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[Soccer] Struggling Forward Moved to Shadow Striker

Posted August. 05, 2008 04:03,   


“(Park) Chu-young, no need to feel a burden any longer.”

Park Sung-wha, coach of Korea’s Olympic soccer team, has moved scoring enigma Park Chu-young (FC Seoul) to shadow striker to restore the player’s confidence.

Before the team left for Beijing yesterday, the coach said, “Chu-young plays really well as a striker. His only weakness is the inability to score. He has a good sense of shooting and moves well. Moreover, he’s created good chances for other players. But he’s rarely scored.”

“To release him from this psychological burden, I will play him at shadow striker, not up top.”

In the team’s past three friendly games, Lee Keun-ho (Daegu FC) and Shin Yeong-rok (Suwon Samsung) have scored, but not Park Chu-young.

Coach Park could have chosen to bench Park Chu-yong, but apparently could not ignore the player’s passing and shooting. The coach has worked with Park Chu-young since the U-20 level.

In games versus Côte d`Ivoire and Australia, Park Chu-young caught passes from midfielders and fed other players. Though he failed to score, he took good shots.

A shadow striker stays between forwards and midfielders, passes the ball to either flank, and shoots when he has a chance. Given Park Chu-young’s dull performance in recent games, this could be a good change for him.

After training at Qinhuangdao Olympic Sports Center Stadium yesterday, the coach gave the player a vote of confidence, saying, “Park will definitely overcome his recent difficulties. He might have prepared something for the Olympics.”

Park Chu-young could also take free kicks instead of Kim Seung-yong (Gwangju Sangmu), who has a cartilage injury between his ribs.

“We have yet to practice set pieces,” Coach Park said. “But we’ll begin set piece training and have Park (Chu-young) take free kicks.”

Park Chu-young is known for making free kicks for both the national team and FC Seoul.