As Klinsmann continues to fail in the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup, the image of Korean soccer on the Asian stage is being reduced to a ’tissue tiger’ rather than a ‘paper tiger’. The Korean national soccer team, led by coach Jurgen Klinsmann, drew 3-3 with Malaysia in the final match of Group E of the tournament held at Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar on the 25th.Korea, ranked 23rd in the FIFA rankings, displayed an ‘equal match’ with Malaysia, ranked 130th, 107 places below, going back and forth and coming back from behind .The problems with the Klinsmann are so numerous that it is difficult to single out just one .The defense is poor, and the offensive ability is low. It is difficult to find the promised play during the offensive development process .This is why there is a sarcastic remark among fans about Coach Klinsmann’s soccer, saying, ‘Please play soccer ‘This means that they play soccer by simply leaving everything to the ‘world-class resources’ in offense and defense, such as Son Heung-min (Tottenham), Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), and Kim Min-jae (Munich).
Foreign reporters who met at the tournament also looked at Coach Klinsmann’s soccer with puzzled eyes. Some even raised suspicions that Korea may have intentionally drawn with Malaysia to avoid meeting Japan in the round of 16.If Korea had defeated Malaysia and won first place in its group, it would have faced Japan, second place in Group D, in the round of 16.However, the match ended in a draw, forcing Korea to advance to the round of 16 against Saudi Arabia. Mohammad Zamani, a reporter for the Iranian media ‘Football iNet’, said, “It looks like Korea avoided Japan,” and “Conceding the third goal is especially disappointing.” Korea conceded 6 goals in the group stage of this tournament. They gave up two more goals than the total goals conceded in the 2015 Australia Tournament (2 goals conceded), where they finished runner-up, and the 2019 United Arab Emirates Tournament (2 goals conceded), where they reached the quarterfinals .In these two competitions, Korea finished the group stage without conceding a goal. The 6 goals conceded is tied for the most goals conceded along with Indonesia among teams that advanced to the round of 16 of this tournament.
Reporter Zamani also said, “Klinsmann’s performance in Korea is not impressive. Korea was a scary team under (former) coach Paulo Bento.” There were also indications that there seemed to be a problem with the management of the team .In particular, many reporters were puzzled by the fact that Korea, which is aiming for the championship, had Son Heung-min and Lee Kang-in, the self-proclaimed ‘best weapons’ in attack, play full time in all three group stage games. This means that it is difficult to understand why coach Klinsmann allowed them to play 270 minutes even though the main players’ lack of physical strength could be a problem in the tournament .Koji Hoshino, a reporter for Japan’s ‘Sports Hochi’, shook his head about Coach Klinsmann’s choice, saying, “I can’t believe it was a choice made by the coach of a team with the goal of winning.” When asked who would win if Korea and Japan faced each other in the round of 16, reporter Hoshino thought about it for about 5 seconds and answered, “Japan.”
The comment that ‘the game style relies too much on individual play’ was a common comment from foreign reporters This was read as a euphemism for saying that the ‘director’s tactics’ were not visible. However, as Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton) returned from injury, there was a reporter who offered a hopeful analysis that the Klinsmann attack would regain its original destructive power from the round of 16.Hwang Hee-chan, who was excluded from the first and second games due to a hamstring injury, was substituted in the 17th minute of the second half of the game against Malaysia .Tanbunpyau (48), a veteran reporter for the Malaysian sports media outlet ‘Harimau Malaya’, analyzed that the ‘fingernail’ tactic of putting Son Heung-min at the forefront in the Asian Cup, where opponents often step down, is an ineffective choice .He said, “If Hwang Hee-chan, who returns, takes on a more offensive role and Son Heung-min plays free rolls focusing on the space outside the penalty area, Klinsmann’s attack will gain momentum. ”Meanwhile, Klinsmann 슬롯게이밍 will not train on the 26th and will take a break.