If you stop, you will be left behind. In modern soccer, which changes rapidly every year, if you neglect your efforts even for a moment, you are likely to be overtaken by latecomers.꽁머니지급
At the Kagoshima training camp in Japan, which is about to open professional soccer, the will of those who know this better than anyone else attracted attention.
Ulsan HD, which is dominating the K-League 1 strongest team, is the first to call for transformation. It was the beginning of Ulsan coach Hong Myung-bo’s bold attack on the team that led the team to the top place over the past two years. Instead of sending key players such as Baco, Jung Seung-hyun and Kim Tae-hwan, they wore Ulsan uniforms to Kim Min-woo, Hwang Seok-ho, Ko Seung-bum, Matheus Salles and Kelvin.
Coach Hong said, “If we maintained the winning member last year, this year has been completely different.”
Ulsan has pursued soccer to dominate the flow of the game based on thorough ball possession. The most sophisticated soccer in the K-League was excellent, but his concern was that he was often swayed by the opposite team colors. Hong’s choice was to add a small “detail” while keeping the existing soccer philosophy.
Coach Hong said, “Sometimes we have to play, but there was a problem that we couldn’t play,” adding, “We brought players who can make changes to Ulsan’s team color. Kim Min-woo and Ko Seung-bum will be able to show new changes while maintaining the soccer we played before.”
The field has shown positive response. It was powerful to find gaps in the opponent’s defense and free up attacks by moving regardless of position. If a new team color is completed, Ulsan can become even stronger. “Our team’s goal this year is to win the title in both the K League 1 and the Asian Champions League (ACL),” said Joo Min-kyu, last year’s top scorer.
Koo Taek of Daejeon is training in Hanoi, Vietnam, on the 24th of last month. Courtesy of the Professional Football Federation
Daejeon Hana Citizen, which surpassed the limit of promotion team ranking eighth last year, is interesting as it has walked the opposite path. Based on solid defense, the team has decided to put down its existing identity for a while and wear a new outfit called “build-up.” This reflects the concern that “playing soccer” cannot overcome challenges in summer.
“This year is the fourth year since I took office, and the reason why my performance has been falling every June to August over the past three years has been because of my lower ball occupancy than the players,” Daejeon coach Lee Min-sung said. “The data also confirmed the evidence, so I boldly chose to change.”
Daejeon has made a drastic change, which is just the first step forward. From this month’s Kagoshima off-season training, the team is converting the three-back to four-back, while implanting a build-up strategy. “It will not be easy because it is a different kind of soccer from the composition of our players, but I agree with the direction of increasing the ball occupancy rate,” said Joo Se-jong.
FC Seoul’s Kim Jin-ya is taking actions at the direction of the coaching staff at a training camp in Hua Hin, Thailand on April 17. Courtesy of the Korea Professional Football Federation
FC Seoul, which has changed its coach, is seeking changes in its members who play soccer rather than soccer. Rather than recruiting Jesse Lingard from Manchester United, who shook the K-League, the team focused on establishing relationships between existing players.
This is the color of Kim Ki-dong, the new coach who showed talent in leading the team in one direction when he was playing for the Pohang Steelers. “Soccer itself is a level that adds detail to the soccer that Seoul was playing,” Kim said. “Players should come together rather than soccer.”
In fact, rather than taking a break individually after training, Kim encourages people to gather together and have conversations in groups of three. After the opening of the season, he plans to work on his unique home game attendance system.
“I also told the club, but I want to create an environment where the players can talk about soccer more comfortably and prepare for the game,” head coach Kim said. “It is also a concern that the players drive for about an hour and play.”
As Seoul seeks change rather than outside soccer, it will take time for the results to come out. Ki Sung-yueng said, “I am confident in whatever decision the coach makes. Our team’s preparation is going well. The atmosphere is positive.”