And poof! He’s gone.
Properly, not likely. It was extra of a drawn out course of feigning faint resemblance of justice. However when placing Scolari on one finish of the size and Shin Tae-yong on the opposite, the end result was by no means doubtful. Shin Tae-yong shouldn’t be anticipated to resume his contract with the Korean nationwide workforce.
For all of his shortcomings, as we undertake our 4th managerial search in as a few years, I can’t assist however suppose that probably the most apt nickname on this state of affairs for Shin Tae-yong is the “The Sacrifical Lamb” – one other high quality Korean supervisor wasted by a ruthless and hopeless KFA.
Okay, okay. I do know what you’re pondering. Shin Tae-yong was by far and huge not probably the most competent of managers this nationwide workforce has had, and a number of other choices he’s made and issues he’s mentioned has rightly put him via the meat-grinder. I don’t suppose he ought to preserve his job, however I can’t assist however suppose that the over-sensationalist rhetoric of “Shin Tae-yong actively held this workforce again”, perpetrated particularly by many Korean followers, isn’t correct or near the reality.
Taking on from the Stielike Period of Doom
Let’s put issues into context. Summer time of 2017, the KNT had simply misplaced to Qatar (and misplaced to China earlier within the 12 months) and World Cup qualification was removed from assured. The falling out with the workforce, the tactical ineptitude, the damaged guarantees on youth reform; there was a purchasing checklist of complaints and little achievements to level to underneath the all-possessive micro-managing wreck that was the Stielike period. In truth, when Stielike left, I might solely really feel worry, anger and rage on the man himself – his painful incapability to adapt to trendy techniques, or exhibit any form of superior mind of Asian soccer was plainly clear. And certain, the KFA in all probability hadn’t been the perfect of companions, and he was treated a bit unfairly, however Stielike had a complete 3 years to try to construct a mission: considered one of a cohesive worldwide workforce capable of qualify via Asia. However by the point the qualifiers had rolled round, the workforce didn’t execute his concepts. He misplaced religion within the personnel. The teaching workers felt shunned and silenced, whereas gamers needed to publicly hit out at their manager’s strange gushing praise of a certain Qatari striker. His departure was far too late.
The nationwide workforce was in a state of peril. Two tough video games in opposition to Iran at dwelling and Uzbekistan away awaited, and when Shin Tae-yong took over the job, he didn’t simply inherit a precarious qualifying place – he inherited the frustration of the Korean public and their restricted persistence. He took over a squad that was discombobulated and unprepared. Tactically, that they had solely performed stale shapes and uninventive soccer. He additionally took cost of a extremely demotivated workforce, on the point of lacking out on the World Cup and recovering from a messy break-up with Stielike. His quick task was to organize a system and a participant choice that may safe outcomes in opposition to a workforce Korea hadn’t overwhelmed in years (Iran) and a extremely motivated Uzbek aspect trying to qualify for his or her first match on dwelling soil. It was Mission: Not possible (or Mission: Very Troublesome, however that’s not very catchy) and Shin Tae-yong was forged as Ethan Hunt, unable to say no to the “mission ought to he select to just accept it”.
The awkward popular culture reference apart, Shin’s complete managerial profession might have been destroyed proper then and there – he would have been the supervisor to interrupt that decades-long streak of Korea qualifying for consecutive World Cups. Although he would have tried to protect himself from the indignant horde of netizens and declare it was solely a flesh wound, the poisoned chalice would have relegated him and his inventory into an extended sustained interval of ignominy and irrelevance. The stakes had been far too excessive for a person the KFA had reportedly been “grooming”. You don’t groom somebody to then simply throw him into this insane stress.
Hiddink scandal: a microcosm of the KFA’s hopeless injury management technique
There’s not likely one other approach to put it – the easy incontrovertible fact that the KFA felt compelled to name on Shin as soon as once more paints a tragic story of Korea’s 2015-18 World Cup cycle. Any post-mortem of Shin’s managership is completely and completely indissociable from the KFA’s ineptitude.
Take the Guus Hiddink scandal, for instance. Shin had managed to set the workforce up via two 0-0 attracts and World Cup qualification, and but the headlines he met (aside from everybody being mad at celebrating the supervisor…) had been ones of Hiddink eager to take the job he had simply accepted underneath high-pressure high-risk circumstances. Now, Shin wasn’t helped by Guus Hiddink going out and making a media assertion, asking for the job and attempting to make use of his god-like standing in Korean soccer to displace Shin. However the woeful method wherein the scenario was dealt with from the very starting by the affiliation did him no favors.
