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Verbeek Disappointed In His Men and K-League

Posted June. 04, 2007 06:16,   



After the match against Netherlands on June 2, the head coach of Korea’s national football team Pim Verbeek didn’t hesitate to use extreme terms to rebuke some of his players and the K-League.

In the friendly match held at Seoul World Cup Stadium, the Koreans suffered a complete 2-0 defeat against the Orangemen of the Netherlands. In the 29th minute, Rafael van der Vaart scored on a penalty kick off a foul called on Kim Dong-jin (Zenit). The same Dutch midfielder added another goal in the 71st minute, which sealed their victory.

Team Korea now has two losses in its history against Netherlands, while Pim Verbeek’s history is three wins, two draws and four losses since he took up his post as national team coach.

Verbeek said, “The players played for 22 games in three months in K-League, just ahead of the national team’s match,” asserting that the schedule of the domestic league is overloaded. He mentioned the game between Suwon and Seongnam on May 30 as an example. In the round-of-six match of the Samsung Hauzen Cup, the two teams had an all-out fight for 120 minutes. He argued that Kim Do-heon, a Seongnam midfielder whose stamina was totally depleted in the game, played worse than ever, and warned that, “He won’t be able to play on the national team if he keeps working this way.”

He said, “Our players suddenly lost control after they allowed the second goal. They were exhausted as never before since I became coach.” He was definitely angry that he didn’t get enough support for this national match and that the players seemed to be fatigued.

Regarding his anger, however, some critics argue that, “It is also the coach’s responsibility to check his men’s condition, put them on pitch in the best situation, and motivate them to do their best.”

The Koreans were sluggish both on defense and offense. Verbeek put Cho Jae-jin (Shimizu S-Pulse) as his top center forward, and placed Lee Chun-soo (Ulsan Hyundai) and Yeom Ki-hoon (Jeonbuk Hyundai) on the wings to support him. But their crosses from both flanks were too inaccurate, isolating Cho at the forefront.

Verbeek then switched tactics by having midfielder Kim Jung-woo (Nagoya Grampus) play a more active role in attacking in order to lure defenders sticking to Cho, but it turned out not to be successful enough. After picking up an injury, Cho was substituted for with Woo Sung-yong in the second half.

On defense, a lack of concentration led to failures in the team’s man-to-man marking. Verbeek said, “It was the same mistake we made in the game against Uruguay.” Marco van Basten, head coach of the Netherlands national team, said, “Team Korea was offensive. But it would be better for them if they start attacking after solidifying their defense.”