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National Team Captain Search Continues

Posted November. 11, 2005 07:51,   


South Korean national football team’s coach Dick Advocaat has recently been struggling with two questions: How to maximize the characteristics and the style of Korean soccer and who will be the field commander of the team?

Advocaat has no wish to impose a European style of play on Korean soccer. Instead, he would rather incorporate European elements into his team on the basis of its Korean style of play.

While such an approach would vitalize the team’s play, the coaching staff will need an instrumental player who can control the flow of the play on the field.

With this concept in his mind, Advocaat plans to concentrate on auditioning for his field commander in upcoming friendly matches with Sweden and Serbia-Montenegro to be held on November 12 and 16 respectively. Normally, offensive midfielders take the role of commanding the flow of the play on the field.

Advocaat is looking for a stable, cool-headed midfielder, whether offensive or defensive, that has enough charisma to lead the play on the field while reading the intent of the coaching staff correctly.

What he needs on his team is a player in the mold of Hong Myong-bo in the 2002 World Cup. Taking on the role of a libero, Hong also kept a solid midfield defense line while leading his younger teammates.

This is the reason why Advocaat called in Kim Du-hyon (Sungnam), Baek Ji-hoon (Seoul), Kim Jung-woo, Yi Ho (Ulsan), and Yi Ul-yong (Trabzonspor), a World Cup veteran who was initially excluded from the national team. Depending on the situation, Advocaat is even considering moving Park Ji-sung (Manchester United) down to midfield.

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com