Stielike recently released his callups for the friendly vs. Canada and a VERY important WCQ match against Group A leaders Uzbekistan. A loss to Uzbekistan would make our progression into the World Cup incredibly difficult, and it would almost certainly lead to Stielike getting sacked. Yet, Stielike decided to callup a thoroughly underwhelming squad. It seems fairly standard in the midfield, but the rest of the positions look worryingly weak. I apologize in advance – this will certainly be one of my most pessimistic posts so far.
In English, the callups are as follows:
Kim Seunggyu (the standard GK lineup)
Kwak Taehwi (we’re going to have issues with these four CBs)
Yoon Sukyoung (WHY)
Park Jooho (a slightly more muted WHY)
Ji Dongwon (the Tuna might just be our savior)
Hwang Heechan (on fire but will he play?)
Lee Jeonghyub (WHY??!)
Kim Shinwook (he’s playing decently well for Jeonbuk but..)
Still. That is a really uncomfortable frontline – I wouldn’t be fully comfortable with any of them starting up top. I especially don’t know what Stielike is thinking calling up Lee Jeonghyup again considering he’s done literally nothing for Ulsan as of late. The best solution, imo, is to put Ji Dongwon up top.
It’s not only the frontline that’s worrying – our fullbacks currently consist of 1) a player who’s been described as a “training cone” for Bronsby FC (when you’re a training cone for a Danish League team you’ve got a problem), 2) a player who got wrecked on his start for Dortmund (it’s Dortmund, but he hadn’t played a game in ages until this past week), and 3) the K League FB trio in Hong Chul, Kim Changsoo, and Choi Chulsoon, a man who is often called up but unfortunately never gets to play. This lineup really does not inspire confidence – in my opinion, at least, Oh Jaesuk and Ko Kwangmin are still the most solid FB duo for Korea. On the bright side, however, Jang Hyunsoo at RB seems to have been dropped considering 5/9 defenders are natural FBs and 3/9 are natural CBs. The problem is, of course, that the four CBs are either incredibly old or playing in China. I would willingly bet a good amount of money that we will concede against Uzbekistan.
So we play Canada on the 11th then play Uzbkeistan on the 15th, all at home. The good thing is, players will probably be released from their clubs a good full week before the match (11/4-6). There will likely be a good amount of rest for these guys; thus, I propose that we should go all out against Canada and play the exact same lineup against Uzbeksitan four days later. This is because the team chemistry is so off that they need all the practice they can get – we also don’t have to worry about travel like we did a couple weeks ago against Iran.
For me, going all out (with this lineup…) would be..
Ji Dongwon — Son Heungmin, Koo Jacheol, Kim Bokyung, Lee Jaesung — Ki Sungyong — FB, CB, CB, FB — Kim Seunggyu.
This may be a little controversial to some. Yes, I dropped Lee Chungyong due to lack of playing time, and I put Ki Sungyong in the DM. I put him there because although he is a very good goal threat, he can push up when need be and strike from distance. We need all the firepower we can get because whoever plays in defense will inevitably make mistakes, and although this may not be Stielike’s style, we desperately need to score goals. Han Kookyoung doesn’t help much when it comes to firepower, and honestly, Ki can do a better job that HKY in DM. The supersubs, of course, would be Hwang Heechan, Lee Chungyong, and Kim Shinwook.
Let us know what you think of the callups and my proposed starting XI below!