Regardless of an emotional 2-0 victory of their last group match in opposition to defending champions Germany, South Korea didn’t advance from the group stage of this 12 months’s World Cup in Russia. Curiosity for the lads’s nationwide crew appeared at an all-time low once in a while, and far has to do with the general ineptness of Shin Tae-yong to make the most of the squad he had at his disposal. Some will argue that Korea had been in truth depleted with so many accidents befalling the crew earlier than the event, however outcomes on the pitch inform a a lot completely different story.
Failed Ways, or Gamers Tuned Out?
It was completely simple to see that issues wouldn’t go effectively for Korea at this World Cup based mostly on their outcomes main as much as the finals in Russia. Having received solely one in all their 4 tuneup matches from Might ahead previous to the showcase, a 2-0 dwelling win in opposition to Honduras in Daegu, the place the star of Cho Hyun-woo was to be born, there was little else to be optimistic about as failed ways and a scarcity of realization in entrance of aim contributed tremendously to what was to come back in Russia.
Shin wasted an excessive amount of time experimenting together with his lineup, which proved two issues. Firstly, he did not have a grasp of teaching on the senior degree, which calls into query why he was chosen to guide the squad to Russia within the first place, and second, and extra importantly, he confirmed a whole mistrust in his gamers.
Even the match in opposition to Honduras was tough to observe, notably within the first half, when Korea struggled to make an influence within the offensive half of the pitch, earlier than scoring twice after the break.
Getting into the finals on a 3 match winless streak, which included a 3-1 embarrassment at dwelling in opposition to Bosna-Herzegovina in Jeonju in early June proved that Korea beneath Shin was all the time going to be a crew missing route, and it confirmed by when it mattered most within the first two matches in opposition to Sweden and Mexico.
Nonetheless, there’s a case that may very well be made for the truth that the gamers themselves had been utterly conscious that Shin was not the kind of coach who may cause them to success at these finals.
Within the first match in opposition to Sweden, which was Korea’s greatest probability to win on paper, they did not go ahead with the kind of urgency wanted to get a end result. The identical was true in opposition to Mexico, as a 4-3-3 attacking oriented formation rapidly reverted to a 4-5-1 defensive construction too typically for Korea’s pace males to have the ability to influence the end result of their favor, as a substitute having to accept a comfort aim in damage time, a scorcher of a success from Son Heung-min, of whom a lot was anticipated in Russia.
Did they actually wish to play for Shin? At instances, it actually did not appear to be the case. He was introduced in close to the top of the qualifying marketing campaign and he solely managed two attracts, though it was sufficient to punch their ticket to the finals.
Shin by no means actually appeared to have his arms on the reigns of the squad, and that would have simply given the gamers motive to tune out to Shin’s strategy. An ideal instance of this was made obvious when the gamers switched their jersey numbers in coaching in an try to attempt to confuse the opposition. Not solely did this present a whole lack of psychological preparation on Shin’s half, but in addition a deep lack of respect for his opponents.
U-20 Failure at House: Was it a Signal of Issues to Come?
When the U-20 World Cup was held in Korea final 12 months, followers had been blessed to a spectacle of improbable soccer from gamers who will quickly turn into family names in their very own proper within the years to come back. To make certain, a number of of them will most probably make their maiden look on the subsequent World Cup in Qatar.
The house crew led by Shin began effectively sufficient, with back-to-back wins over Guinea by a rating of 3-0 and a shock 2-1 success over Argentina, highlighted by Lee Seung-woo chipping Argentine ‘keeper Franco Petrolli to open the scoring. They might end out the group stage with a 1-0 defeat to eventual champions England, however they had been outplayed significantly from a statistical standpoint in opposition to stronger opposition.
This realization made it clear that Korea’s exit on the first knockout section, a 3-1 loss to Portugal within the Spherical of 16, was inevitable. Lee Seung-woo confirmed effectively for Korea nevertheless, and lots of thought-about him to be one in all Korea’s “futures” regardless of what was for some an early exit.
Forward of this 12 months’s finals, there was a lot debate over how a lot taking part in time Lee ought to get, with a good variety of observers concluding that he ought to certainly have been thought-about for the primary eleven, however ultimately, his time on the pitch was fairly restricted.
Then there may be the controversy on the subject of teaching within the youthful ranks versus teaching senior gamers within the nationwide program. The top conclusion is that Shin failed in each respects, as he selected brazenly to ignore one in all his brightest younger stars for almost all of the event in Russia.
Germany: A Gamers’ Victory
Whereas their performances of their first two matches left them with little or no hope of getting previous the group stage, there was a distinct motivation within the Korean aspect as they took the sector in opposition to the Germans to shut out the group.
There was a way of objective, a way of the gamers taking part in for one another like that they had not accomplished earlier than, a way that they’d a minimum of exit stage left with their heads excessive.
Of their last match in opposition to the defending champions, there was a way that they wished to win. They fought. They contained the Germans, after which they took benefit of their probabilities when introduced with the chance.
Kim Younger-gwon and Son Heung-min scored inside minutes of one another in damage time to seal one of many best shock upsets in World Cup historical past. And, they did it as a crew. They did it as a bunch of gamers who amongst themselves pledged to exit and defend their delight, doing so in model.
Maybe the victory over Germany will sign the start of a brand new chapter in Korean soccer within the close to future. It will be a disgrace to see this group go to waste, as a result of there may be appreciable expertise right here upon additional examination, and, with the fitting route, the one place to go is up.
Life After Shin
It appeared that Shin was all the time searching for a scapegoat to cover his personal shortcomings as a supervisor throughout his tenure with the nationwide crew. Whether or not it was lamenting accidents to key gamers, similar to Kim Min-jae and Lee Keun-ho, earlier than the event, or lack of group on the pitch resulting in poor outcomes due to his lack of preparation, there all the time gave the impression to be a motive why Korea got here up brief.
KFA won’t renew a contract of South Korea nationwide crew supervisor Shin Tae-yong. (Sports activities Chosun)
— Korea Soccer Information (@KORFootballNews) June 28, 2018
He expressed his delight within the gamers following their defeat to Mexico, which certainly sealed his destiny as supervisor of the nationwide crew. After the win in opposition to Germany, he advised the media he felt “empty,” with media studies stating he gave his gamers solely a “one per cent chance” of victory and a spot within the knockouts.
It is no surprise that the gamers themselves took issues into their very own arms and ended up with the victory ultimately.
Had been he out of the image, preparations for the long run may transfer alongside fairly properly.