Coach Kim Ki-dong (52), who has been at the helm of the Pohang Steelers since 2019, was always troubled even after the season ended. The main players who were together were busy looking for ways to make up for the gaps they left each time.
It was no different this time. Pohang, which finished third last season following Ulsan Hyundai and Jeonbuk Hyundai, changed their front line except for the defense. In particular, Shin Jin-ho, who played the role of an ace in midfield last year, moved to Incheon United, and Heo Yong-jun (Vegalta Sendai) and Lim Sang-hyup (FC Seoul), who were responsible for scoring, also left the team.
As usual, concerns gathered toward Kim Ki-dong. Director Kim Ki-dong also said that he was worried. However, coach Kim proudly shouted ‘win’ at the winter battery training media camp ahead of the 2023 season. Since they placed third earlier, it was ambiguous to pursue runner-up or to aim for Final A (top 6 teams in the K League 1).
The outside gaze was different. Not many footballers picked Pohang as a candidate for the championship. The prevailing view was that Hyundai would continue the second round system of the two teams (Ulsan and Jeonbuk) this year. Director Kim Ki-dong is breaking that prediction. Currently, of the 12 teams in the K-League 1, only Ulsan Hyundai (6 wins) and Pohang (4 wins, 2 draws) remain undefeated. At the same time, Pohang’s cruise, especially coach Kim’s leadership in leading the team in difficult households, is attracting attention once again.
In a recent phone interview with this magazine, coach Kim Ki-dong said, “Winter training was difficult. At first, he thought, he should focus on stamina rather than organization. He said, “I saw that organizational skills are naturally strengthened while playing games.”
Reorganizing the team is not an easy task even for manager Kim Ki-dong, who says, “He has never played a season with the same player.” However, he said that the criteria for selecting players are clear, and maintaining the big frame of tactics is the background to not fall.
Coach Kim Ki-dong said, “I choose a player who is sacrificial and thinks of the team before the individual. I want a player who is suitable for the original team rather than a player who stands out,” he said. “When the big frame changes while playing soccer, the whole thing shakes. I stick to the style I want, and think about how to harmonize the strengths of the players within it.” 메이저사이트
This season, when there was a lot of worry, the power to win the match has improved. Pohang scored points with theater goals (after 90 minutes) in 3 out of 6 matches. In response to the reporter’s complaint, “It’s fun, but I have to overturn the article I wrote,” manager Kim Ki-dong chuckled and said, “No matter how much preparation (coaches) do, it’s meaningless if a player doesn’t score a goal. The players help me, and we do good analysis to help the players.”
In addition, in 4 out of 6 games, substitutes changed the result by operating the scorer. This is the background that goes beyond the expression ‘movement magic’ towards director Kim Ki-dong and even says ‘possessed’. In particular, on the 8th, against Gwangju coach Lee Jung-hyo, a strategist, it was noted that he changed the flow by placing Zeka, a tall striker, on the side in the second half.
Director Kim Ki-dong said, “(Replacement cards, tactical changes, etc.) are prepared in advance. When an opponent comes out like this, he continues to analyze with his coaches how to make the variations. In addition, it seems that he is doing well according to the flow because he goes to the game with data.”
Compared to last season, coach Kim Ki-dong complained that “the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd lines have all changed”, but perhaps because of this, ‘mobility magic’ is shining more than ever.