New senior side coach, Hong Myeong-Bo, made his official bow at the training center in Paju yesterday, and made his first comments since taking the senior job.
The full transcript can be found on the KFA’s Korean website. In his presser, Hong was asked about a variety of subjects, from specific players like Lee Dong-Gook and Park Ji-Sung, to team and personal goals, about the incorporation of the “Hong Myeong-Bo kids”, the job that Cho Kwang-Rae and Choi Kang-Hee did, and the importance of experience abroad. The newspaper Joongang Ilbo ran a summary of the press conference (in English) which can be read here.
My one sentence summary: Players need to be prepared to play for the team and that no one is guaranteed.
There were some interesting notes in the press conference which I will highlight in bullet form.
- Hong hinted that there was some sort of division between the foreign-based players and the domestic players. Hong has said that eliminating division in the team, and creating one cohesive unit was his primary aim. The team’s slogan under him will be “one team, one spirit, one goal”.
- As to what style his team will play, Hong answered that his team will be “Korean” and not Spanish or German because they are not Spanish or German. (duh)
- When asked about Park Ji-Sung, Hong said that he will respect Park’s wishes to “retire” from the international game and will not look to bring him back into the fold
- When asked about Lee Dong-Gook, Hong said he will not publicly assess specific player performances
- In regards to his “kids” (the group that formed his core at the Olympics), Hong said that the past does not guarantee a future, and that they would need to continue to work hard
Overall, there was no real revelation in the press conference, which is probably smart. It’s far too early for Hong to show his cards, but for the purposes of blogging it’s a bit frustrating as there is really nothing to form thoughts about.
The best guess, as far as I can see, is that Hong’s senior side will largely be similar to his U-23 side. Solid organization, one cohesive unit, and a bit on the direct side. Hong has said he will select the best players to make a team, who may not necessarily be the best players.
It will be interesting to see how the team develops under Hong.