“We don’t have enough time to control the ball.”
Since taking over at Suwon Samsung, Kim Byung-soo has coached four league games and one Korea Football Association (FA) Cup match. In five games, he has a record of two wins and three losses. In the league alone, they have a 1-3 record. The results are not satisfactory, but there is a definite change in attitude.
The keyword is “initiative. Kim is focusing on increasing ball possession time with the wingbacks pushing forward, even though he is playing with a three-back. “We’re focused on playing a good game,” Kim said, “and we don’t have enough time on the ball. That’s the problem. We need to get that back first. We need to start by fighting equally with our opponents.”
Kim’s first game in charge, against Ulsan Hyundai (36%), the team failed to outplay their opponents in terms of possession, even against Gangwon FC (47%) and Jeonbuk Hyundai (38%). However, in Round 15 against Jeju United, despite coming from behind to lose 1-2, they controlled the game for much of the match. Suwon had 67% of the ball in the first half. In the second half, they were pushed back by Jeju, but still had 59% overall possession. It was the highest percentage in four league games under Kim.
Of course, possession is not a guarantee of victory. However, controlling possession and increasing time of possession also means that the opposition will be able to concede fewer threatening shots. Suwon’s current position at the bottom of the table means they need results.
This is where the midfield trio of Go Seung-bum, Han Seok-jong, and Kim Bo-kyung come into play. This midfield combination is as good as any in K League 1. The offensive balance isn’t bad either. All three of them are good at ball possession and keeping, as well as getting forward.
Han Seok-jong, who joined Suwon in the summer of 2020, is a midfielder who lacks pace but has excellent ball possession and passing skills. He was a key player in both the 2020 and 2021 seasons, but lost his prominence last season due to a series of injuries. This season, he also had fewer chances early on. Since Kim’s arrival, he has played 260 minutes in three games. 스포츠토토
Kim has used Hankyoung, who is similar in style to him from his time at Gangwon FC, as a key resource. The overall coordination and operation of the game started at his feet. If Han Seok-jong gets fitter and becomes a presence in the third line, it will free up Go Seung-beom and Kim Bo-kyung to take the pressure off the defense and create more offensive opportunities. If they can find their rhythm and divide their roles, it will be a huge boost for Suwon.