
FW Kim Shin-Wook

*Jae’s note: Jinseok, you too fail to at being Hong as you have 27 players. Although in fairness you acknowledge this. Like Roy, please cut four players in the comments.

The starting goalkeeper for me at the moment is Jung Sung Ryong, though I would love to see Lee Bum Young tested out in the friendlies leading into the cup just to see if his K League form can translate to the international stage.

A fairly standard lineup for me. As much I do not want to include Kwak Tae Hwi, we really have no other defenders at the moment other than Hong Jeong-Ho and Kim Young-Gwon. Maybe he can be of use when we’re behind a goal.

So my fullback spread at the moment is Lee Yong, Yoon Suk-Young, Park Joo-Ho, and either Kim Jin-Su or Dr. Cha. I am loath to take out Kim Jin-Su due to his contributions to the qualification campaign, but I also kinda want to include Cha not just for the nostalgia and because he’s awesome, but because he has been beasting it in the K League and offers some offensive threat if need be. I think Kim Jin-Su and Hwang Seok-Ho can deputize in the RB position in case Hong Myeong-Bo doesn’t take him though. I think Yoon Suk-Young should be included on the merit of his recent displays which make me think he can return back to his Olympics form soon enough, and Park Joo-Ho should also be included since he’s been doing so well in Germany. Here’s the conundrum though – we have way too many left backs and no right backs. Oh well.

The deputy center mid should probably be Ha Dae-Sung at the moment. Should I take another one? That’s where my combo comes in. Lee Keun-Ho hasn’t been in the best of form lately. On top of that Kim Seung-Dae does not miss one on ones and he’s been an absolute killer this season. Lee Myeong-Joo is also on form at the moment . . . Man, this is a hard one. I kinda want to go for Kim Seung-Dae since he’s been scoring so well recently though, but I highly doubt Hong Myeong-Bo will call him up. No 깜짝발탁 he says (Jae’s translation note, ‘kkamjjak baltak’ means ‘surprise selection’).

Other than that it’s the fairly standard squad.

Tim’s List

GK Jung Sung-Ryong
GK Kim Seung-Gyu
GK Lee Bum-Young
DF Lee Yong
DF Cha Du-Ri
DF Hong Jeong-Ho
DF Kim Young-Gwon
DF Kwak Tae-Hwi
DF Hwang Seok-Ho
DF Park Joo-Ho
DF Yoon Suk-Young
MF Han Kook-Young
MF Ki Sung-Yueng
MF Ha Dae-Sung
MF Son Heung-Min
MF Kim Bo-Kyung
MF Koo Ja-Cheol
MF Lee Chung-Yong
MF Nam Tae-Hee
MF Lee Keun-Ho
MF Ji Dong-Won
FW Park Chu-Young
FW Kim Shin-Wook

Keepers are no-brainers for me and I think Lee Bum-Young is a better option moving forward. Jung is far from solid but he’s the best we’ve got right now. As for the fullbacks, Cha Du-Ri’s experience is indispensable and he offers a potent attacking threat when called upon. I expect the starter to be Lee Yong however. It’s difficult to include Kwak Tae-Hwi, and I don’t see him starting, but he’s there because there’s no one better than him. And that’s saying something. I pondered about left back for a long time, but Park Joo Ho and Yun Suk Young are excelling in Europe, well, more recently. I would unfortunately have Kim Jin Su going through a “2010 LKH” moment.

The rest is pretty straightforward, Ha Dae-Sung makes the cut, and Lee Keun-Ho will come along because he’s been a mainstay in most of Hong’s squads, although we all know his weak spots. Aka finishing. Nam Tae-Hee is a really exciting player, and the experience he gains from this tournament would be indispensable in 2018.

Jeremy’s List

GK Jung Sung-Ryong
GK Kim Seung-Gyu
GK Lee Bum-Young
DF Lee Yong
DF Cha Du-Ri
DF Hong Jeong-Ho
DF Hwang Seok-Ho
DF Kwak Tae-Hwi
DF Kim Young-Gwon
DF Park Joo-Ho
DF Yoon Suk-Young
MF Song Heung-Min
MF Han Kook-Young
MF Park Jong-Woo
MF Koo Ja-Cheol
MF Kim Bo-Kyung
MF Ryu Seung-Woo
MF Lee Chung-Yong
MF Nam Tae-Hee
MF Ki Sung-Yueng
MF Ji Dong-Won
FW Park Chu-Young
FW Kim Shin-Wook

Jung Sung-Ryong is not in the form he should be for a World Cup, but he is Korea’s best option. This World Cup will definitely be a great learning experience for Lee Bum-Young, who should replace Jung by 2018. As for defenders, Kim Young-Kwon should lead and remain in the starting line-up for every match we play. Kwak Tae-Hwi should be a last option, but I choose to include him since he is one of the older players and his teammates are already familiar with him. I chose not to include Lee Keun-Ho in the starting line-up. He doesn’t have the composure when it comes to aiming for the back of the net, and I feel this World Cup would be a great learning opportunity for a player like Ryu Seung-Woo. Knowing how he performed in the past friendlies, I would not have picked him in the first place. Remember when Lee-Dong Gook missed a glaring oppurtinity when he was one on one with Muslera in the last World Cup?

