Baseball and soccer, which can be called the two major mountain ranges of Korean ball games, are bound to receive great attention on the international stage as well as in Korea.
In particular, on the international stage, praise and criticism are divided at one point depending on how the team played, whether it won or lost. The reason why the national baseball team received considerable criticism at the last World Baseball Classic (WBC) or Tokyo Olympics was because the attitude and content of the game were below expectations. On the other hand, the reason why it was well received at the Asian Games and the APBC and U-23 tournaments was because young players showed much better performance than their older brothers, proving that “the future of Korean baseball is not just so dark.”꽁머니지급
Of course, individual competence of players is important in group sports. However, it is up to the coach to flexibly lead the players by uniting those competencies. No matter how good a player is, some show leadership below expectations, while others show leadership above expectations despite the team’s record as the weakest. This has been proven in baseball as well.
Unfortunately, however, this Asian Football Cup was close to the former. The formation of the national team itself may have been the greatest ever, but the coach who had to be good at it did not play a proper role. Some Japanese media even argued that the players seemed to be making tactics on their own. As such, Coach Klinsmann has not shown any significant color since taking office.
What is interesting is that not only soccer fans but also soccer experts, even celebrities and influencers, are voicing negative voices against Klinsmann. I wonder if any of the national soccer team coaches has received such criticism. Even in Germany, there were reports that Klinsmann sent a warning message when he was appointed.
What is clear is that the Klinsmann (號) has been creaking since the group stage of the Asian Cup. Except for the victory against Bahrain, it remained in a draw with Middle East/Southeast Asian countries such as Jordan and Malaysia, and relied heavily on individual players’ capabilities in the round of 16 against Saudi Arabia and the round of 8 against Australia. The 0-2 defeat against Jordan is a disaster that occurred when such a process was defeated.
Since then, KFA President and Klinsmann have made the decision to add fuel to such voices. KFA head coach Klinsmann will not dismiss him, and KFA head coach Klinsmann will maintain the contract period until the World Cup in North and Central America. The decision went against the adage that it is right to dismiss him even at a rather high cost. It is the same as declaring that he will not take responsibility for his performance at all.
In fact, there have been rumors of a crisis, such as a 0-5 loss, every time a foreign coach was appointed, but at least the previous coaches resigned with something to pay off, or kept up with the contract period with results at the end by transplanting their own soccer style for a long time. There was trust in the coaches who were appointed at the time. However, the biggest blow to Klinsmann now is that he cannot find such a link of trust.
Recalling the gold collection movement during the IMF era, social media even found a post saying, “If the Korea Football Association cannot dismiss due to the size of the penalty, we will collect gold and make the penalty.” Some even filed a national petition. Despite the circumstances, Klinsmann, who does not know what went wrong, vowed to lead the national team while receiving a high salary.
In fact, in order to prevent all this, the KFA should have made a final decision by carefully selecting candidates from the time the coach was appointed. A national team coach, who must guarantee a four-year period based on the World Cup standard, must make a careful choice as long as the contract period is that long. Then, the coach can implement four years of constant support as he wishes. However, it is undeniable that negative voices have been heard from all over the world, making one wonder if such “support” is meaningful under the current coach system.
A national team coach who also has to take responsibility for his performance. But how will the Korea Football Association respond to the current coach who tries hard to ignore this situation?