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Coach Hong reveals expectation on Son Heung-min, Kim Shin-wook

Coach Hong reveals expectation on Son Heung-min, Kim Shin-wook

Posted November. 13, 2013 07:04,   


#1: `Deploying him in itself will make offense monotonous`

It was rather stingy evaluation. “Players can display a better game, but whenever Kim Shin-wook (Ulsan) enters the ground, they only kick the ball high up unconsciously towards him,” Hong Myung-bo, head coach of the Korean soccer team, remarked this last July after the completion of the East Asian Soccer Championships. Since then, Kim has been hardly found in the national team’s roaster.

#2: `I will keep watching him how big contributions he will make`

He had unwary feeling. Coach Hong had many chances to call in Son Heung-min of Leverkusen, who was performing well at the German Bundesliga, but he initially turned away from him. He judged that Son plays in a way that focuses on personal skills rather than team play. Hong called in Son in September, but attached conditions due to his lingering doubt about Son. “We have to keep watching him to see how good performance he will display.”

Kim Shin-wook and Son Heung-min are drawing so keen attention from soccer fans that they earned nicknames “Evolving giant,” and “Son-sational.” However, Hong gave them stingy evaluation on them once in the past. Mood has changed now. The two players are displaying goal scoring capacities that have reached zenith. As such, Hong now has new expectations on them. To Kim and Son, who have been summoned to the National Football Center for the national team in Paju, Gyeonggi Province on Tuesday, the national team’s friendly matches against Switzerland on Friday, and with Russia on next Tuesday, are great opportunities to resolve anxiety about them and win recognition from Coach Hong.

Kim, who is visiting the center again in four months, is the top scorer (19 goals) in the K-League Classic. Despite evaluation that he is only skilled in header shots utilizing his tall height (196 centimeters), Kim had three of his recent four goals through kick shots. “I had a sense of burden for the need to display better performance, but I have studied and worked hard over the past months. I will focus more on goals with kick shots,” Kim said in renewing his determination to excel. Teammates at the national team also expressed big expectation on Kim’s joining the team. “Kim Shin-wook is not only skilled in headers but is technically skilled as well. If good passes are provided to him, we could pin our hope on him,” said Ki Sung-yueng (Sunderland).

Scoring a hat trick in his team’s match against Hamburg in the Bundesliga on Saturday, Son was full of self-confidence. Son said, “I will be more attentive to the things that Coach Hong expects from me. I will also focus on securing win through team play at the national team.”

Coach Hong has in mind offense tactic through match play between Kim and Son. Hong said, “The two players’ good performance at their teams is positively affecting the national team as well. I will have to think hard to find best combinations that would maximize the strengths of the two.”

The two are reportedly close friends with each other. Attention is focusing on whether the duo will display their strong scoring capabilities at the national team as well. They last played together at the match of the World Cup qualifiers (Korea wins 1-0) against Uzbekistan in June.