Another erratic effort against an Asian minor team raised questions about Choi Kang-hee’s regime as South Korea manager.
Choi is under pressure now that South Korea will face Uzbekistan. It will be a key clash in the way to secure South Korea a place at the next World Cup. Korea comes into the match after so-so performances, and with a lot of questions to answer.
Until now, Choi wasn’t able to repeat the same kind of success he had during his stint as Jeonbuk Motors head coach, when he turned a low level K-League side into one of the best team in Asia.
In the midfield Korea struggled without the regular center midfielders Ki Sung-yueng and Koo Ja-cheol. But the first thing in which Choi was blamed was the lacking of offensive power. Against Lebanon too, the team's poor finishing was a big worry as team wasted so many goal scoring chances. Son Heung-min, the 21-year-old Hamburg striker, didn’t produce under Choi, such as Koo Ja-cheol and Ji Dong-won did. Choi was relying on Jeonguk Motors forward Lee Dong-gook but this choice didn’t pay off. He don't re-acted the playing level he showed with Jeonbuk Motors when he was lined up as forward in Choi 4-3-3 formation. Team was better in the second half when Kim Shin-wook was brought on to add more offensive power up front. So wasn’t able to reply his Hamburg success at the next level. He also lead a tactical question: where Choi should utilize him? His size doesn’t suit a lone forward role but his skills are exploited at the best when he had the chance to play near the goal rather then playing wide. An idea could be to utilize Son Heung-Min as second forward in a two-man attack. A similar problem surrounded Ji Dong-Won’s career with the National Team as he has been lined up wide left during his gigs with Sunderland and Augsburg and under Olympics head coach Hong Myeong-Bo. Under Choi, Korea seemed to be a rebuilding a team built around old player with no enough spaces for promising youngsters.