Jürgen Klinsmann bills his style of soccer as “playing to the strengths of the players,” but the evidence suggests otherwise.
The South Korean national team coach has been under fire lately. From the controversy over his foreign travels to his inclusion in the Legends Match roster to his request for a Welsh ace Aaron Ramsey jersey, Klinsmann’s behavior has been unbecoming of a national team coach.
What makes him even more criticized is that he doesn’t follow up with results. If Klinsmann’s way of working is more efficient, it should be reflected in the results. However, Klinsmann hasn’t won a game since his arrival. In his first five games, he drew three and lost two. And four of those games were domestic trials. The controversy and the lack of results have led to even more criticism.
It”s hard to say that they”re getting better. This was especially true against Wales. Against the Welsh, they were out-shot and out-performed in terms of shots on target and shots on goal. If it weren’t for Kim Seung-kyu’s saves, the game could have been lost. The Welsh game did little to quell the controversy, but rather fueled it.
Klinsmann recently said, “A national team manager has to make the best out of the players he has,” arguing that national team managers should adapt to the abilities of their players rather than their philosophy.
However, it is questionable whether we are playing the kind of football that brings out the best in our players. Against Wales, there were some puzzling selections. For example, Hong Hyun-seok, who plays in midfield for his club Hent, was used on the right. Hong is a player with a lot of movement and kicking power, but he lacks the pace and penetration to play as a winger. He’s not the type of player who can dribble in from the flanks and make plays like Lee Kang-In. Rather, he does a lot of his work in the center, acting as a link between the attack and the midfield, as well as getting into the penalty area to create scoring opportunities. Those are his strengths. However, against Wales, Hong didn’t have much of a chance to get involved on the right side. He was rarely used to create offense, and when he did, he was unable to convert his chances.
Son Heung-min continued to stick to the midfield. As in the June trial, Son was used as an attacking link, but it didn’t work. Using a striker as a midfielder requires tight spacing and good organization. But in Klinsmann’s system, where players are given more autonomy without detailed instructions, playing Son in the midfield would not work. Instead, it would have been better to maximize his finishing ability. Heung-min had scored a hat-trick up top before this call-up. Finishing is his greatest strength, and Klinsmann failed to capitalize on it.토토사이트
There are some soccer teams that rely on the strengths of certain players. Lee Kang-in is such a case. Lee has started and played full time in all three of South Korea’s last three A matches, leading the South Korean attack. His individual ability has allowed him to beat a defender or two and create chances. Without him for this call-up, Klinsmann’s attacking football was lost. Klinsmann himself said after the game that Lee’s absence was painful. Without him, there was no tactic to create offensive chances.
Klinsmann said that national team managers cannot stick to a “philosophy,” but South Korea has the example of Bento, who has played with one philosophy for the past four years and reached the round of 16. The phrase ‘soccer that plays to the strengths of the players’ seems to be a statement that comes from a failure to face the reality that there is no philosophy.