The Japanese national team defeated Germany at the World Cup in Qatar. They even managed to disrupt the power of the tank army in their own backyard. A whopping 4-1 victory.
On the same day, South Korea’s coach, Klinsmann, was interviewed by reporters on the sidelines of their helpless draw with Wales. He faced harsh criticism for his platitudes. While there is a big difference between Japan and South Korea right now in terms of performance, there is an even bigger difference in the bigger picture.
Against Germany, Japan played the kind of soccer they have been playing all along. The eleven worked as a unit to create chances based on organized short passes. In the second goal in particular, they exchanged 14 passes, including the goalkeeper, before scoring, and those 14 passes were so precise and well-timed that the Germans had no control over them.
Japan didn”t invent this style of soccer overnight. It”s been around for decades, with passing soccer as its foundation to overcome physical limitations. Adult national teams and club teams, as well as teams at the youth level, all play a similar style of soccer. In fact, Tokyo Verdi, who recently participated in the K League International Youth Cup in Incheon, played the same style of soccer, albeit with less perfection, and reached the final.
On the other hand, Korean soccer seems to have lost its unique characteristics. In the ’90s, it was characterized by a pressing style of soccer that created goal chances through flanking attacks. Strong pressing with a high volume of activity and two or three players surrounding the opponent at a moment’s notice led to the success of the 2002 World Cup. However, since the mid-2000s, the colors have often changed depending on the coach’s personality and the composition of the squad. At the youth level, the emphasis has been on winning, and it has been difficult to find a link to the adult level. 먹튀검증
Fast forward to today. In the four-plus years leading up to the World Cup in Qatar, South Korea played build-up soccer. Even in the face of harsh criticism, coach Paulo Bento stood by his philosophy. As a result, at the World Cup, we continued to play the way we had been playing, even against teams that were stronger than us, and we were able to achieve our goal of reaching the round of 16. With the tenacity of the longest-serving national team coach in history, he brought a unique color to Korean football for the first time in a long time.
But since Klinsmann took over, that color has disappeared. The team claims to play an attacking style of soccer, but the number of goals scored in five games is embarrassing. The goal is the Asian Cup in winter, but if you don’t even know what kind of soccer you want to play along the way, it’s hard to get excited.
This begs the question. After failing to re-sign Bento, what did the Korean Football Association look for in a new coach? Of course, there were the criteria outlined by Michael Muller, the head of the National Strength and Conditioning Committee, such as professionalism, experience, motivation, teamwork, and environmental factors. There were other realistic conditions and criteria, such as a limited budget and current activity, but I wonder if they took into account the need to find a coach who could maintain and continue to develop the color of Korean soccer as it has been pursued for the past four and a half years. Instead, the parting of ways with Michael Kim, who was the only coach retained after Klinsmann’s appointment, severed the last link to the previous generation.
On a day when Japan demolished a European powerhouse with their long-established brand of soccer, we sighed at the international (?) head coach’s insistence on working overseas, and we lost faith in his personable smile. We’ve knocked down our own tower and started over from zero, but it’s a long way up. It’s a bitter pill to swallow.