Hong Myung Bo (likely coerced into being) Named KNT Boss (again)

The incompetency of the KFA truly knows no bounds. Earlier today Hong Myung Bo was named manager of the KNT after a long 5 month search since Klinsmann was sacked. The entire time the KFA was talking about getting a quality foreign coach but after 5 months of repeated failed negotiations, we are back in a 2013-esque situation where we can’t find anyone so they had to plead for and convince HMB to take the job – even though this entire time Hong himself was denying that he would take the KNT job and that he would stay on at Ulsan HD. There’s no official announcement just yet but it is said that all the terms and negotiations are now complete, and the contract has already been signed. It should be official very soon, likely announced on Monday.

Most recently David Wagner and Gus Poyet (who while relatively unknown, in terms of play style did kind of fit the bill of what we were looking for football-wise) were the frontrunners and the prior man charge of managerial selection, Jung Hae Sung, was supposed to meet them. But then for some reason Jung Hae Sung resigned, Lee Im Saeng took over, met Poyet and Wagner last week in Europe, then came back and essentially convinced Hong Myung Bo to take the job – literally two days later. So here we are. The thought online is that even Jung Hae Sung’s resignation was all a show – the media story at the time was that Jung wanted HMB or Kim Do Hoon, went to Chung Mong Gyu for approval, then reportedly got rejected citing that we want a foreign manager, so Jung resigned. But then we ended up with Hong Myung Bo anyway.

Opinions:

First of all this is not the worst thing that could’ve happened – we could have very easily ended up with a Klinsmann or Uli Stielike 2.0 (Morais, the ex-Jeonbuk manager, was seriously discussed recently) and the other names on the shortlist were not as realistic (Graham Arnold, Petkovic, Wilmots, etc.) – and HMB is certainly one of the best domestic coaches we have. Also things can’t be much worse than 2014 right? Surely HMB has learned a lot over the past decade. It’s not the “who ended up getting chosen” that’s problematic, but the process – which just continues to prove how utterly incompetent the KFA is.

For starters, it’s a really messed up situation for Ulsan HD. For the KFA to steal their manager MID-SEASON is not a good look. Especially in a time when the K League is doing really well, getting more popular, etc. Pretty much shows that the KFA doesn’t care about the K League and places it solidly below the KNT in terms of priority. Wonder why we couldn’t have just taken Kim Do Hoon, who is probably the frontrunner to fill the void at Ulsan HD now. Also makes you wonder why we didn’t take HMB in March before the K League kicked off.

Second, what the hell has the KFA been doing all along? They’re already saying that Hong Myung Bo is the best possible candidate for the KNT today, but why? The thought was that the KFA wanted modern, fast, attacking oriented football (hence why names like Renard, Gunes, Marsch (before he took over Canada, who are doing extremely well in the Copa America), Wagner, Poyet, and many other foreign names were shortlisted) but Hong Myung Bo doesn’t quite fit that bill.

It truly seems to me that the KFA went on their usual merry go round of either unrealistic managers who already had jobs, managers who were too good but we don’t have the money for (the excuse will be paying off Klinsmann’s termination), managers who could’ve been good and realistic for the KNT but they personally didn’t like for some unknown reason (Herve Renard, Senol Gunes, Moreno, Casa), which then leaves the domestic managers Kim Do Hoon and Hong Myung Bo who they can fall back on when all else inevitably fails. If it is true that they dropped Renard (who would’ve been my personal #1 candidate) just because of his schedule not lining up with theirs initially without even trying to make it work… that’s a huge loss – utter failure – for Korean football. And I will bet my life that they will NEVER properly justify not going for Renard other than “he couldn’t make it to the one day we allowed him to.” The KFA’s motto is avoiding blame and refusing to take accountability (blaming HMB for everything in 2014, throwing STY under the bus as well, whoever leaked the Son/LKI table tennis incident) – they always just need something to blame refusing to ever acknowledge their role in the mess we’re in. Ugh.

