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Will Soccer Team Use a 4-Back Defense vs. Japan?

Posted October. 11, 2010 11:37,   


“Japan was better than Argentina on both offense and defense.”

Korea national soccer coach Cho Kwang-rae said this ahead of his team’s exhibition game versus Japan set for Tuesday at Seoul World Cup Stadium. He said Japan has grown stronger than he expected.

After watching host Japan upset Argentina, 1-0, in a friendly Friday, Cho said, “Japan played a very good game. It dominated the midfield and disrupted Argentina’s balance.”

Saying Japan has changed its style, he said, “After Japan made a coaching change, its players also changed significantly. They’ve become speedier on offense and began to mount strong pressure on the opponent in the midfield.”

Korean players from the K-league and overseas all showed a sense of alarm Sunday in assembling at the National Football Center in Paju, Gyeonggi Province. Team captain Park Ji-sung (Manchester United) said, “Japan has grown stronger since the World Cup in South Africa. Not only individual players but the team as whole has become more powerful.”

“I didn’t watch the game but was surprised to hear of the result. Still, our team doesn’t need to feel overwhelmed or burdened.”

Coach Cho used a three-back defense in his previous two exhibition games, but could use four defenders Tuesday. At a scrimmage against Myongji University in Seoul Friday, in which the national team only assembled 10 players active in foreign leagues, Cho used a 4-1-4-1 formation instead of the 3-4-2-1 he used previously.

Park Chu-young (AS Monaco) played upfront and Cho Young-cheol (Albirex Niigata) and Lee Chung-yong (Bolton) took the wing spots. Park Ji-sung and Ki Sung-yueng (Celtic FC) manned central midfield.

Lee Young-pyo (Al Hilal) and Cha Du-ri (Celtic) played defense on the flanks, while Kim Young-kwon (FC Tokyo) and Lee Jung-soo (Al Sadd) were deployed as central fullbacks.

Cho also positioned Cho Yong-hyung (Al Rayyan) as “fore libero,” one of his core tactics for the game against Japan. Under this system, one of the three fullbacks in the midfield is placed upfront to allow him to double as a defensive midfielder.

“I’ll prepare for the match by using both the three-back and four-back formations,” the coach said.