ESPN “Klinsman will solidify his image as a ‘director of telecommuting’ in Korea… Failed to lead the golden generation”

The U.S. global sports media ESPN reported on the 18th (Korea time), “Coach Klinsmann was forced to be replaced in South Korea due to the sluggishness of the Asian Cup. Less than a year after taking office, he left the team ahead of the 2026 North-Central America World Cup.”

Klinsmann, who took over the South Korean national team in March last year, was criticized for not staying in Korea and showing different moves from existing coaches, such as frequent overseas trips, checks on outsourcing to European leagues, indifference to the K-League, and omission of press conferences on the A-match call-up list.

It took her as long as six games to achieve her first win. She had no wins in five matches, but beat Saudi Arabia 1-0 in a friendly match in September last year. She then won five consecutive matches, seemingly changing the mood little by little.

He then headed to the Middle East for the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup in Qatar. The Korean team started indoor training in Korea from late December last year, and moved to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates on June 2 to move to Qatar on Wednesday, the venue for the upcoming competition.

The Asian Cup was Klinsmann’s first test during his journey to the 2026 World Cup in North and Central America. Korea challenged for the title for the first time in 64 years since 1960, and boasted its all-time great performance by banking on a large number of top-notch players in European leagues, including Son Heung-min, Kim Min-jae, Hwang Hee-chan and Lee Kang-in. In addition, Klinsmann also expressed confidence in winning the title even before the Asian Cup.

However, the team continued to display disappointing performance throughout the first group match. Despite having an all-time advantage in group matches with Jordan and Malaysia, the team ended up with a draw, and finally won the match with Saudi Arabia in the round of 16 and Australia in the round of 8 after a neck-and-neck race. Korea, whose title is Asia’s soccer powerhouse, unexpectedly struggled, suffering the humiliation of “zombie soccer” and “paper tiger.”

After that, Klinsmann ended his schedule after the semifinal match against Jordan on the 7th. Expectations were high in the “Return Match” with the team he met in the group stage, but he was helplessly swayed by the opponent’s attack and lost 0-2.

Coach Klinsmann, who showed his inability following the classic, said he would continue the overall evaluation and follow-up of the tournament instead of resigning. On the evening of the 8th, he made a controversy when he headed back to the U.S., where his home is located, on the 10th, about a day after entering the country with the team.

Moreover, the issue of internal conflict within the squad also emerged. On the 14th, the British media “The Sun” reported that the Korean national team had a dispute between Son Heung-min and Lee Kang-in ahead of the match against Jordan.

As the Korea Football Association recognized this situation as true, things have grown dramatically, and Lee Kang-in continues to be criticized for confronting senior Son Heung-min by posting an apology on his SNS.

Coach Klinsmann, who gave the team freedom and was found to have zero points in the management of the team, was held more strongly responsible, and eventually, the Korea Football Association held a power reinforcement committee on the 15th to agree to the replacement of Klinsmann, and an executive meeting was held the next day on the 16th to decide his future.

Chairman Chung Mong-gyu abruptly sacked Klinsmann, whom he had appointed. At the same time, he announced that he would make efforts to reorganize Korean soccer by appointing the next successor and reorganizing the power reinforcement committee.

Explaining the reason for Klinsmann’s dismissal, ESPN said, “It seems blatant arrogance that he did so again after the Asian Cup, even though he has been criticized by fans for his lack of time in Korea,” adding, “He did not properly take care of his responsibilities and honor according to his position. He is likely to solidify his reputation as a ‘home-working director’ in Korea.”

“Coach Klinsmann, who was not supported from the beginning, did not produce the best results in the Korean national team, which has higher talent than the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup,” he added.

BY: 스포츠토토

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