We qualified for the WC right yet there’s no reason to celebrate. When we have to rely on the results of Qatar and Uzbekistan… you know there’s a serious problem.
One look at the starting lineup was enough to guarantee a bad game. We had one midfielder and four strikers; it was clearly a “hoof the ball forward and hope it lucky-bounces into a player’s path” approach. No organization, no tactics, no discipline. When the game started it seemed as if we were dominating because Iran sat back and turtled. But CKH’s puzzling decision not to field a single creative midfielser (there was one MF on the entire pitch) started to become evident as we had no creativity at all, forcing us to have the center backs hoof the ball forward and rely heavily on wingers and fullbacks to create something. Long ball after long ball didn’t work and on Iran’s one and only shot on target they scored. Mission accomplished for Quieroz. I was right about the lineup – CKH pretty much told players to hoof the ball forward for 90 minutes hoping we get lucky. We’re never going to score like that.
A great insight from msc43 over at BSK:
“What we have was a team that didn’t play to its strengths. All creativity we had was sitting on the bench or wasn’t present at all. Koo, KBK, and KSY had no presence in the last batch of WCQ. With no creativity, how do you expect us to get past teams that park the bus? Blasting the ball forward can only get us so far.The flaw was in management and personnel. Putting SHM in a hoofball system is going to bear no fruits. Lionel Messi wouldn’t enjoy a hoofball system; and yet this is how we planned to conquer Asia. LDG and LKH were horrendous to watch. Their lack of creativity and finishing made my eyes bleed. We had a foundation after the 2012 Olympics and we didn’t build on it. It’s more than disappointing, it’s downright shameful. The KNT has deserved better than what the KFA and CKH have given us. Edit: Longball can be a fine strategy if you have finishers. Case and point: PCY vs Japan in the Olympics. Perfect example of how longball wins you matches. LDG? Oh please. Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat.”
Koo Ja Cheol’s goal vs. Japan came the same way. The point is, KNT plays best with a passing game in possession (we have the players and technicians to do it), with the occasional long ball on the counter. We had a foundation after the Olympics. A centre midfielder who can orchestrate in Ki Sung Yong and a nice complement in Park Jong woo or Han Kook Young. A CAM with insane dribbling and ball retainment skills + a mean shot in Koo Ja Cheol. A creative attacking midfielder / winger in Kim Bo Kyung. Our most techincally gifted player and a direct, run-behind-the-defenders winger in Lee Chung Yong. A solid centre back in Kim Young Kwon; our hands down best defender (proven in Olympic qualifying and senior NT matches) in U23 captain Hong Jeong Ho who unfortunately missed the Olympics due to injury; a very promising left back in yoon Suk Young, who unfortunately made the idiotic decision of going to QPR to watch grass grow from the bench. Then theres our trusted striker PCY, and a 20 year old who scored 12 goals in the best league in the world, new Leverkusen boy Son Heung Min. Our players are also experiencing more success at the club level than ever before. The pieces are there, but with a crap manager who has no sense of…. anything.. not even the best players can shine.
As for Kim Young Kwon, nobody should be pointing fingers at him. It was a terrible mistake, but up until that he won aerial battles, distributed the ball efficiently, and read the game pretty well.Remember his heroics in the Olympics, and that even Hong Myung Bo himself made a similar mistake against Turkey in 2002. The 1-0 scoreline didn’t prevent us from going into the WC, and whether it ended 1-0 or 0-0, the game was still crap. I am pleased, however, that Jang Hyun Soo played well. For those of you who forgot he was pretty much the Hong Myung Bo of the 2009 U20 WC. Rock solid defending, penalty taking skills, and the #20 jersey. Even in an unfamiliar defensive midfield position (CKH you’re a moron) he played decently. Compared to the rest at least.
I am kinda glad we lost like this. Hopefully it was enough of a wakeup call for KFA (I guess the previous embarassments weren’t enough), and hopefully all notions of keeping CKH have been erased away. But knowing KFA, I wouldn’t be surprised if they mention the possibility, which seriously makes my blood boil. The loss also makes CKH leave with his reputation tarnished. There was a lot of tension before the game, with CKH vowing to make Iran watch the WC from TV, Son Heung min promising to make them shed tears of blood, etc. The team was pumped up, yet everything a manager could have done went wrong, and Carlos Quieroz pretty much made CKH eat his words and look like an idiot. His shortcomings – no tactics, no organization, no discipline, bad lineups, bad subs, being extremely formulaic, and sticking to LDG (who contributed absolutely nothing throught the qualification yet still played matches)- have been exposed and hopefully no future managers will repeat these mistakes.
Where do we go next? Well the Dark Age has come to an end. No more 34 year old strikers who have no business on the national team. No more policy of subbing out the best performers and keeping in the useless players. No more idiotic lineups and complete chaos and disarray.
Another insight from msc43:
“Clearly, there’s a lot of work to do. Cho Kwang Rae and Choi Kang Hee left us disorganized, undisciplined, and lacking stamina. Any incoming manager who takes over the KNT needs to address these issues as soon as possible. Stamina building and developing defensive cohesiveness is a necessity. This KNT is so gifted and technically talented that defending has become useless to them. All I know is that the KFA has to get their shit together and hire the right manager. The right manager will pick the most talented personnel and get the best of their talents with the right system.”
Hong Myung Bo should not take the reins just yet. The next coach should be Senol Gunes. He knows much about Korean football having worked at Seoul with Lee Chung Yong Ki Sung Yong and Park Ju Young. He also established a wonderful passing game that would make Barcelona proud(seriously, watch the video of Gunes’s FC Seoul passing – it’s beautiful).
EDIT: right after I publish this and finish eating lunch I get news that HMB has already been appointed! Well. In that case HMB has the EAFF and some friendlies to get ready. Now that i think about it appointing HMB right now could have been better than Gunes. If anyone can fix the mess we are in right now in time for the WC it’s HMB with his 2012 experience with the NT core. Knowing him we can trust him to do a good job and ireally hope he stays until after the 2018 Russia WC. Long term managers are always the best, and remember that our current generation, which peaks in age in the 2018 cycle, was managed by HMB since their U20 days.