SPORTS

Natl. football coach tries to implement 'tiki taka' style of play

By Yonhap
  • Published : Aug 23, 2017 - 10:42
  • Updated : Aug 23, 2017 - 10:42

New South Korean football head coach Shin Tae-yong wants his team to play a "tiki-taka" style of football, as he aims to speed up the game with quick passing and movement.

Shin, who succeeded Uli Stielike last month, opened camp at the National Football Center in Paju, north of Seoul, on Monday for South Korea's last two matches in the final Asian qualifying round for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The Taeguk Warriors, currently second in Group A, the last automatic qualification spot, are scheduled to host already-qualified Iran on Aug. 31, and will take on third-placed Uzbekistan five days later.

Starting with 16 players who were able to join the national team one week ahead of schedule following their clubs' consent, Shin emphasized "pass-and-move" during practice sessions. He'd previously done so with South Korea's under-20 players at the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

South Korea`s national football team players practice at the National Football Center in Paju, north of Seoul, on Aug. 22, 2017. (Yonhap)

On Tuesday, Shin reportedly asked his players to watch video clips that show passing work of the world's elite football clubs like FC Barcelona, Arsenal and Chelsea. During training, the 48-year-old coach was seen ordering his players to move quickly after passing the ball to teammates.

"Although we don't have much time, we will be able to play high-tempo passing football in a real match," Shin said. "It took some time for U-20 players to display that style of football, but I believe the senior national team will show it quickly because they are the best players in South Korea."

In Stielike's era, South Korea were criticized for their poor off-the-ball movement and slow tempo of passing, while the mental strength of the players was also questioned.

Shin, former assistant to Stielike, previously said he won't play his usual attacking style football in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers because the two matches are so important, hinting at a more conservative approach. To make his pass-and-move style of football work, Shin is expected to deploy those who have strong physical strength and stamina. His starting members will be decided when the full squad is assembled next week when Europe-based players arrive.

South Korea`s national football team players practice at the National Football Center in Paju, north of Seoul, on Aug. 22, 2017. (Yonhap)

Meanwhile, the players said the atmosphere of the national team is great as veterans are leading the way for young members. The 38-year-old striker Lee Dong-gook, who returned to the national team for the first time in nearly three years, is apparently acting as a temporary captain for the squad during their stay at the NFC.

"Lee seems to be enjoying himself because he is on the national team after a long time away," said Lee Jae-sung, Lee Dong-gook's teammate on Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in the K League Classic. "Just as he does with our club, he is leading the squad with excitement. He plays an important role."

Shin admitted that Lee Dong-gook is his doing job very well, but this doesn't confirm that the former Middlesbrough and Werder Bremen man will wear the captain's armband in the World Cup qualifiers.

"Lee, the oldest member here, is doing a fine job in the boss role," said Shin with a smile. "But the official captain of this team will be determined after our full squad is assembled (next week)." (Yonhap)