World Cup 2014: Ode to the underdog + Last call on the yeot toss

Where to start? This World Cup has been nothing short of sensational. Oh sure, Korea was knocked out in the Group Stage, but I wasn’t talking about our beloved Taeguk Warriors. If we look past that disappointing performance we see a World Cup full of shocks, surprises and stellar matches.

The Round of 16 was surely one of the best in World Cup history, the group winner pushed to the limit in every single game. Brazil nearly going down, a crossbar away from elimination and into the Quarters by a post. Netherlands mere minutes from packing their bags after yet another stunning goalkeeping performance from Memo Ochoa, the Mexicans eliminated by an Arjen Robben flop. (Just my opinion). Germany and France having to wait until the 92nd and 79th minutes respectively to score against their African counterparts (Algeria and Nigeria). Two more incredible goalkeeping performances went unrewarded – Benaglio and Howard especially stood on their head but it wasn’t enough, as they succumbed to Argentina and Belgium respectively.

But who could forget Costa Rica? Little Costa Rica. The minnows. They weren’t even supposed to win a game in this World Cup! They were irrelevant. Just there for the ride. Yet incredibly, unexpectedly, little Costa Rica slayed Italy, slayed Uruguay and knocked out England without even playing them. They broke through the Greek wall and now find themselves at a table for 8, among the elite, squaring off against Robben and Robin, a win away from a Semi-Final berth. It bears resemblance to Korea’s miracle run in 2002 – unexpected, unbelievable, unpredictable. So maybe it is time for Korea give up their status of being the only non-European/South American team to ever make it to the Final Four.

Change of theme – I strongly urge you to go over to Roy’s last post and list, in the comments, what you think needs to change for 2018. The changes the KFA has to make. Is it K-League? Grassroots football? More European players? Foreign manager? We’re going to compile your thoughts – and the writers of the Tavern (with some help from other sources/blogs as well) will create our “Blueprint for the Future” – to be submitted to the KFA. Will it make a difference? Who knows. Maybe not. Maybe it will. Why not?

This hasn’t been one of my super long posts, thank goodness, so I’ll conclude with giving my thoughts on the Yeot toss seen ’round the world. I’ve already expressed myself in the comment section of previous posts but I’ll do it again here – I don’t condone it. Would I throw yeot at our players and tell them to ‘Eat sh*t’? No. Is Korean football dead? Um, no. But is there, perhaps, a positive side to all this? I’m being careful in saying this – like I said, I don’t condone it. However, hopefully the KFA got the message loud and clear – what happened this World Cup is unacceptable, and they need to take steps to ensure that it never happens again. The yeot toss does in a way express the dissatisfaction. Actions speak louder than words, whether you like it or not, and this action was reported by many international news outlets. It was heard. A little petition or whatever wouldn’t have had the same effect – not to say our little Blueprint for the Future idea isn’t an idea that’s going to work – that’s not necessarily true, but, sometimes rash, childish actions get more coverage than logical solutions. People heard that Koreans are upset at their performance. It puts pressure on the KFA – and this has been my motto since what happened this World Cup – KFA don’t mess up 2018.

So if we’re not going to toss yeot at our players and shame them publicly, let’s go for a more logical solution, and draft up a blueprint for the future, over at Roy’s post. I just admitted that it’s not the idea that will get worldwide media coverage, that’s kind of obvious, but it’s smart and sensible. Exact opposite of what the yeot tossing was. At the same time we can sort of vent. It’s something I think has to be done.

I’m rambling on here, so I’ll conclude with transfer news. TRANSFER NEWS?! No, no Park Ju-Young or Lee Chung-Yong moving around, just a striker (Gasp! Korea has a striker in Europe? Unfathomable!) It’s only Suk Hyun-Jun. (Pronounced in proper romanization Seok Hyun-Joon). He transferred a couple days ago from Al-Ahli (where he made 14 appearances and scored 2 goals) to Portuguese First Division side CD Nacional. I wonder… how did they tempt him away from the so called “oil money”? Anyhow, that’s a wrap on this post. Jalgayo.

About Tim Lee 321 Articles
The maple syrup guzzling kimchijjigae craving Korean-Canadian, eh?


  1. Im glad some of us are on the same page regarding the Yeot incident. Passive aggressive stance? Yes definitely. But sometimes its the pawns who make the most significant moves and some of us need to be ok with it for the greater good. I honestly see it as a higher, more drastic degree of booing the team. Thats going to happen whether you like it or not with a sad performance like that. If this team wasn’t capable of doing better, people would more likely just ignore it all together which to me is far worse.

    These were rotten tomatoes being aimed at players heads, which to me is far worse than some penis-shaped candies being thrown at their feet. The players will get over this far faster than the KFA, I am sure of this.

    Regarding the KFA situation and how we might be able to throw ideas out, it would be great if we knew how much money we have at our disposal and more importantly how much we expect to bank in the future. I think this is where our troubles lie and its no use thinking of viable ideas without knowing this.

  2. K, this is off-topic, but… that Brazil/Ger game =OO Still not sure what happened, mind reeling.

    What I wanted to ask was: has SK also ever been guilty of this kinda defensive implosion, & I mean of the… absolute loss-for-words kind? What, if any, parallels can b drawn betw/ SK’s & Brazil’s defensive performances, & most importantly, how can teams avoid this kind of catastrophe?

    I’ll b honest, I’m still a bit slack-jawed O.o

    • Not in recent memory (maybe 4-0 loss to Croatia). I don’t know if there any significant parallels to be drawn. Brazil left a ton of space behind the fullbacks, were poorly organized (maybe only parallel), and just awful overall defensively.

      How to avoid? Play deeper, be compact and organized.

  3. 5-0 at halftime against Germany. 3-0 at halftime against Algeria. You can definitely draw parallels I think. Germany is arguably a much stronger attacking team than Algeria. Wouldn’t you say most Korean soccer fans were pretty dumbfounded at halftime against Algeria? The only difference is, most people on this board who have watched Korea over the years were afraid of our defensive frailties and maybe even expected it to happen sooner or later. What happened today was a shock of epic proportions.

    To be a little bit nicer to Brazil, they were without their captain and star defender. Korea is in need of any solid defender.Not saying Brazil can make excuses… they had the support of thousands of fans at the stadium unlike Korea.

    These two games just highlight how absolutely crucial defense is. I’ve always felt since I started watching Korea in 2008 that they never focus enough on defense, and that’s killer. Lapses in defense can lead to utter disaster. If you have attacking talent like Son Heung Min or Oscar, it will only get you so far.

    You could even say the same about American football: Seattle Seahawks’ insane defense crushed “the greatest offense of all time” Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl.

    Another example: Costa Rica may not have played the most beautiful soccer, but they were never humiliated by their opponents. More importantly THEY MADE IT TO THE FREAKING QUARTERFINALS because of insanely disciplined defense and an absolutely kickass goalkeeper. They let in only one non-penalty goal in five games against top class opponents. I think Korea (and now definitely Brazil) can learn a lot from them.

    • Tactically though I’m not sure what similarities you can draw between Brazil and Korea’s defense in those games. I just noticed today that the defenders looked utterly lost. The Germans had way too much space. Surprising after Brazil played so well against Colombia.

      • I don’t see too many parallels in those games… Brazil left too much space in defense and paid dearly. Lost/disorganized? Maybe a similarity there. Otherwise it’s not worth comparing imo.

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