Jae’s List

GK Jung Sung-Ryong
GK Kim Seung-Gyu
GK Lee Bum-Young
DF Lee Yong
DF Hong Jeong-Ho
DF Kim Young-Gwon
DF Hwang Seok-Ho
DF Kwak Tae-Hwi
DF Kim Jin-Su
DF Yoon Suk-Young
DF Park Joo-Ho
MF Ki Sung-Yueng
MF Han Kook-Young
MF Park Jong-Woo
MF Ji Dong-Won
MF Lee Chung-Yong
MF Koo Ja-Cheol
MF Kim Bo-Kyung
MF Lee Myeong-Joo
MF Lee Keun-Ho
FW Park Chu-Young
FW Kim Shin-Wook

The goalkeepers are fairly obvious. Jung Sung-Ryong would get the starting nod just because of his experience. Kim Seung-Gyu is the back up as Lee Bum-Young has yet to make his senior debut.

While I’m a fan of Cha Du-Ri, I opted not to bring him in favor of the more in-form left backs. Kim Jin-Su and Hwang Seok-Ho can deputize for Lee Yong should he get injured or suspended. Yoon Suk-Young’s recent showings for QPR get him back in, and Park Joo-Ho gets called due to his good season with Mainz. I’m not prepared to drop Kim Jin-Su after one so-so showing (the Greece game). The four centerbacks are fairly straight forward. Kwak Tae-Hwi isn’t that useful on the pitch, but his leadership and experience will help off it.

The midfield starters are set (Son, Koo, Lee Chung-Yong, Ki, and Han). The back ups are chosen largely for their tactical flexibility. Ji Dong-Won can play anywhere across the front four, as can Lee Keun-Ho and Kim Bo-Kyung. Park Jong-Woo offers cover for either deep midfielder, and his relatively successful partnership with Ki Sung-Yueng at the Olympics gives him the edge over Ha Dae-Sung. Lee Myeong-Joo’s domestic form offers cover for the lack of form for Koo Ja-Cheol and Kim Bo-Kyung. Plus I wanted to include a merit player to compensate for the travesty that Park Chu-Young must be included.

And I did include Park Chu-Young, but really, really didn’t want to. The goal against Greece was lovely, but does one goal make up for three years of garbage? For me the answer is ‘no’, but Hong has thus far failed to adjust for Kim Shin-Wook’s strengths and weaknesses, and not tested other options significantly. So, Park makes it . . .

So, that’s the Tavern call ups. Who would make your 23 man squad? Agree with any of the writers? Disagree? Share in the comments!

About Jae Chee 313 Articles

A football fan with who got bit by the writing bug.

16 Comments

  1. Park Ju Young is coming along because we can’t find a way to score goals with a striker otherwise. If we were scoring with Kim Shin Wook then sure but Korea looked much, much, much more comfortable in the attack in the Greece game than when we were hurling long balls at Kim Shin Wook. LKH is not reliable as a striker and Ji sort of isn’t one now.

    I get your point though.

    • I get why he’s coming (and it’s why he’s included in my squad list), but we can’t just say, the players this, the players that. Surely Hong has some accountability for how his team plays. He complains they play too many long balls when Kim SW is there, surely the players will listen to him if he tells them not to? Maybe he’s not willing to do it short-term (with World Cup coming), but Hong must adjust to his players to an extent. Kim SW has a lot to learn and grow, but Hong needs to better utilize him (adjust tactics, formation, style, etc). Son HM and Koo JC are perfectly capable goal scorers from midfield, and Kim SW could be a very good foil for them, if he’s utilized properly (and he develops certain aspects of his game).

      The other thing that absolutely irks me is that, if I’m Kim SW, I’m thinking, there’s nothing I can do to convince Hong MB I deserve to start ahead of Park CY. He was joint top scorer last season, he’s joint top again this season. He’s scored more goals in 11 games this year than Park has the last three years. Kim SW has played more minutes in ONE GAME than Park CY has all year. Heh, getting all riled up just writing about it. Mini-rant over for now. Post soon about Hong and his tactics, good and bad.

  2. This has nothing to do with this but I watched the 2014 AFC FUTSAL Championship and it was absolutely horrendous to watch. Korea might be a superpower in asia but the way Korea plays in futsal and beach football is nothing compared to the way Korea plays in the regular football game. Uzbekistan 3-0 Korea, Japan 12-0 Korea results in futsal tournament. I think Korea needs to think about starting to improve not only in the regular football game but also in other types of the football game like futsal and beach football.

