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Forget the Summer of 2002

Posted April. 29, 2004 21:12,   


It was already foreseen. At the moment when Umberto Coelho took the control over Korea’s national soccer team, it was only a matter of time before his resignation. It was obvious that even an excellent soccer coach wouldn’t be able to control the changes in Korean soccer after Gus Hiddink achieved such grand results in the summer of 2002.

Bruno Metsu, Senol Gunes and Philippe Troussier are rising as strong candidates for the job of being the next Korean national coach. However, none of them will accomplish as much as Hiddink did. The 2002 World-Cup was special. “The final four achievement of Korea” is not just Hiddink’s doing, however. Hiddink, the Korea Football Association and the Korean people all contributed.

Korea will have an exhibition match against Turkey (2nd, 5th) in the beginning of June. Up to then, a new coach may be selected, because the Asian Cup, held in China, will start after a while.

It will not be surprising if Turkish Gunes becomes the new coach. He has a defiant mind. He will drive for it when he thinks it’s right.

Metsu may be headed to Seoul as well. He knows that Coelho has complained about not having enough time to train his players, with only 72 hours over 14 months. Metsu faced a similar situation when he led the Senegalese. But he developed the teamwork to destroy France in the opener of the World Cup.

Troussier showed he was able to be accustomed to Korea through his work in Japan. He is now leading Qatar’s national team. His name is listed in the group of possible candidates for the job of new Korean coach, however.

Aime Jacquet is the most suitable candidate for being the new Korea coach. He formed a perfect team to lead France to the 1998 World Cup championship. But he announced that he would not work for the association or national team, but for adolescents. In addition, he rejected the proposal to head for Korea twice. He would not change his mind unless Korea gives huge compensation or a memorable challenge.

Roger Lemerre realized France’s championship of Euro 2000. But he left Korea disgracefully with a disqualification in the first round. He displayed his skill as he led Tunisia to the championship of the African Cup this year, but extended his contract in March to more two years.

Luiz Felipe Scolari is surely a good candidate. But he is responsible for Portugal team in Euro 2004 this June and July. If the Korea Football Association can wait until July, he will be able to be accepted.

Glenn Hoddle, the former coach of England, was a fantastic player and also can be an outstanding coach. But he was displaced only in six games this season because he didn’t motivate his players for Tottenham.

We have to keep in mind that the 2002 World Cup is history regardless of ends up coaching Korea’s team. New achievements will follow only after arduous efforts. The Korea Football Association doesn’t have to be in a hurry. They need to be patient rather than choosing a foreign coach hastily this summer with the responsibility.