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Finding “Coach Right”

Posted April. 21, 2004 21:24,   


The Korean Football Association Chairman of International Affairs, Ga Sam-hyun, left the country to meet Netherlands PSV coach Gus Hiddink, who is the personnel consultant for the federation to seek advice in relation to the search for a new coach after the retirement of Umberto Coelho.

The chairman of the technical committee, Kim Jin-gook, once said that the ideal foreign leader for the Korean national team would be someone with the charismatic leadership of Gus Hiddink and the mildness of Umberto Coelho. Who would be a leader satisfying both of these conditions?

Soccer experts have mentioned ex-Brazil national team coach Philippe Scolari to be suited for the spot. This ideal commander led the Brazilian team to five World Cup match wins even when his team was struggling during the 2002 Korea Japan World Cup South America preliminary rounds. At the time, the coach shook off pressure to add Romario to the national team and organized a different roster to win, displaying great courage and ability. He is currently the head coach of the Portuguese national team. The team will have to participate in the 2004-EURO championship so it will be unknown whether he would be receptive to an offer.

But the president of the Korean Football Association flashed his opinion as he commented, "I think we would be considerate when selecting the upcoming coach." If the president’s opinion applies in this case, the first candidate would likely be Scolari.

Bruno Metsu, ex-Senegal national team coach (50) and ex-Turkey national team coach Gunes are other candidates, both of whom are strongly willing to head to Korea.

Coach Metsu, a native of France, took charge of the Senegal national team in 2002 World Cup and advanced to the quarterfinals. He is evaluated as a leader with great generosity, but who focuses on self-regulated games as ex-coach Coelho does, so it`s still not clear whether he would acclimatize to Korea or not. Also, Coach Gunes who took the Turkish team to 3rd place in the 2002 World Cup also possesses the same views as Metsu.

Other then the aforementioned candidates, France’s Jacques (63), Roger Lemerre (63), Henri Michel (57), England’s Glen Hoddle (47) and Spain’s Jose Antonio Camacho (49) are also strong candidates.

The three French candidates have all taken command of the French national team once. Among the group, Coach Jacques, who led the French national team to the championship in the 1998 World Cup is currently the chairman of the French soccer-training center. Coach Lemerre took the Tunisian national team after his failure in the 2002 World Cup and has raised the team to one of the most powerful teams in Africa. Coach Michel took charge of the Cameroon national team in 1994 and the Morocco national team in 1998.

Hoddle, who sat in the commanding spot for England at the age of 39 in 1996, has good player management skills. Coach Camacho excels with various tactical mindsets.

On the other hand, England’s Router criticized the visions on the 21st, saying "Coach Coelho left the team during his term because of unrealistic expectations created by the Korean national team after advancing to the semi-finals during World Cup under the guidance of coach Hiddink. Because of this, the coaching spot for the Korean national team is a ‘poison Holy Grail,’ and prestigious coaches of the world can`t help but turn their eyes to it with apprehension."

Soon-Il Kwon stt77@donga.com