Klinsmann’s Kang Sang-woo’s ‘Mystery’I haven’t even seen it in person, the background of the dubious national team

It was last June. Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann 카지노 (Germany), who held a press conference to announce the national team list, added the following while explaining the background of Ahn Hyun-beom (Jeonbuk, then Jeju). He has never seen him play, but he has directly admitted to being selected for the national team. Even if he was a player who was qualified for the boarding, the procedure for selecting a player who was not directly checked by the coach for the national team made me tilt my head. Coincidentally, coach Klinsman caused controversy by appointing Ahn Hyun-beom, who played an offensive wingback role in his team, defensively in the national team at the time. This was the reason coach Klinsman started to lead to criticism that ‘even the players are not properly grasped’.

A similar controversy is expected to be inevitable for this September’s national team roster. This is because the background of Kang Sang-woo (Beijing Guoan), who is playing in the Chinese Super League, is unclear. According to the Korea Football Association (KFA), head coach Klinsman and his coaches have never directly confirmed Kang Sang-woo’s play in China. It is said that he was selected for the national team after confirming Kang Sang-woo only through Weis Scout, a platform where players can view videos and records. Even in the press release related to the national team list distributed by the KFA, it was only an explanation that ‘Kang Sang-woo returned after 1 year and 8 months’. There was no further explanation, such as comments from director Klinsman. 

Of course, Kang Sang-woo has a good record this season. He appeared in 20 Chinese league matches (15 starts) and scored 7 goals. 1st in scoring and attack points on the team. He has been playing well for a long time in the K-League, and there is no doubt about his skills. However, his promotion to the national team is obviously a different matter. It is essential to see the overall performance of the game, rather than selecting only by watching videos and records. If necessary, as was the case with other European players, the process of meeting head coach Klinsman or coaching staff in person was necessary. Considering the weight of the Taegeuk mark, it was a natural procedure.

He was not a player who was constantly called to the national team to the extent that he could be re-assigned at any time. Kang Sang-woo has been promoted to the national team for the first time in a year and eight months since January last year. He was called up for a while when he was the former manager of Paulo Bento (Portugal), but he only got a chance to play as a substitute in only 2 out of 13 A matches. At that time, the two games still remain in Kang Sang-woo’s A-match record (2 games). It means that even in the Bento coaching system, it was not a major resource. After the convocation in January of last year, there was no relationship with the Taegeuk mark, but he received a surprise call from coach Klinsman, who had been in charge for five months.

That’s why it’s even more difficult to understand that Kang Sang-woo was classified as a ‘defender’ and put his name on the call-up list. Of course, he was classified as a side defensive resource when playing on the domestic stage and under Bento’s former coaching system. However, this season, he is only playing a role other than flanking defense, such as a winger or attacking midfielder in his team. It is in the same vein that he is recording 7 goals. It is obviously unreasonable to classify Kang Sang-woo’s position as a ‘defender’ this season, even though he is famous for his multi-player skills and may have moved to fullback during the game. Kang Sang-woo is already classified as a midfielder, not a defender, on the official website of the Beijing Guoan club.

Looking at the fullback resources summoned to the national team this time, we can get a glimpse of the fact that coach Klinsman selected Kang Sang-woo as a ‘side defense’ resource. Excluding Kang Sang-woo, the only fullbacks on the list this time are Seol Young-woo (Ulsan) and Lee Ki-je (Suwon) Ahn Hyun-beom. Considering that it is common to select two or more fullback resources on the left and right sides, Kang Sang-woo and Lee Ki-je can be considered as left-hand fullback resources. After 1 year and 8 months, the fact that he was called by coach Klinsman, who took over in March, means that the recent record has become the selection criterion, but the role he is playing in his team is not reflected.

Of course, the position you play in your team and how you use it in the national team may be different. It is the choice of the national team coach to find a new way to use the team based on the skills shown in the team. However, in order to do this, an accurate understanding and analysis of the players must be supported. It is unlikely that director Klinsman, who has not even personally confirmed, knows deeply about Kang Sang-woo. Just by classifying and selecting a player who has already played an offensive role in his team as a defender, it is bound to lead to doubts that he was selected for the national team without properly understanding it. There is already a precedent in last June when a player who had not been seen in person was selected for the national team and then used in the actual match with the opposite tendency, so the suspicion is reasonable enough.

Already, coach Klinsman has spent more time abroad than domestically after taking office, and controversy over home and abroad is fierce. In this process, the Korean national team is in a state of being left behind, and the controversy has spread to the negligence of work. Credibility in coach Klinsman’s process of forming the national team is inevitable. Of course, even the press conference that was held after the announcement of the national team list was eliminated, so suspicions are bound to bite their tails and the controversy will only grow. The process of selecting the national team, which is difficult to understand, is repeated, and it has added to the discord. Criticism toward coach Klinsman and the KFA is bound to intensify.

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