Korean professor praises Park Hang-seo's teamwork principles in critique of Klinsmann

By Minh Nga   February 16, 2024 | 03:39 pm PT
A Korean professor has blamed South Korea's Asian Cup failure on coach Jurgen Klinsmann's failure to maintain teamwork, which Vietnam's former coach Park Hang-seo excelled in.

Yoon Sung-hak, a professor at the Korea University, compared Park and Klinsmann's philosophy in a Facebook post Thursday, following relevelations of a fight between two stars Son Heung-min and Lee Kang-in before their Asian Cup semifinal, where they lost to Jordan and exited the tournament.

According to reports, the conflict started after Lee and some other younger players were rushing through their dinner so they could play table tennis.

Son and some of the older players were angry as they wanted to honor the tradition of team bonding during the pre-game dinner, which led to the brawl and left Son with an injured finger.

The Korea Football Association fired Klinsmann as South Korea's head coach on Friday, saying the 59-year-old former German striker "has failed to display managerial capability and leadership expected of a national head coach in areas ranging from tactics and personnel management to work attitude and others required to bring about competitiveness to the team."

Yoon's post said although there are cultural differences in how meals are conducted, Klinsmann had no concerns about how to increase and maintain teamwork.

"A coach who does not consider tactics and teamwork at the same time cannot lead to victory, no matter how good the players are," he wrote.

The post listed three of Park's principles that helped build teamwork during his successful time managing Vietnam.

First, all team members, including himself, had to eat together and finish the meal at the same time.

Second, they had to wear uniform in any team activity, including meals and training.

Third, no one was allowed to bring their cell phone during meals or team meetings and training.

Coach Park Hang-seo is applauded by the players after U23 Vietnam won the 2019 SEA Games gold medal. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy

Coach Park Hang-seo is applauded by the players after U23 Vietnam won the 2019 SEA Games gold medal, Dec. 10, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy

"In order for more than thirty players and coaches to train effectively, they should not think of anything other than football during training," Yoon said, citing Park's requirements.

"If you are honored to be part of a national team, you should prioritize the team over the individual. We are a team. We need to help each other and be a team."

Yoon's post received more than 400 Likes in less than a day, and has been shared by many people, including Park's son Park Chan-sung.

Park was appointed Vietnam's national team coach in October 2017 and enjoyed over five years of rousing success filled with titles and iconic moments.

Vietnam were runners-up at the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship, winners of the 2018 AFF Cup, the fourth-placed team at the 2018 Asian Games, and quarter finalists at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

He also helped Vietnam win two successive gold medals at the 2019 and 2021 SEA Games and took them to the third qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup.

The 66-year-old is running an eponymous youth football academy in Hanoi and recently became the senior consultant to the newly established Bac Ninh FC in the Vietnamese Football League Second Division.

go to top