‘Out-of-work controversy’ Klinsmann vs. Wales not a friendly…’Son Heung-min shift’ key to victory

A ‘watered-down’ Son Heung-min (Tottenham) could be the key to the first win under Klinsmann.

Jürgen Klinsmann’s national soccer team will play its first away game in Europe since its inception. They will face the Welsh national team at Cardiff City Stadium in Wales, England, at 3:45 a.m. ET on Aug. 8 in their first-ever A-match.

Following the arrival of Coach Chaduri and Krieger over the past three to four days, the European squad, which played over the weekend, is now complete with two days to go before kickoff. The 25 Taeguk Warriors gathered at the Cardiff International Sports Campus in Wales and began full-scale tactical training. After the game against Wales, Korea will travel to Newcastle, England, to play their second game against Saudi Arabia on the 13th.

While the game against Wales was simply a friendly and an assessment, it was a significant milestone for Klinsmann. Since taking over in March, Klinsmann has played four A matches, drawing two and losing two, and has yet to win his first game in charge of South Korea. Klinsmann is the only foreign manager in the history of the Korean national team without a win after four matches. Notably, the last five foreign managers to take charge – Joe Bonfreire, Dick Advocaat, Pim Barebeck (Netherlands), Uli Stielike (Germany) and Paulo Bento (Portugal) – all won their debuts.

Klinsmann has only been in the job for about six months, so it’s too early to judge him based on current results. However, the public’s trust in Klinsmann has been shaken by the ‘attendance controversy’. Contrary to his initial promise to stay in the country to find “young guns” and familiarize himself with the soccer culture, he has spent less than 70 days in the country in the past six months. In addition to his frequent travels to the United States, where he is based, he appeared on overseas broadcasts and made comments about star players that had nothing to do with the Korean national team.

Naturally, he was criticized for ignoring domestic players and focusing on Europeans. He tried to put out the fire by appointing adviser Chaduri Chaduri, who had been observing Krieger, as coach and recruiting Lee Sun-min (Gwangju) and Kim Jun-hong (Gimcheon), among others, ahead of the call-up. However, there is still a lot of distrust towards him, so the Welsh team needs to improve both the performance and the result. The key is to find a balance between the Europeans, the keeper, and the new faces.

All eyes will be on ‘Captain’ Son Heung-min. Not only does he play at the highest level, but he’s also friendly, inclusive, and a moral anchor for the team, and has worn the captain’s armband for Tottenham this season. Having earned the trust of his teammates with his early dedication, Heung-min scored a hat-trick in the fourth round of the English Premier League (EPL) against Burnley (a 5-2 win for Spurs) just before his call-up. He moved from his usual position on the left wing to a frontline role and scored a brace.

Klinsmann sees the ‘Son Heung-min shift’ as a key to the game. In the last A-League match, he used Son Heung-min not only on the flanks but also as an attacking midfielder to find solutions in the forward line. We have two striker options in Cho Kyu-sung (Mitwillan) and Oh Hyun-gyu (Celtic), who recently recovered from injuries, and Hwang Eui-jo, who was loaned to Norwich City after failing to get a chance at Nottingham Forest. It’s possible that Klinsmann could play the ‘fingers and nails’ card and put Son Heung-min up front.

However, Klinsmann values creating space in the ‘secondary area’ below the front line, and with Lee Kang-In (Paris Saint-Germain) out injured, Son could be used as a ‘secondary freeroll’. His movement and attacking prowess can be maximized by playing him as an attacking midfielder. On the flanks, Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton) and Lee Jae-sung (Mainz) are alternatives.안전놀이터

The Welshman is joined by defender Ben Davies, who is in his ninth season with Tottenham, and ‘striker’ Brennan Johnson, who has been in a Tottenham shirt this summer. There’s also defender Joe Rodon (Leeds United) on loan from Tottenham, so there’s a lot of players who know Son well, which means a move or a shot from the other attackers around him could be the difference in the game.

Luckily, another European striker has a good eye for goal. Hwang Hee-chan scored two goals in the EPL earlier this season and Lee Jae-sung scored one in the Bundesliga. The ‘Belgian Leagueer’ Hong Hyun-seok (Gent) also soared to multi-goal heights in the Jupiler League before his call-up.

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