    • Futsal and beach football are fairly new, at least in terms of how serious it’s viewed. It will take some time to “catch up” in those sports.

  3. Lol I dropped 27 names but the slash means pick one of the following to make 23… man I’m so fcking conflicted

  4. And I just realized when I said “LBY is a better option moving forward” I meant iwht respect to Kim Jin Hyun. Jung is the starting keeper. I never meant LBY should be started, not a chance.

    The importance of revising -_-

  5. Jae is pretty objective, but it seems to me Jay has a clear bias against PJY, though it can be somewhat fairly rationalized. But as I’ve always said (and as Jae has admitted why he had to include PJY), he’s just simply way better than any other option Korea has unfortunately.

    • Admittedly yes, I’m a little biased. I used to be a huge fan of Park CY, but he’s been massively disappointing the last few years, not just on the pitch, but off it too. Granted I don’t know everything since he doesn’t do interviews, but from what I’ve seen he’s been hugely unprofessional since he’s left Monaco, and he comes off as an arrogant asshole who’s better than everyone else.

      That being said, my argument against Park CY is objective. Park CY has only played 800 minutes (about 8 games) and scored 3 league goals at the club level since the start of the 2011/12 season. He’s only played four games (and scored once) for the senior national team since 2012. You can’t objectively look at those numbers and say, “yes, this man deserves to go and start at the World Cup.”

      Look, it’s a weird thing, because I understand why Park CY is there. I understand why Park CY will start. And if I was Hong MB I would call and start Park CY as well. It’s a calculated gamble by Hong based on Park’s past performances and his belief that he can get the best out of a player who has barely played and is recovering from an injury. It may work, it may fail. We’ll see…

      • i don’t disagree with your overall assessment of the situation. the thing thing to really take into consideration is not whether pjy will work out or fail, but to rather honestly assess rather anyone else will work of fail. i suspect based on your comments that you agree with me that anyone else is by far a more likely chance for it to fail rather than succeed compared to pjy. and i personally am one who speaks as one who was never really a big pjy fan and thought he was hugely disappointing compared to his hype from the very beginning. i simply haven’t seen evidence that anyone comes all that close to him… again, very sadly.

        • 2 things. One is that I suppose I’m still viewing it in terms of a meritocracy, which Hong is supposedly running since he said every spot is up for grabs and that players must earn their way on the team. I suppose part of my problem is the increasingly obvious hypocrisy on Hong’s part, and that like his two predecessors (Cho and Choi) he runs his teams largely on his favorites.Two, I believe that Kim SW/Ji DW could work, but Hong has failed to adequately adjust his tactics to those players AND failed to give them a proper chance to settle and gel.

          • the thing is that i’ve never seen a coach run a true meritocracy. you have to play the players you have and the players that best fit your system while still being able to gel as many of your best players as possible. almost every world cup team leaves out a better player for a better fit. heck, nasri was left out of france, but the reasoning makes sense, as disappointing as it might be. hong having his favorites shouldn’t be a surprise, but nor should it be inherently condemning of him as a coach. and even hiddink played his favorites and who he thought might do well if given a chance rather than past performance per se. it’s not like it was a true meritocracy. this is why i’d rather argue the merits of each player and the coaching style rather than get hung up on meritocracy jargon. even if a coach brings it up himself it’s not like that means he will no longer have his favored players that he trusts. that’s the thing about teams, too. the coaches and players have to trust each other. look at 2010 france. that was a disaster and you could argue they took all the best players according to ‘merit.’

          • I’m aware that Hong has his favorites, and I’m not condemning him for it (although many did condemn Cho Kwang-Rae and Choi Kang-Hee for it). The only reason I harp on Hong so much is that he always pushed the meritocracy line. I think because of his stature within Korea and the relatively earliness of his tenure, it hasn’t really been an issue (that he’s ignored it). But if he continues to select his favorites over those in forms, I wouldn’t be surprised if grumbles and mumbles start to emerge. Maybe not publicly because Korean players rarely speak out like that (although there was the Ki SY-Choi KH thing), but privately they may start questioning and doubting him. A comparison could be with Prandelli and Italy, whose “code of ethics” has generated a bit of controversy over the years. Most recently with him judging that Chiellini’s elbow isn’t violent conduct (even though the league suspended him for three games). A number of players have spoken out against/ridiculed the code (also in the past with his handling of Balotelli). Prandelli has stuck by his code and so be it. That’s his choice. Likewise for Hong. He can claim meritocracy and not actually run one, but he should expect some criticism of his choices.

            P.S. This isn’t aimed at you specifically, but I find it wildly hypocritical that people are so upset that Park Joo-Ho was left off (“he had such a great season for Mainz”) and then say that Park Chu-Young should definitely start because of his “on-paper” ability and historical performances.

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