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Missed Passes Are Chronic Problem for Korean National Squad

Missed Passes Are Chronic Problem for Korean National Squad

Posted February. 16, 2005 22:53,   


“Missed passes are still a problem.”

Head coach Johannes Bonfrere (59, picture) of the Korean national soccer team started off the final round of Asian qualifiers of the World Cup 2006 Germany very well by defeating Kuwait in the first game. However, prior to the team’s away match against Saudi Arabia on March 26, he tried to forget the happiness of the past victory.

In the Lotte Hotel, Jeju on February 15, head coach Bonfrere was watching the “A3 Nissan Championship 2005.” He said, “Although some people point out that weak defense and unsatisfactory set plays are the problems of the Korean team, I figure the biggest problem of the team is missed passes. The away game against Saudi Arabia will be the most crucial game in the final round of Asian qualifiers.”

Also, he said, “while fishing at Chagui Island, I thought about strategies to defeat Saudi Arabia. Decreasing missed passes and increasing the accuracy of our passes are crucial at the moment.”

Following is the interview with Bonfrere:

- What’s your purpose of being here in Jeju Island?

“I am here to watch how the players of the national team play on their club teams, and also to see if there are any other outstanding players. The plays of the players of Suwon Samsung were good, but I can’t name the players I have in mind.”

- Although the team defeated Kuwait, there must be several problems….

“I hope the team’s skill improves as a whole. Also, we should not repeat the same mistakes we made in the game against Kuwait. There were many problems in passing.”

- What do you have to say about the points the team scored on set plays?

“Although, we did not practice corner kicks and free kicks in our training camp in Los Angeles, we scored two goals with corner kicks in our exhibition games. And although we focused on corner kicks and free kicks after returning to Korea, we did not make any goals with set plays in the game against Kuwait. A large part of scoring with set play is just luck.”

- It is posted on the official web site of World Cup 2006 that you said, “Korean soccer, which suffered from a slump after the World Cup 2002, is now back on track.”

“I did not say that. What I said was, ‘Korean soccer has suffered from a slump after the World Cup 2002, and now it’s trying get back on track.’ It’s still a long way to get back on track.”

- What’s your purpose of visiting Europe on February 18?

“I’ll be watching how the Korean players play on their European club teams, and another purpose is to try to make friends with the officials and coaching staffs of the clubs. In that way, we can get cooperation from them when we need the players.”

- It seems like you show special favoritism for Lee Dong-guk.

“I am not in favor of any particular player. I trust a player who performs his duty well in games, and shows process of development.”

Sung-Kyu Kim kimsk@donga.com