A good start. Ulsan Hyundai of the professional soccer K League 1 won 4 wins in the league match that went up to the 4th round, and rose to the sole lead (4 wins, 12 points). After a two-week break in the national competition (A match), the first opponent of the 5th round, which resumes from the 1st of next month, is Jeju United (10th place, 2 draws, 2 losses, 2 points), which has not yet won a win, and is likely to win 5 consecutive wins. There is also
However, coach Hong Myung-bo, whom I met recently at the Ulsan Hyundai Football Club’s clubhouse, remained vigilant. “Jeju Island is a formidable team, so we can’t be careless. Besides, we only have 8 key players selected from the A team and the Olympic/Asian Games national team. We need enough rest to play in the games this weekend, but it can be a difficult game for us. .”
Still, it is true that the atmosphere of the team that achieved four consecutive victories has brightened. In particular, coach Hong expressed high satisfaction with the match (3-0 win) against Suwon FC on the 19th. He said, “It is good that our players continue to accumulate points because of their hard work.” It means that both offense and defense were perfect. It is a flawless start with improved tactics and teamwork in the third year of K-League coaching.
‘Hong Myung-bo Leadership’… Responsibility, Trust, Communication
Coach Hong impressed Ulsan last year by winning the league for the first time in 17 years. The fighting spirit and passion of the players shown in the final game of the league was enough to make even those who did not know Ulsan become fans. Ulsan’s last game, which spread online such as YouTube, is still talked about.
This year is no different. Coach Hong is trying to inject ‘victory DNA’ into the players. What he emphasizes to players these days is ‘self-directed’ and developing ‘self-control’. It is the will to make Ulsan a stronger team. “When you are self-directed, responsibility follows. You take responsibility because you made your own decisions and choices. When you have self-control, discipline arises within it. That discipline is not a top-down discipline like in the military, but respect and consideration for others. .”
His player management philosophy is clear. “In football, you have to judge and decide for yourself every moment.” He urges his players to always “make good decisions and use good judgment.” So coach Hong tends to give the players the right to decide. Then, it is the logic that he will develop a sense of responsibility for himself and play soccer on his own initiative in the stadium.
In this process, a relationship of trust between the coach and the players must be guaranteed. The part that Director Hong values is also communication. When I train, I tend to talk with the players as much as possible on the field. He said, “Meeting every day and drinking tea and talking is not communication. I don’t really like that kind of thing,” he said. revealed What coach Hong emphasizes to the players is, “Give me your everything for one and a half or two hours out of 24 hours.”
“When players give their opinions on tactical stuff, I take them in. Ask a lot of questions. Also, ‘Who do you want to stand next to you?’ The players tend to talk a lot. If the players don’t reveal their thoughts there, it’s difficult to communicate, but our players are good at talking (laughs). If possible, share the thoughts and ideas of the players. I like to share.”
When you think of director Hong, images of ‘tiger director’ and ‘difficult and scary director’ come to mind. However, he shook his head and said, “I rarely get angry. I’ve only been angry two or three times in the three years I’ve been living in Ulsan.” Rather than getting angry when players don’t do what they’re supposed to do, he said, “Convince and warn them, but don’t get angry.”
Instead, there are times when he reprimands the players. It’s when you’re not doing your best. “Ulsan has had almost no consecutive losses since I took office. It’s great that there were no consecutive losses, but it means that the players realized how to deal with a loss. That’s why last season, even when they were losing, they often came from behind to win.”
At the same time, Director Hong said that he was “original Yu (柔) one person.” Also, as I got older, I became softer and more open-minded. Even for the players, there is nothing to raise their voice if they keep the basic value of “all members must devote themselves to the team.” However, the difficult thing about running a team is “how to motivate players who can’t go to the stadium and how to lead them.” Coach Hong says to the players who can’t play in the game, “I’m sorry I couldn’t all play in the game.” At the same time, he explained, “The attitude of players who can’t play instead is very important,” and explained, “I ask you to ‘never let your mood become your attitude'” because it can affect the team.
Teamwork is of utmost importance in football. Coach Hong gave his thumbs up, saying, “There are a lot of great players in Ulsan, even if there are not many famous players.” In the case of Park Yong-woo and Lee Gyu-seong, who are in charge of the midfield, and Seol Young-woo, the defender, he said, “They are not flashy, but they are good players who play the most and dedicate themselves to the team.” Will he become a great player? I will continue to watch this.”메이저놀이터
On the 24th, coach Hong had a tea time with coaches including coach Jurgen Klinsmann ahead of Colombia’s A match in Ulsan. He and Andreas Herzog, head coach, shared a meal together at LA Galaxy (2003-2004, USA) when he was a player. Coach Hong called hairchoke coach “Andy.” At the time, coach Klinsman also played for Orange County Blue Star (USA) and worked out together for a year.
Coach Hong, who took the helm of the Olympic and Asian Games national teams and the A national team, understood Coach Klinsman’s position better than anyone else. He said, “I’ve been in charge of the national team, so I don’t know. Coach Klinsman is a very gentle and nice person.”
With the recent appointment of coach Klinsman, coach Hong, who worked as an administrator at the Korea Football Association in the past, is being reevaluated. This is because Kim Pan-gon, former head of the national team coach selection committee, was summoned while the Korea Football Association did not transparently disclose the process of appointing Klinsmann. When coach Paulo Bento was appointed in 2018, former chairman Kim Pan-gon revealed the process in detail to the media and sought consent. Director Hong was also at the center of it. Director Hong, who served as executive director of the Football Association for three years in 2017, was a person who actively took part in appointing former chairman Kim. Coach Hong and former chairman Kim agreed to disclose everything about how the national team coach was appointed and what process they went through.
“It was a good experience for me. I think I worked with great passion while working at the Korea Football Association. I talked with former Chairman Kim at the time about the importance of showing sincerity. This time I realized that even if I get criticized, I will be recognized someday (laughs). .”