The most ‘sensational’ team in the K-League this season is Gwangju FC.
Gwangju is ranked 3rd in K League 1, which has completed 30 rounds. 온라인카지노 Gwangju, with 48 points with 13 wins, 9 draws and 8 losses, appears to be relatively comfortably ahead of 4th place Daegu FC (44 points), 5th place FC Seoul, 6th place Jeonbuk Hyundai, and 7th place Incheon United (43 points). With three games remaining in the regular round, it is expected that the team will settle in Final A unless there are major surprises.
This year, Gwangju is gaining more sensational popularity or attention than Gyeongnam FC, which took second place in 2018. Gyeongnam at that time had many similarities with Gwangju. Although it ranked 10th in the labor cost rankings, it was able to rise to second place despite spending a small amount of money. Gwangju is the team with the lowest labor costs in the league. The trend of maintaining 3rd place at the end of the season with 2nd division level money is something in common with Gyeongnam.
There is a difference. In 2018, Gyeongnam achieved success with an overwhelming foreign player named Malkeng. Malkeng was the top scorer with 26 goals, and after winning the season’s best 11 and MVP awards, he moved to China with a huge transfer fee. In addition to Malkyung, there were excellent players across various positions, including Kunimoto, Choi Young-jun, and Park Ji-su.
On the other hand, Gwangju does not have a flashy player composition, but shows a stable performance in offense and defense, leading the game and operating aggressively while conceding the lowest number of goals (28 goals). They are clearly establishing a style that includes strong pressure, quick offense and defense transitions, and consistency in moving forward through short passes. Above all, it is more attractive in that the squad does not back down even when facing a much more flashy opponent.
Kim Eun-joong, former coach of the under-20 national soccer team who is active in the Technical Research Group (TSG) of the Korea Professional Football League, said, “I believe that the driving force behind Gyeongnam’s performance was that Gyeongnam was a special foreigner at the time and had good players.” He added, “Gyeongnam was also great, but personally, I prefer Gwangju soccer. He is a role model that Korea needs. Not only are they excellent in organization and tactics, but I believe that their tenacity to not give up and to continue until the end is the reason for their high-altitude march. Director Lee Jeong-hyo is creating a culture where people do their best until the end. That should become a habit in Korean soccer as well. There is no boredom and it always moves quickly. “He is watching and learning a lot as a leader,” he said.
Unlike Gyeongnam, there are no special stars in Gwangju. No player is scoring double digits. Asani, with 7 points, is the top scorer. Rather than relying on one or two players, Gwangju’s strength lies in the consistent performance of all players inside and outside the 18 players entering the team.
JTBC commentator Kim Hwan said, “Gwangju is a team with more than 20 players preparing to play. “The gap between starters and non-starters is not that big,” he said. “Whoever enters stands out in that he plays as promised and does his part. Gyeongnam was strong in holding down the opponent, but Gwangju seemed to be able to overcome their weaknesses with organization and tactics even though they lacked finishing skills. “I think the ‘chemistry’ of the team created by coach Lee Jeong-hyo is one level higher than Gyeongnam,” he said.
In fact, coach Lee Jeong-hyo, who transformed Gwangju into a strong team, receives more attention than most players. Although he is from ‘Vista’, who has never played for the national team during his active career, he is emerging as an unrivaled figure by competing solely with his leadership and skills. Following Gwangju’s victory in K-League 2 and direct promotion last year, Gwangju achieved new records in K-League 1, including the most wins and most points in a season, and is attracting attention as a next-generation leader.
JTBC commentator Kim Hyeong-beom said, “If you look at the story on site, it looks like the director has a clear plan and method. Director Lee Jeong-hyo is the director who suggests ways to move efficiently even without running a lot, rather than simply giving abstract instructions such as ‘You must run a lot.’ “He clearly has a philosophy,” he said. “He is excellent in terms of tactics and soccer, and he seems to know how to create an atmosphere for the team, which is even more impressive.” This is a character that Korean soccer needs. “He is a director who proves that he can be a leader even if he is not a star,” he said. In terms of presence as the head coach, Coach Lee is also firmly establishing his position.
He will have to watch more as the season is not over yet, but the voice that Gwangju in 2023 will be more sensational than Gyeongnam in 2018 is weighted.