Although in any skilled vocation, this can be very uncommon to disclose to the chosen candidate the individuals the hiring committee handed over for the job, absolutely the then-technical director Kim Ho-gon ought to have no less than thought of letting Shin know, via a technique or one other, that it might be leaked to the media sooner or later that Hiddink had raised curiosity for the job. Shin was caught blindsided. The KFA had not correctly handled Hiddink’s inquiry relating to the nationwide workforce job, and tried and didn’t make the preliminary story go away. They didn’t get forward of the story and shut it down by coming clear, as a substitute opting to refute that Hiddink was ever . They had been confirmed flawed days later when photographic proof surfaced indicating that Kim Ho-gon himself was very clearly conscious. The story solely died down when Shin himself promised to satisfy Hiddink in Russia through the October friendlies, as a form of learning-from-the-master good-will gesture. However the injury was accomplished. Extra stress for Shin, and extra individuals slandering him earlier than the workforce even did something.
With the colossal shadow of Hiddink over-arching this workforce’s each transfer, consistently reminding followers of what might have been if we hadn’t employed – “haha, that idiot Shin Tae-yong”, Shin might merely by no means win. Comparisons to Hiddink will not be welcome if you’re a Korean nationwide workforce supervisor, because it solely serves to lift expectations within the press. And naturally, Shin had completely nothing to do with any of this. A easy sufferer of probability… and the KFA’s terrible public relations division. Not a great way to guard that supervisor you’d been grooming.
On a special notice, I’ve additionally been a reasonably outspoken critic of Shin Tae-yong (on this web site, we principally all are) and his tactical choices, however I additionally wrestle in charge him for among the concepts he examined.
We at all times knew Shin Tae-yong would attempt to give us one thing totally different. Hong Myung-bo in 2014 had tried to get the workforce to play a practical 4-2-3-1, however the aspect by no means actually clicked throughout all phases in a single sport, whereas Choi Kang-hee was merely outclassed, resorting to a stale and intensely direct type of play. Surprisingly, one factor I’ve discovered is that individuals within the Korean soccer group suppose fairly fondly of Cho Kwang-rae’s time period. Positive, the outcomes weren’t superb, however there’s a sure respect and admiration for the truth that he tried to innovate, regardless of how quirky. He had a brand new thought, and tried to get the system for it (keep in mind Lee Yong-rae as a #10?).
One way or the other, when individuals converse of Shin Tae-yong, the truth that he tried various things appears to go in opposition to him. I’m responsible of this blame as nicely. For instance, in October, these friendlies in opposition to Russia and Morocco turned rather more high-profile than a pleasant ought to. We on this web site had been merely reflecting what the Korean public had been calling for when the 4-2 loss to Russia drew this headline: “Shin’s job now in question”.
If you look again, nonetheless, our evaluation of his managerial standing was far too harsh. The ambition has by no means been to turn out to be like a Saudi Arabia or Croatia the place we merely have this revolving door of supervisor after supervisor. Shin Tae-yong’s mantra is experimenting and tinkering, and it’s what he did to success with Seongnam within the Okay League just a few years again. And, frankly talking, it’s what bought him these “huge” outcomes in opposition to Germany and Argentina within the Olympics and the U-20 World Cup.
If we’re speaking about playing the stupid 3-5-2 within the send-off pleasant in opposition to Bosnia, then we’re on way more strong floor for criticism. However the fact is that many had made their minds up about Shin Tae-yong so early on in his tenure earlier than he’d even had an opportunity. Low persistence, desperation for any excellent news or a victory, and but the blame was far too usually leveled on the man that had stumbled into the recent seat.
Even on the World Cup, Shin’s preliminary tactical intuitions weren’t catastrophic. We’ve already mentioned the failures at size, so no level repeating them, however there have been cheap concepts put on the market. Making an attempt to out-Sweden Sweden and hit them on the break is one thing that I and Jae Chee had mused about earlier than, and if Kim Min-woo hadn’t taken a silly penalty, then maybe there would have been extra time for it to work. The aspect was extra proactive in opposition to Mexico, however nonetheless tried to protect its defensive frailties, whereas in opposition to Germany nobody appears to present Shin Tae-yong any credit score for trusting Yun Younger-sun and Hong Chul in opposition to the reigning champions. Each had distinctive video games. And this isn’t to say that the choice to play Cho Hyun-woo within the first place was Shin Tae-yong’s.
