I would’ve just updated the weekly roundup but I think this deserves a post of its own:
Korean coaches seem to be leaning towards the 4-1-4-1 today, with Lee Kwang Jong reportedly practicing with this formation. Now reports have also come out that Shin Tae Yong is ALSO planning on a 4-1-4-1, with Ki as the “1” and Lee Chung Yong… in the center, just as I predicted pre-WC.
I’ve actually been thinking recently, what if we, instead of putting KJC in the middle and Lee on the right, put Lee in the middle and put KJC on the right? He always seems to play well when placed wide (right now for Mainz and for Augsburg) and maybe it was just HMB’s instructions, but KJC in the #10 just didn’t work. LCY is well established as one our most technically gifted / dribbly midfielder. Why not try him in the center? Additionally, players like Kim Seung Dae and Lee Jae Sung should be tried out as well.
Anyway, apparently we should expect the following:
Not THE most thrilling lineup (CYC and KMW have yet to truly impress in a KNT kit but they’ve been playing well for their clubs so give em a chance why not), but I guess this is the best we can do right now considering the number of players away at the Asian Games preparations…
Now what should we do in the future? Obviously Lee Dong Gook isn’t a long term solution to the striker role, we’re still missing a right winger provided Lee Chung Yong shifts centrally, we have three talented LB’s but no RB’s, we have a very shaky CB pairing, and the debate of “who can partner Ki Sung Yong” has STILL not been resolved yet as Han Kook Young has also failed to impress completely.
A lot of these questions, I hope, will be answered by next year/season. First of all, the Asian Games is a great testing ground for some of the K League’s current best talents. Starting from the back, there is Kim Seung Kyu; we will see if he doesn’t mess up, i.e. has the consistency to become Korea’s #1. Alternatively there’s Lee Bum Young, Lee Chang Geun, who’s finally seeing minutes with Busan, Yoo Sang Hoon, who if you haven’t seen by now is playing extremely well as FC Seoul’s new 25-yr-old starting goalkeeper. He saved 3 PK’s during the Pohang-Seoul PK shootout – it’s worth Youtubing. In the next set of friendlies I demand to see the trio of Kim Seung Kyu, Lee Bum Young, and Yoo Sang Hoon play at least 45 minutes. Really hope this actually happens..
As for the defense… I have faith in Kim Jin Su but I’m not so certain about … the rest. We simply don’t have any major talents in the CB department. I can namedrop quite a few youth prospects but they’re still youth prospects. As for right back I can only hope that Kim Yong Hwan from the U21 team turns out to develop a beast (I really liked that entire back line of Shim Sang Min – Yeon Je Min – Song Ju Hoon/Woo Ju Sung – Kim Yong Hwan)…
Now as for Ki’s partner there are MANY options that I really want to see tested out: Park Joo Ho (obviously), Son Joon Ho (Pohang’s trusty C/DM), Shin Hyung Min (he got better all of a sudden this year), Lee Jae Sung (guess he’s more of an AM but he has played deeper before), and Lee Myung Joo (obviously again, though I think he functions better as an AM). Thus, keep a close eye on these guys when they (minus Shin HM and Lee MJ) play in the AG, as well as in the K League. You guys should seriously start to follow the K League by the way. It’s pretty freaking entertaining and remember that all our talents come through the K League system first. They also have an AMAZING NEW WEBSITE IN ENGLISH THAT EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU SHOULD EXPLORE RIGHT NOW
As for the attacking mid department, again there are many options – < SHM – LCY – KJC >, < SHM – LCY – Lee Jae Sung or Kim Seung Dae >, <SHM – Lee Jae Sung or Kim Seung Dae or Moon Chang Jin – LCY >, <SHM – LCY – Han Kyo Won /Ahn Yong Woo / Moon Chang Jin >, < SHM LMJ LCY with KSD up top>. With the attacking mid talent in the K League the possibilities are pretty much endless. Which gets tested out we’ll see. I just don’t want to see KJC in the middle anymore unless his instructions drastically change.
The striker position: I’ve given up hope on Park Ju Young. This leaves us with Kim Shin Wook and Kim Seung Dae and maybe Lee Jong Ho but he doesn’t play one top too much. Kim Shin Wook will probably be our go-to for now, although if Lee Myung Joo plays we HAVE TO try out Kim Seung Dae as the one top.
If nothing convincing happens, next season, Hwang Hee Chan will officially sign a pro contract with the Pohang Steelers full squad. Our best striker prospect in basically forever, I am extremely curious to see how this guy does. So is Hwang Sun Hong, who holds him in high regard but has also said he is lacking in (and would teach him) quite a few skillsets. I see Hwang Hee Chan potentially as the next Hwang Sun Hong. And I suspect the emperor himself thinks so as well.
And then of course, there’s Lee Seung Woo who will turn 18 in January 2016 and at the time will be (finally) playing for Barca B. Alternatively we can just fast track him right now as a 16 year old. Hell, Croatia capped Halilovic at 16 or 17 years right? Why can’t we do that as well? Maybe give him a quick run in a KNT kit next year?