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Coach Lee Jeong-hyo, who received 'recommendation from the club owner', "You have to decide what kind of soccer you want to play first"

Klinsmann seen by Petrescu as a 'foreign leader' "A coach must speak through results"

“Each team has its own style of soccer that the coach thinks about.

I am curious about what kind of soccer the Korean national soccer team has in mind."

Lee Jeong-hyo, coach of Gwangju FC in the K-League 1 professional soccer team, must have been quite embarrassed when he saw the media reports on the 13th.

It was a time when former national soccer team coach Jurgen Klinsmann was expected to be dismissed.

Gwangju Metropolitan City Mayor Kang Ki-jeong, owner of the Gwangju club, spoke with reporters. At the tea party, he advocated for the dismissal of former coach Klinsmann and recommended, “It would be good to ask for understanding and send coach Lee Jeong-hyo as the national team coach.”

The claim that the team owner should directly send the head coach to the national team is a statement that is rarely found even as a joke in the soccer world.

Coach Lee met with reporters ahead of the 'Hana Bank K-League 2024 Opening Media Day' held at the Seoul Grand Ballroom of The Plaza Hotel in Jung-gu, Seoul on the 26th and laughed, saying that he learned of Mayor Kang's remarks through an article.

Coach Lee said, “I wonder how much you didn’t trust the (national team) leader before you would have said something like that.

“I think they praised me for my ability,” he said.

At the same time, he pointed out that ‘philosophy’ is the most important in running the national team.

Coach Lee said, “You have to decide what kind of soccer you are going to play and bring in a manager who fits that.

“I don’t think you bring him in just because he’s famous without considering what kind of soccer he has played or what system he has established,” he said.

After former coach Paulo Bento, who emphasized ‘build-up soccer,’ left the baton for the last time at the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

Questions about the philosophy of the game have not often been raised in Korean soccer, and even as former coach Klinsmann's successor is being selected, only the coach's nationality, whether he accepts a temporary position, and whether he has the charisma to dominate the locker room are emerging as major issues.

Regarding the management of individual clubs, Coach Lee has always emphasized that the team system, soccer philosophy, and long-term vision of the leader must all be aligned in order to be reborn as a 'healthy team' and a prestigious club.

Coach Lee said, "We just select (players) and ask, 'How do we do that? I don’t think it’s a case of saying, ‘Please do it.’

“I think it is right to bring in a coach who fits the basic philosophy of our Korean team,” he said.

Jeonbuk Hyundai's coach Dan Petrescu, who had encountered former coach Klinsmann on the field as an attacker and defender during his active career, also said that he had heard in detail about the process of former coach Klinsmann's dismissal.

Coach Petrescu, who played as a fullback, entered the English Premier League (EPL) by joining Sheffield in the 1994-1995 season.

At that time, former coach Klinsmann was playing in the front lines for Tottenham Hotspur.

Coach Petrescu said, These days, when it comes to coaches, results are ultimately the most important thing."

If (former coach Klinsmann had won the Asian Cup), there might have been a different situation rather than dismissal."

He added, "If the results are not good, everything becomes a problem.

Problems that did not exist are bound to appear."

Coach Petrescu stated that he does not view the 'concurrent position', in which one head coach commands both the club team and the national team, as negative.

Even though he was a club team manager, he received offers to coach the national team three times from the Romanian Football Association.

He is said to have made a 'counter-offer' to take up the position concurrently.

However, he said that it was canceled due to opposition from the association.

Coach Petrescu said, "I think the level of Korean leaders is very high.

In that respect, I don't think it's such a bad idea to temporarily take charge of (two teams) for a short period of time."

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