Simply give it some thought. Would the KNT underneath Choi Kang-hee, Hong Myung-bo or Uli Stielike have positively accomplished a greater job on the World Cup? If no, the degrees of abuse and criticism leveled at Shin are exaggerated. The actual blame lies on the soccer affiliation administrators who oversee your complete 4-year cycle with out consistently fearing the publicity, blame and the sack.
The KFA Has a Drawback With Shin Tae-yong
Regardless of having 3 prime jobs in Korean nationwide workforce soccer, the affiliation has failed each time to present Shin a sustained timeframe to implement his concepts. What does a Shin Tae-yong mission really appear like? With Seongnam Ilwha, from 2008-2012, Shin introduced dwelling an Asian Champions League trophy, a Korean FA Cup and a silver medal within the Okay League. Fairly an achievement. Just a few managers in Korea can boast of that resume, and but even on the youth ranges, the place there’s a much less of a pressure-cooker surroundings and managers preserve their jobs longer, Shin Tae-yong had a complete of 14 months to place collectively an Olympics workforce that was anticipated to medal, 7 months to place collectively a U-20 workforce enjoying on dwelling soil that was anticipated to make a deep run, and 11 months to place collectively a World Cup workforce that was anticipated to advance previous one of many hardest teams within the competitors. It isn’t regular for the supervisor the KFA has been “grooming” to solely be thrown into chaotic conditions and requested to decipher the sound from the noise. Shin Tae-yong comes from a membership supervisor’s background – leads to a short while body and little sensible testing for his programs are in all probability to him a really unnatural ask.
In truth, the Olympics workforce – the place he had the longest time to make an influence – was the one which seemed most like what Shin Tae-yong likes his sides to be – constructive, fluid and flowing in assault. Granted, on the precise match that lavish definition didn’t maintain up precisely to par always, however there have been important bits and items of these video games the place you may clearly see Shin’s directions rubbing off on the gamers. However each with this World Cup workforce, in addition to the U-20 squad, Shin ultimately reverted to conservatism and counter-attacking soccer. You’ll recall he additionally requested the nationwide workforce to bunker up in opposition to Iran and Uzbekistan on the tail-end of qualification. It’s virtually as if when Shin doesn’t belief his system in a giant sport, he’ll cancel every little thing he’d been attempting to do and demand a low-block with 1-2 runners on the break. He’s not blind – he too is conscious that there’s some restrict to his tinkering. Is that this Ctrl+Z nature an indictment of his limitless tinkering? Positive. An comprehensible intuition? Additionally. A straightforward space for public ridicule and criticism? Completely.
Which makes the KFA’s determination to supply him the job within the first place much more baffling. As talked about above, the KFA made it pretty clear that Shin was Hong Myung-bo’s inheritor obvious on this planet of Korean managers. It’s not by any mistake that they named him assistant to Stielike, as if to try to get him to be taught by working underneath the German boss (a failed experiment). They need to have additionally been conscious of his limitations, and will have learnt classes from how the KNT job basically ended Hong’s managerial profession (he misplaced confidence, was subpar at Hangzhou and left managing, mainly saying it was ‘too traumatic’). The chance price was too nice, and but the KFA made that decision to Shin in any case.
The KFA is correct to maneuver for a international supervisor. Shin Tae-yong was thrown into an unattainable scenario, and maybe the “tricked me as soon as, disgrace on you, tricked me twice, disgrace on me” rule ought to apply right here – taking over each the U23 and U20 jobs at brief discover with a lofty goal, however deputizing with some competence, meant that he actually had potential. That mentioned, he by no means ought to have accepted this ill-fated mission, and in hindsight, he by no means was the person of the hour. He ought to have waited his flip, because the job was at all times going to be his someday.
However like a lamb to the slaughter, Shin Tae-yong was lured into an unattainable job. He’s an grownup; he’s chargeable for making his choices, however would you flip down a visit to the World Cup? He was made a suggestion no Korean supervisor might resist. He leaves with one other upset within the books, however with a 3rd successive failure. Although it’s usually proper for managers to go down with their ship, it’s a shame that the outdated boys’ membership stays comfortably intact and at peace with the conscience that they’ve sacrificed one more Korean supervisor.
Make Chung Mong-gyu donate some wads of Hyundai money out of his again pocket (as a substitute of exhibiting as much as work). Put Kim Pan-gon in entrance of a microphone to say good issues. Rent Park Ji-sung to a job with no tasks, it’ll look good within the media.
The individuals making these choices will preserve their jobs, however Shin Tae-yong is completed. Isn’t it the case that Shin’s fall from grace is another case of a home supervisor sacrificed by a hapless KFA?
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