Before Wales’ first “full” practice, two days remain.
The Klinsmann Lake Taegeuk Warriors gathered for their first full training session two days before facing off against Wales, the first of two September A matches.
According to a video of the national team training released by the Korea Football Association on June 6, the 25 Taeguk Warriors gathered at the Cardiff International Sports Campus in Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom, on the afternoon of the 5th local time to begin preparations for their two A matches this month (Sept. 8 in Wales and Sept. 13 in Saudi Arabia).
The team, led by head coach Jürgen Klinsmann, will try to win the ‘Klinsmann’s Horse’ in the two A matches.
Klinsmann’s team has a dismal record of two draws and two losses in four matches, including a two-game series in March (Uruguay 1-2, Colombia 2-2) and a two-game series in June (El Salvador 1-1, Peru 0-1).
This is the first time since Klinsmann took over that a foreign coach has gone four games without a win.
The team’s poor performance has led fans to criticize Klinsmann’s “attendance” for spending so much time abroad rather than at home.
In the end, there’s only one way to silence the critics: victory.
Paulo Bento, who coached South Korea to the round of 16 at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, also had to deal with criticism from the media and fans for being “stubborn” about playing “build-up football” in the run-up to the World Cup.
After drawing 1-1 in the first and second rounds of the World Cup group stage and facing elimination, the criticism turned to praise for his ‘grit’ when he dramatically beat Portugal in the third round to finish second in the group and advance to the round of 16.
In the end, the result turned everything into a ‘happy ending’.
Klinsmann is no different.
Although he has only managed two draws and two losses since taking the helm of the Taeguk Warriors, a victory in the two A-Match matches in September could turn the tide against those who don’t like to wait.
Klinsmann has also tried to shake things up ahead of this month’s A-Match.
The team parted ways with coach Michael Kim, who had been with the national team since the Bentoho era, and brought in Chaduri, who had been an advisor to Klinsmann, as coach.
The KFA hopes that the addition of Chaduri, who has a “big brother” image for the national team players, will help Klinsmann’s communication with the Taeguk Warriors.
Wales, who Klinsmann’s team will face at 3:45 a.m. on Aug. 8, are ranked 35th by the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), only slightly better than South Korea (28th). The teams have only met once before, in 2003, in a 0-0 draw. This will be the second meeting in 20 years.
The Welsh national team has a number of familiar faces for Korean fans.
Among them are Klinsmann’s ‘captain’ Son Heung-min, defender Ben Davies, who has been with Tottenham (England) for nine seasons, and ’22-year-old goalkeeper’ Brennan Johnson, who recently made his debut in a Tottenham shirt.
There are also three players with a ‘Tottenham connection’ to Son Heung-min, including defender Joe Rodon (Leeds United), who played for Spurs before leaving on loan.
Add to that Wales captain Aaron Ramsey (Cardiff City), who has played for Arsenal (England) and Juventus (Italy), and you have a secondary attacking option that the Taeguk Warriors will have to be wary of.
The situation is not bad for the Tigers against Wales.
Son Heung-min, who will spearhead the national team’s attack, is coming off a hat-trick for his club, and Hwang Hee-chan, who has been nursing a hamstring injury, scored a cool header. Cho Kyu-sung, who had been complaining of thigh pain, also showed his full recovery by playing full time and scoring an attacking point. Hong Hyun-seok (Ghent), a youngster who brought a fresh breeze to the offense, also enjoyed a three-day multi-goal streak.
In addition, midfielder Hwang In-beom (Zvezda), who had been struggling with his previous club, has found a new home and is happily wearing the national team jersey, 먹튀검증 raising the mood of Klinsmann’s team ahead of the match against Wales.