Was Metsu the KFA’s top pick, or last hope?

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Was Metsu the KFA’s top pick, or last hope?

So Bruno Metsu got the nod from the Korea Football Association. By going with the most popular guy, hailed as the top choice by the sports tabloids and soccer fans that voted in a recent online poll, the KFA once again has left itself an escape hatch in case anything goes wrong. They’ll still be blamed, but it will be in watered-down form because Metsu was the choice of the masses.
Of course, the KFA needs Metu’s signature on the parchment before they call him “coach,” but that seems to be of little concern to the KFA folks, who’ve made it look like Metsu’s touching down here any minute. Right now, the whole thing looks more like a fiasco, but let’s hang tight and see how it goes.
I am still perplexed, but if what the technical committee tells us is true, all bets are on that there never really was any choice but Metsu.
Luiz Felipe Scolari, head coach of the Portuguese national team, supposedly told the committee that he was more keen on coaching a professional club team than another national team.
Senol Gunes, former head coach of the Turkish squad that finished third in the previous World Cup, failed to bridge the language barrier, for he speaks only Turkish and German. The KFA, which is by now quite familiar with the pitfalls of communication snafus thanks to Coelho’s weak English-language skills, didn’t want the same thing happening again.
Mick McCarthy, Sunderland coach in the English First Division, told the committee that he wasn’t really interested in coaching anywhere but Britain. Let’s face it: All of this stuff could have been checked ahead of time without flying all the way to Europe and the Middle East.
Nevertheless, if what the technical committee tells us is true, Metsu came across with an eager beaver attitude. He told the committee that he would lead the team from the bench (no longer possible but it’s the thought that counts ...).
Scolari, who was said to have been the runner-up among the four finalists, reportedly told the committee that he would send his assistant coach. The fact that he can’t come to Korea until July, when Euro 2004 wraps up, was another factor that tipped the scale in Metsu’s favor.
Anyway, this is what we’re being told happened. Lee Hui-taek, the committee head, said that only one candidate would be considered for the job. The KFA will now try to ink the deal with Metsu, although they’d leave open channels with the other three candidates just in case.
Here’s a taste of what we can expect if Metsu comes aboard. He has an affinity for the 4-3-2-1 or “Christmas tree” formation, which employs a flat back four defensive line.
He also loves the fast break. A four-back system is something that our national team has failed to adopt with any success. Also, without a genuine striker, it will be interesting to see how Metsu tries to make his system work.
The Senegalese are well known for covering a lot of ground thanks to their quick breaking speed. Although in Asia Korea is considered a quick team, I don’t think our players are on par ― at least when it comes to speed ― with the players from Senegal.
The key is what Metsu sees in our players and what sort of system he can apply to best fit their abilities.
In just 40 days we’re getting a new guy to captain the national team. If he ever comes, let’s throw our full support behind him. If he does not, we know whom to blame.

by Brian Lee
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