“Coach Klinsmann’s tactics are a question itself.”
The AP said this when South Korea, which was aiming to win the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup for the first time in 64 years, was eliminated.
The Korean national soccer team led by German coach Jurgen Klinsmann was eliminated after losing 0-2 to Jordan in the semifinal match held at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Alayan, Qatar, on the 7th. Korea, ranked 23rd in the FIFA rankings, was considered the strongest ever, but lost as it humiliatingly recorded “0 shots” in Jordan (87th), 64 notches below the record.
It is the first time that Korea has lost the Asian Cup by more than two goals since the quarterfinal match against Iran (2-6 losses) in 1996. Korea recorded its first defeat in the game against Jordan. Up until the match on the day, Jordan was absolutely inferior to Korea with three draws and three losses. “Korea did not perform well throughout the entire tournament. It also performed poorly against Jordan, ranked 87th in FIFA rankings,” The Athletic said.
What’s more regrettable than his performance is his tactics and performance of “colorless and odorless,” which does not constitute a candidate for the championship. Team Klinsmann had world-class players such as Son Heung-min (Tottenham), Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton), Yi Gang-in (Paris Saint-Germain) and Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich) in defense, but struggled every time except in the first group match against Bahrain (3-1 win). In defense, the team gave up as many as 10 goals in six games. It lost points in every game, exposing its anxiety. Korea allowed two goals each in the 2015 (second place) and 2019 (quarterfinal).
It was difficult to find promised movements of the players in attack. Both Son Heung-min and Lee Kang-in seemed to be moving as they played free-rolls. Fans who watched the scene mocked Klinsmann’s coaching style, which only relies on the individual skills of some players without any significant tactics, saying “Please play 마카오토토주소 soccer.”
In particular, it is shocking that Korea was completely defeated by Jordan despite its second showdown in the upcoming tournament without any countermeasures. Korea was trailing Jordan 1-2 in the second group match, but managed to tie the match 2-2 due to an own goal by its opponent at the end of the match. Korea advanced to the semifinals by banking on almost the same tactics as in Jordan’s group match, only to be unilaterally pushed back. Kim Min-jae, the core of the defense, was absent due to accumulated warnings, but he failed to show any countermeasures. It is questionable whether he properly analyzed his opponent and participated in the match. “Jordan clearly gained confidence in the first match against Korea. He seems to have thought, ‘If we don’t make the same mistake, we can definitely win,'” commentator Park Chan-ha said. “On the contrary, we had tied in the first match, and even had handicap that Kim Min-jae was not present this time, but there was no countermeasure.”
Commentator Kim Oh-seong said, “Korea was dragged by the opposing team in all but the first group match against Bahrain. Whether it is against a weak team or a strong team, it seemed to depend on the individual skills of key players without any clear tactics. It is ‘trust’ in good words, but it is more like ‘tactics’ in cool-headed terms.”
Asked if he is willing to resign after taking responsibility for the outcome, Klinsmann said, “We need to return to Korea to analyze the upcoming event, and further develop our team with the goal of the North-Central American World Cup for two and a half years. We have a lot of challenges ahead of us.”
However, most experts say that such a theory is not working. They argue that under Klinsmann, Korean soccer has no future.
Commentator Park Moon-sung said, “Regardless of the results of the game, it was not clear throughout the tournament what kind of soccer the coach wants to play.” “There is a big difference between having a goal and not achieving it properly and not being able to set the goal itself. If possible, it is worth considering breaking up with Klinsmann now.” “If Klinsmann accompanies the North-Central American World Cup, he will have to present a clear vision of what philosophy and goals he will prepare for the next World Cup and what process he will go through to reach his goals,” Park said. “Not only the coach but also the Korea Football Association, which entrusted him with the future of Korean soccer, should be responsible for it.”