‘Klinsmann’s ship’ picks up first win in six A-match campaigns
Head coach Jürgen Klinsmann’s (GER) national soccer team won a 1-0 friendly against Saudi Arabia at St. James’ Park in Newcastle, England, on Wednesday (Sept. 13) thanks to a 32nd-minute header from Cho Kyu-sung (Mitwillan). It was a welcome turnaround for the ‘Clean Sweepers’, who had drawn three and lost two since their inauguration until a 0-0 draw against Wales in August.
However, in retrospect, it fell short in many ways. First and foremost, the fixed best lineup was a concern. Ten of the 11 players who started against Saudi Arabia were the same as against Wales. Only Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton) came in for Hong Hyun-seok (Hearts), who was called up to coach Hwang Sun-hong’s U-24 squad ahead of the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games.
They took control of the game and attacked aggressively, but as time went on, the team’s movement became noticeably sluggish. The organization was not perfect. Mistakes were made along the way. If the opponents were European and South American powerhouses instead of the Saudis, there were a lot of goals that would have been conceded.
온라인바카라 The lack of physical strength was also noticeable. The gap between the offense and defense was not enough, and in the last minute of the second half, they were in a hurry to stop the opponent’s attack. Fullbacks Seol Young-woo (Ulsan Hyundai) and Lee Ki-je (Suwon Samsung) were late to return to the defense after overlapping, while central defender Jeong Seung-hyun (Ulsan) made several heartbreaking misses.
Nevertheless, the national team bench was stingy with substitutions and reluctant to make changes. Cho Kyu-sung and Hwang Hee-chan were taken off in the 23rd minute to bring on Hwang Eui-jo (Norwich City) and Moon Sun-min (Jeonbuk Hyundai), and Kang Sang-woo (Beijing Guoan) for Lee Jae-sung (Mainz) 10 minutes later, but it’s hard to expect a burst of energy from a group of veterans in their 30s. Oh Hyun-gyu (Celtic) and Lee Sun-min (Gwangju FC), who stepped onto the pitch in stoppage time, were not substitutions designed to make a difference.
Klinsmann repeatedly called for long breaths and emphasized “generational change. He often talked about the team’s big picture being the North and Central American World Cup in three years. In practice, however, he reiterated the rigid timeline.
Younger players will return after the Asian Games, but for the national team’s multinational coaching staff, non-European performers are neither informative nor annoying. It’s a fundamental reason why you can’t expect healthy tension in a structured national team. Klinsmann and his team will need to show a different side in October’s two domestic A matches against Tunisia and Vietnam.