The South Korean team’s coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, faced severe criticism on Wednesday following what the local media referred to as a “shameful” and “humiliating” Asian Cup semifinal loss to Jordan. Despite having Son Heung-min in their attacking lineup, the Koreans lost 2-0 to a club that was rated 64 places lower in the world and were unable to produce a shot on goal.
After the well-earned loss on Tuesday, German coach Klinsmann, who entered the competition with the goal of winning South Korea’s first Asian Cup in 64 years, declared he would not step down. A few of his players publicly supported him, most notably the captain Son, who stated that the 59-year-old coach will get “even stronger.”
However, the response from the public and media was harsh, stating that the collapse of Jordan was simply the most recent instance of dubious strategies and team decisions. Above all, Klinsmann’s legion of critics pointed out once more how, despite losing, he always has a ready-made smile on his face.
The Sports Hankook website stated, “Klinsmann’s face was filled with laughter, while the players showed their disappointment and forced smiles.” It was a scene that was really difficult to understand, given that he is the Korean national team’s coach.
After being appointed a year ago, Klinsmann, a former Germany player who won the World Cup, was never a very popular pick in South Korea. When asked by AFP on Tuesday if he would step down, Klinsmann responded, “I have no plans to take any action.” In addition to talking to Korean football officials and analyzing the competition, he stated, “apart from that, I am not thinking of anything.”
Tottenham player Son offered him a sympathetic ear, expressing regret to the supporters and his sympathy for Klinsmann. “I think the coach must have felt a tremendous amount of pressure, because even before the tournament, the perception of him was very negative,” Son stated.
“He handled the challenging circumstances quite well,”He continued, “I was incredibly moved by how he looked after the guys, never letting up till the very end and never displaying any signs of frustration.
“We saw some nice stuff.”
Throughout the Asian Cup, South Korea played on the verge of victory, winning four games in the last minutes to get to the semifinals. Because they kept coming back from the dead, the Korean media termed it “zombie football,” but in the end, a Jordan team that was just better defeated them.
According to the MK Sports website in South Korea, Klinsmann’s team gave “a pitiful performance.” It remarked, “They made Jordan look like Brazil.” “The match lacked inspiration even. South Korea lost the match without even trying to fight back.
Because of his refusal to settle in the nation and his coaching record, which has never equaled his exceptional playing career, Klinsmann has faced criticism in South Korea from the beginning. His tenure as manager of the United States from 2011 to 2016, when he won the continental Gold Cup, is what made him most famous as a coach.
Prior to being approached by South Korea, he worked with Hertha Berlin for ten weeks in 2019–2020. His unrelenting optimism has irritated South Korean fans and media, and he was derided for previously asking reporters to book their accommodations in Qatar until February 10 — the day of the final.
“A coach has to be positive,” according to Klinsmann, but his team’s Asian Cup exit will put his abilities to the test. He stated, “I think there was a lot of good stuff that we saw.” “This is a developing team that still needs to improve in order to compete in the World Cup in the US, Mexico, and Canada over the course of the next two and a half years.”
South Korea, who has won two of its first two matches, will play Thailand both at home and away in World Cup qualification next month. AFP