Coach Troussier needs more time with Vietnam: football pundit

By Xuan Binh   March 28, 2023 | 10:37 pm PT
Coach Troussier needs more time with Vietnam: football pundit
Coach Philippe Troussier talks to Vietnam's U23 players in a training session. Photo by Vietnam Football Federation
Former Thai national coach and football pundit Steve Darby said the current tactics of Vietnam head coach Philippe Troussier were risky and needed more time to become effective.

In the first two games played by the Vietnam U23 team in the Doha Cup, Vietnam lost 0-3 to Iraq and 0-4 to UAE. Darby believes that these two games did not say anything about Vietnam, because the opponents were much stronger.

"First we need to look at the opponent and their quality," Darby said. "If Vietnam played against Laos or Singapore and won easily, would we say that they are a good team?"

The U23 teams of Iraq and UAE competed in the Olympics before while Vietnam have not. Vietnam also stand lower on the FIFA rankings than these two teams.

The poor result of U23 Vietnam attracted attention from the international media. Chinese news site Sohu wrote: "At least U23 China did better than Vietnam. The team scored a goal in the second game of Doha Cup last year and kept a bit of pride."

However, Darby said Vietnamese fans should be patient with Troussier.

"Troussier or any other coach deserves time and most of all support," Darby added.

In the first two matches under coach Philippe Troussier, Vietnam U23 team scored zero and conceded seven goals. They had 51% ball possession in the first match, and 49% in the second one. Troussier encouraged the players to attack more and constantly put pressure on the opponent to win the ball on their side of the field and he will be responsible for the errors.

"This perhaps justified former coach Park Hang-seo's tactics when he used counter-attacking football as he knew an all out attack was a gamble," said Darby. "You may win on a few occasions but you will usually lose against big teams."

The former coach also thinks that it will be harder for the Vietnamese to play high pressing, partially because of the weather conditions.

"It’s very hard to play in hot climates and much easier in Europe. The quality of opponents is also a factor," said Darby. "If they are a technically good team then we will have to adjust."

In the last game of Doha Cup on Wednesday, Vietnam faced Kyrgyzstan, who also lost the first two games and are only two places above Vietnam on FIFA rankings. After a goalless 90 minutes, two teams entered the penalty shootout and Vietnam lost 4-5. Vietnam ended Doha Cup with three losses and no goals scored.

"I have no regrets after three defeats," Troussier said after the game. "There will be different opinions because the team didn't win a single match, but I believe U23 Vietnam are on the right track in preparation for the SEA Games 32. To learn a great lesson, you have to pay a great price."

The 2023 U23 Doha Cup took place from March 23-29, with the participation of 10 teams: Vietnam, Thailand, Iraq, UAE, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and host Qatar.

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