How much of this “foreign manager selection process” was all for show? Did Chung Mong Gyu (why is the KFA headed by a Hyundai chaebol guy again?) really want a foreign manager to begin with? Do they care about the KNT doing well and finding a style that fits us… at all? Or does Chung Mong Gyu just want to get reelected as KFA president in January…

And to be honest I’m not sure what kind of football HMB expects from his players. 2014 was completely devoid of any tactical ideas and for Ulsan yes he’s doing well but he still plays the same formation (4-2-3-1) pretty much all the time and also has the luxury of one of the best squads on paper in the K League. Does HMB know the tactical trends in European football right now? Does he have it in him to even implement different ideas? Probably not. Will we ever get an explanation from the KFA as to why they capitulated and forced HMB into a job he doesn’t really want AGAIN? Probably not…

To choose Jurgen Klinsmann over keeping Bento who wanted to keep the job… with zero rationale just because Chung Mong Gyu liked Klinsmann personally… wow. Now with Hong Myung Bo, history inevitably repeats itself. We are truly the worst. And yet absolutely nobody questions why this man is in charge of the KFA.

Unfortunately, we know how this is gonna go. When the manager selection process is this haphazard and devoid of any logic, there will inevitably be bad results. Then there will inevitably a ton of vitriol and backlash towards the manager. Results will get worse and worse until inevitably HMB is sacked, inevitably the KFA throws the MANAGER under the bus, taking absolutely zero accountability for the crazy cycle that we find ourselves in, and we repeat the process ALL OVER AGAIN. This has been going on at least since 2010 with Cho Kwang Rae. And as much as I want to be proven wrong, I don’t see any sign that the KNT cycle will ever end.

As fans I truly hope that instead of directing our anger and disappointment towards Hong or any individual footballer… please direct it all to the shameless, incompetent governing body who refuses to follow any coherent hiring process. With the KFA as it is we are destined to fail as we have, over and over again, no matter what great players come through our ranks.

About Jinseok 261 Articles
Diehard Korean football fan. https://www.taegukwarriors.com/jinseoks-story/

6 Comments

  1. Agree with pretty much everything you said, feeling very frustrated about the whole thing, especially towards higher ups at KFA. This whole thing has been a poopshow, leaks here leaks there very unprofessional, petty and childish even.

    I’ll mildly disagree on one pt, it’s not necessarily inevitable HMB has to crash and burn. Cmiiw genuinely cuz I’m not 100% sure, but other than the ’14 WC debacle hasn’t HMB known nothing but success? Olympic bronze, u-team quarters, b2b k league champ, when else has he abjectly failed?

    Can say his circumstances were ideal, or the opposition he was up against wasn’t the best, I dunno. But given the amount of ships he’s successfully steered into port, that can’t just be coincidence can it? If he was a fraud in the Klinsmann vein his luck would’ve run out & he would’ve been found out by now. He must do a good number of things rights.

    I’m conflicted cuz if HMB succeeds his 2nd time around, this will just put a band-aid on the rot that is the the KFA, maybe delay some very necessary amputations… but I still do want HMB to succeed

  2. I hope you are wrong but I think you are right, sadly.
    This entire process make me very very angry because this is a huge opportunity for us to do some major wins with the talent that we have. Instead, we are wasting this time with ding dong managers with zero creativity.
    He sucked in 2014, he will sadly suck again in 2024.

    My only hope is that Hong Myung Bo resigns for whatever reason or that the KFA gets enough pressure from players to want a better manager.

    I don’t mind European managers but why not a manger from Argentina, Brazil, or Colombia?

    My high blood pressure is single handedly from South Korean soccer.

    Thank you guys.

    • Bento wanted to continue after the World Cup but wanted a 4 year contract. The KFA werent willing to do that saying they could only offer a 1 year contract and negotiate afterward based on his asian cup performance.

  3. I understand your point and agree as well but I hope HMB can learn from his mistake in 2014 and at least now he got 2 years to prepare so i think it shoud bring better result like Huh Jung Moo

  4. as much as i respect HMB and feel bad for him after the 2014 World Cup disaster

    This really isnt it

    I was really hoping Renard would get a chance but nooooo. Have you seen the Instagram comments on the KFA’s HMB announcement post? yikes

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