8 potential replacements for coach Troussier at Vietnam national team

By Duc Dong   March 29, 2024 | 03:09 pm PT
Alongside familiar names like Park Hang-seo and Mano Polking, the Vietnam Football Federation may consider some domestic faces for the head coach position at the Vietnam national team.
8 potential replacements for coach Troussier at Vietnam national team

Coach Hoang Anh Tuan (born in 1968, Vietnam)

After coach Philippe Troussier's early contract termination, the VFF has chosen coach Hoang Anh Tuan to manage the Vietnam U23 team at the AFC U23 Asian Cup in April.

The Khanh Hoa-born coach previously helped Vietnam win the 2023 AFF U23 Championship and led the Vietnam U17 team at the AFC U17 Asian Cup and the Vietnam Olympic team at the ASIAD 19. Before that, he had managed the Vietnam U19 and U20 teams and led Vietnam to the 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup in South Korea.

Some current Vietnam's U23 players, such as Nguyen Thai Son, Khuat Van Khang, Nguyen Van Truong, Quan Van Chuan, and Nguyen Dinh Bac, have played under coach Tuan in youth teams.

8 potential replacements for coach Troussier at Vietnam national team

Coach Park Hang-seo (born in 1957, South Korea)

Park is the most successful coach in Vietnamese football history, finishing second at the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship, winning the 2018 AFF Cup, reaching the quarterfinals of the 2019 Asian Cup, winning two gold medals at the 2019 and 2021 SEA Games editions, and leading the national team to the final 2022 World Cup qualifiers for the first time.

During his tenure from 2017 to 2023, Vietnam consistently maintained their position as the highest-ranked team in Southeast Asia. They were also the Southeast Asian team that spent the longest time in the FIFA top 100.

With his impressive track record, historical significance and profound understanding of Vietnamese football, Park is expected to revive the team during this challenging period. He is currently not managing any club, apart from working at an academy in Hanoi and as a senior advisor to second division club Bac Ninh FC.

He avoided talking about the possibility of his return to the national team during a recent encounter with VnExpress.

8 potential replacements for coach Troussier at Vietnam national team

Coach Lee Young-jin (born in 1963, South Korea)

Lee was a close and longtime assistant to coach Park Hang-seo at the Vietnam national team and U-23 team. Lee was then likened to Park’s "brain" due to his deep involvement in tactical analysis and development and technical guidance.

Lee used to be a famous player for LG Cheetahs (now FC Seoul), winning the K-League 1 title in 1990 and being named in the K-League 1 Best XI in 1991. In 2003, he was selected for the K-League 90s All-Star team. He represented South Korea from 1989 to 1994, earning 51 caps and playing in the 1990 and 1994 World Cups. He currently works for the Korean Football Association (KFA).

Lee is highly appreciated by Vietnam players and fans.

8 potential replacements for coach Troussier at Vietnam national team

Coach Velizar Emilov Popov (born in 1976, Bulgaria)

The Bulgarian coach had managed the Myanmar U23 team before coming to Thanh Hoa FC in 2023. He quickly made an impression by helping the non-star-studded Thanh Hoa play possession and beautiful attacking football and win the National Cup and Super Cup. In the 2023-2024 V-League, his team continued to be a formidable force, finishing fourth after the first phase of the season.

The only obstacle for the Bulgarian coach is perhaps his hot temper, as he has been suspended several times for criticizing and reacting strongly to V-League referees. Failure to control his emotions when managing a national team may damage the face of Vietnamese football and have negative impacts on professional matters.

8 potential replacements for coach Troussier at Vietnam national team

Coach Kiatisuk Senamuang (born in 1973, Thailand)

Kiatisuk is considered one of Southeast Asia's most successful players, winning three Tiger Cup championships and four SEA Games gold medals. He once played for Vietnamese club Hoang Anh Gia Lai and won two consecutive V-League titles in 2003 and 2004.

As a coach, he had two unsuccessful stints at former club Hoang Anh Gia Lai in 2006 and 2010. However, he was able to achieve some impressive results as Thailand coach, leading the team to two AFF Cup championships in 2014 and 2016, as well as a SEA Games gold medal in 2013, before leaving due to conflicts with leaders of the Football Association of Thailand.

In 2021, he returned to Hoang Anh Gia Lai but did not win any titles. In the middle of the season, the “Thai Zico” made his loan move to Cong An Ha Noi FC.

Kiatisuk can communicate in Vietnamese and understands Southeast Asian football, but there are concerns that he is lacking in charisma and ideas for building an attacking style of play.

8 potential replacements for coach Troussier at Vietnam national team

Coach Gong Oh Kyun (born in 1974, South Korea)

Coach Gong led Vietnam to the quarterfinals of the 2022 U23 Asian Cup, where he impressed by his possession-based and attacking football. After the tournament, he parted ways with the U-23 team to study for a FIFA Pro License.

At the end of 2023, the 49-year-old coach returned to Vietnam to manage Cong An Ha Noi but left after just seven gameweeks due to a series of bad results. Gong publicly stated that he lost control of Cong An Ha Noi because a club leader intervened in his work.

Gong has recently returned to Vietnam but has not revealed his next club.

8 potential replacements for coach Troussier at Vietnam national team

Coach Mano Polking (born in 1976, Brazil)

Polking (pictured with FAT president Madam Pang) had failed to make his mark with Ho Chi Minh City FC in the V-League, but later succeeded in winning Thailand two consecutive AFF Cup titles in 2020 and 2022. However, he was fired after Thailand's defeat to China in November 2023 in the 2026 World Cup second qualifiers.

In an interview with VnExpress on Wednesday, Polking said he is negotiating with several clubs and is excited about the possibility of coaching the Vietnam national team. "I'm willing to work anywhere, but clearly working for a national team is the most honored position for any coach," he said.

8 potential replacements for coach Troussier at Vietnam national team

Coach Chu Dinh Nghiem (born in 1972, Vietnam)

Having played for Cong An Thanh Hoa FC, Nam Dinh FC, LG ACB, and Hoa Phat Ha Noi, Nghiem joined Hanoi FC after retiring and had accompanied the team from their inception in the Third Division to their promotion to the V-League.

In 2016, he took over the first team and helped the club win three V-League titles, two National Cups, three Super Cups, and reached the AFC Cup inter-zone semi-finals. Five years later, Nghiem was sacked when Hanoi showed signs of slowing down.

In 2022, the Thanh Hoa-born coach joined Hai Phong FC and immediately made an impact. Despite limited resources, he helped the club play strong attacking football and finish second - an achievement that earned him the award of Best Coach at the end of the V-League season.

Nghiem's weaknesses are perhaps his hot temper and lack of experience in coaching a national team.

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