The temperature difference between the two countries is clear. Foreign media also reported the atmosphere along with the results of recent games.
Global news agency ‘Reuters’ evaluated the results of recent Asian teams’ international matches on the 11th (Korean time). In particular, the differences between Japan and Korea, which are called the two greatest rivals in East Asia, are clear. Reuters reported that “Coach Jurgen Klinsmann extended the Korean team’s winless streak to five games since taking office,” while “Japan’s tactical flexibility pleased coach Hajime Moriyasu.”
The national soccer team led by Coach Klinsmann drew 0-0 with Wales in the first warm-up match of September at Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, on the 8th. It’s been 5 games without a win. The Klinsmann, which set sail last March, has only 3 draws and 2 losses. 4 goals scored, 6 goals conceded. Looking at the numbers, both offense and defense are in desperate need of improvement.
Against Wales, Korea used a 4-4-2 formation. Cho Gyu-seong 메이저놀이터(Midtjylland) and Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur) took on the top two. Hong Hyun-seok (KAA Ghent) and Lee Jae-seong (Mainz 05) lined up on the left and right wings. The central midfielders were Yongwoo Park (Al Ain) and Inbeom Hwang (Zvezda). Lee Ki-je (Suwon Samsung), Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich), Jeong Seung-hyeon, and Seol Young-woo (Ulsan) stand in the back four, with Kim Seung-gyu (Al Shabaab) wearing the goalkeeper’s gloves.
The frustrating flow of the game continued. Wales, who had fallen, easily responded to Korea’s attack. Seung-Hyun Jeong and Min-Jae Kim managed to block Wales’ attack in the final defense. The ball flow stopped. Korea failed to record a single shot until midway through the first half. The only good thing that happened in the 37th minute was Lee Ki-je’s left-footed cross aimed sharply towards the goal. The first shot did not come until the 39th minute. Son Heung-min aimed to score with a curling kick. It was far away. The ball landed in the goalkeeper’s arms. It was Korea’s only effective shot against Wales.
There was a strong tendency to rely on the player’s individual abilities. We had a hard time finding space for Wales. Nothing changed in the second half. Passes rarely came out of midfield. He relied on long passes from defense to attack. They could not properly cope with the pressure from the opposing attackers. There were several passing mistakes and we almost ran into a crisis situation.
Rather, Wales’ attack was fierce. Korea was lucky. In the 21st minute, Moore’s header hit the right post. Broadhead’s shot near the arc hit the defense and missed. We almost gave up another point. At that moment, Korea’s side completely collapsed. Kim Seung-gyu flew out to block Davis’ threatening cross. If it had led to Moore, there was a high possibility that it would have resulted in an early goal being conceded.
Wales, who had only one win in the last 13 official games, ended their two-game losing streak against Korea. Since Coach Klinsmann took office, Korea has not achieved a single victory. 5 games, 3 draws, 2 losses. I lowered my head, unable to make any sense of the content.
Moreover, it is Director Klinsmann who has recently been embroiled in controversy over his overseas outings. Coach Klinsmann, who has not had any domestic schedule since the international match and official press conference in June, mainly traveled back and forth between his home in the U.S. and Europe. He continued his influencer life by attending UEFA events in person or through overseas media. He showed a relaxed appearance, giving advice to Harry Kane, who recently moved to Bayern Munich.
Director Klinsmann even called for an ‘online press conference’ in response to continued criticism. He tried to calm the controversy by saying, “I am a workaholic. The way I work may be different.” The overseas schedule continued. Coach Klinsmann joined the national team for an evaluation match in September in England, bypassing Korea.
Even after the draw with Wales, he remained calm. The argument is that it is still in the process of development. After the match against Wales, Coach Klinsmann said, “I would like to say that it is true. It is clearly needed. The last five games were a good opportunity to check in preparation for the World Cup qualifiers and Asian Cup, which will start in November. The coaching staff will decide which players will play in the Asian Cup or qualifiers. “They are watching closely,” he said in a relaxed manner.
This statement was also highlighted by Reuters. The media reported, “Coach Klinsmann explained that Korea is in the process of developing towards Qatar (Asian Cup). He believed that it is a normal process for a generational change to occur between World Cups.”
The temperature difference was clear. Three days after Korea’s game, Japan defeated traditional powerhouse Germany 4-1. It was even Germany’s home game. Japan completely defeated Germany, which had superstars such as Kai Havertz (Arsenal), Serge Gnarby and Leroy Zane (Bayern Munich), Ilkay Gundogan (FC Barcelona) and Antonio Rudiger (Real Madrid).
Tactically, we completely won. Japan counterattacked Germany, which was taking possession. It wasn’t urgent. Germany’s back space was exploited by the quick-footed Kaoru Mitoma (Brighton & Hove Albion) and Junya Ito (Reims).
Germany, who dreamed of revenge at the 2022 Qatar World Cup, saved face at home. They followed up immediately after conceding the first goal in the first half, but gave up the second goal three minutes later and lost consecutive goals at the end of the second half, losing 1-4.
Japan is in a festive mood. Coach Moriyasu said at the post-game press conference, “We are aiming for a high goal,” and “the players were outstanding. They carried out my difficult tactical changes perfectly.” Reuters took the remark and highlighted that “Japan’s tactical flexibility made Moriyasu happy.”
Amidst quite a bit of shock, Germany ended up firing coach Hansi Flick. Coach Flick, who once won the treble with Munich and rose to the ranks of great leaders, suffered the stigma of being the first player to be dismissed in the 123-year history of the German Football Association.
After the dismissal of coach Flick, several candidates for the next coach are emerging. Germany’s ‘Bild’ also included coach Klinsmann, the current coach of the Korean national team. This is an unusual case. Not only has it been less than a year since he took over the new baton, he still has about three years left on his contract. In addition, ‘Bild’ listed Oliver Glasner, Miroslav Klose, Rudi Feller, Jurgen Klopp, and Julian Nagelsmann as candidates for the next German head coach.
Meanwhile, Reuters also reported news about Saudi Arabia, Korea’s opponent for next September’s evaluation match. Saudi Arabia appointed coach Robert Mancini, who previously led Manchester City and Inter Milan. In his debut match, Mancini lost 1-3 to Costa Rica.
Korea and Saudi Arabia will face off at 1 am on the 13th at St. James Park in Newcastle, England. Accordingly, Reuters reported, “Newcastle fans staged a protest against the use of the stadium.” Newcastle United fans do not seem to welcome the game.