South Korea national soccer team head coach Jürgen Klinsmann has revealed that he will be put to the test at the Asian Cup in Qatar next January.
Klinsmann returned from a two-game European tour in September through Incheon International Airport on Thursday. Klinsmann, who headed to the United States for a personal business trip on the first of last month, has been on Korean soil for 45 days after traveling around Europe on various schedules.
Klinsmann is not without his detractors. Fans have grown increasingly distrustful of Klinsmann, who hasn’t won a game since taking the helm of the South Korean national team. It wasn’t until December 12 that the team earned its first win, a 1-0 victory over Saudi Arabia, but the performance was far from convincing.
At last year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar, South Korea advanced to the round of 16 with a no-holds-barred approach, even against strong opponents. Former coach Paulo Bento’s four years in charge have given the team a lot of confidence by playing a style of football driven by advanced training and analytical techniques.
To build on this, he opted for a long-term deal with Klinsmann, whose reputation as a player was immense. However, Klinsmann’s controversies aside, he hasn’t been able to satisfy the fans in terms of performance. His philosophy is obviously different from that of his predecessor, but the general consensus is that the team has lost what made them so successful at the World Cup in a short period of time.
In between missing out on both content and results, rivals Japan have put on a dominant performance, scoring four goals each against European nations such as Germany and Tunisia, darkening the outlook for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup in Qatar in four months’ time.
In addition, unnecessary controversies have also rocked the national team, especially Klinsmann’s frequent traveling. It’s early in his tenure and he’s traveling between his home in the U.S. and Europe, where he’s expected to focus on identifying homegrown players. While he’s out of the loop on national team matters, he’s also busy digesting his schedule of foreign media panels and UEFA advisory committees.
As criticism mounted, he was criticized for describing his work style as “international”. There is still a lot of talk about whether it is appropriate for him to comment on international players such as Harry Kane (Bayern Munich) and Lionel Messi (Inter Miami), despite the fact that he is paid a substantial salary by the national governing body to help develop the national team.
We can only judge Klinsmann by the results, as he has overshadowed their preparation and development. The coach’s position is to wait and see. “The Asian Cup will be the benchmark,” he said on arrival, as if to confront the critics. If the results are not good, we will be tested. That’s the fate of a coach.”
He knew better than anyone that his future would depend on the Asian Cup results. Despite the fact that the squad was more European than ever before, and the unstable tactics were a cause for concern, Klinsmann’s confidence was high.
“I personally have a lot of tournament experience. I know how to organize a team. I can tell you that we will have a good team,” he said, adding, “It is important that we go to Qatar healthy. If we go to the Asian Cup at full strength, we can achieve good results.”
Instead, he declared that he would close his eyes and ears to talk until then. He cited the failure of his country, Germany, as an example. “We were criticized before we went, and then we were humiliated at the World Cup in Qatar,” he said of Germany’s group stage exit last year.
“The national team represents the country. You have to create a positive atmosphere and earn it. It’s never too late to take criticism when the results don’t come. Until the Asian Cup, I want the media and fans to be positive,” he said, calling for support until the Asian Cup.
Here’s what Klinsmann had to say.
Q. How does it feel to be back in Korea after a month away?
“I’m happy to be here. It would have been nice to see you in England, but I feel good with every call-up. I felt like we were improving in March and June on the way to the Asian Cup. In Cardiff and Newcastle, it was all about improving and thinking about what’s next.”
Q. You were planning to stay in Europe, why did you decide to come here?
“I heard that a lot of people were waiting for me. The Football Association also informed me that when the players return home, the manager will be there to speak to them. I was originally going to watch Bayern Munich play Bayer Leverkusen, but it wasn’t too difficult to reschedule. I’m sure I’ll see you in the K League this weekend. In fact, when I was working in Germany and the US, I didn’t get much of a welcome when I came to friendly matches. It’s a new experience.”
Q. When is your next trip out of the country?
“I’ll be traveling back and forth. I have plans to watch some European matches. There’s not much time left before the next A-match. We have to analyze the next opponent. Then, after two friendlies, it’s the real thing. We are trying to build a good team for the North and Central American World Cup qualifiers in November and the Asian Cup next January. Son Heung-min and Kim Min-jae joined the team this time. I think they gave us a boost. We don’t have a lot of time, so we’ll review this game.”
Q. Public opinion of the coach is not good. Do you have any plans to change your ways?
“We are creating a positive atmosphere. If you compare June and September, there were a lot of changes in the squad. We have new players and we’re trying to figure out how they fit in with the existing players. In the long term, we’re thinking about the road to the North and Central American World Cup. The players are also changing with each call-up, depending on what the coaching staff wants. Everyone is aiming for a good result at the Asian Cup. There is a belief that we will do well. Hopefully, the process will develop positively.
When you’re coming off a big event and preparing for a new one, there are a lot of changes and processes. For us, it’s important to play in November. We have eight friendlies before then. Even if we are not satisfied, the most important thing is to have the best possible squad for the Asian Cup.”
Q. Are you saying that the Asian Cup results could determine your job?
“The Asian Cup will be the reference point. The same goes for the players. If we don’t do well, we will be tested. That’s the fate of a coach. I personally have a lot of experience in tournaments. I know how to prepare a team. I can say that I will put together a good team. It’s important that we go to Qatar healthy. Once again, Lee Kang-in was unable to join us due to injury, and Hwang Hee-chan had a bad hamstring. If we go to the Asian Cup at full strength, we can achieve good results.
It’s also important to have a positive atmosphere. No matter how united the team is, it can be shaken by negative public opinion. That’s what happened with Germany at the World Cup in Qatar. They were criticized before the tournament and were eliminated in the group stage. The national team represents the country. They need to create and receive positive vibes. It’s never too late to receive criticism when results don’t go your way. Until the Asian Cup, I want the media, the fans, everyone to be positive.”카지노사이트
Q. You’ve been shortlisted for the Germany job. What would you do if you got the job?
“Right now, I’m only aiming to win the Asian Cup. I want everyone who is here now to be at the Asian Cup.”
Q. On Aaron Ramsey’s jersey from the Wales game.
“The physiotherapist of the team my son plays for is Welsh. It was his request. I didn’t realize it would be such a big deal. It’s unfortunate that it became public knowledge and there was a lot of criticism on my son’s social media. He’s been playing for 40 years, so he has a lot of players’ jerseys besides Ramsey’s.”
Q. There is talk of the Asian Cup being affected by Lee Kang-in’s suspension from the Asian Games.
“I haven’t heard that yet. I’ve spoken to him and Luis Enrique. The Asian Cup is a FIFA-authorized tournament, so there shouldn’t be a problem.”