Head coach control is important in all team sports. A journalist who has covered soccer for more than 20 years believes that managerial control is more important in soccer than in other sports. This is due to the scarcity of goals, the relatively unaccountable style of play compared to other team sports, the fact that a few split-second actions by a handful of players can decide a game, the need for precise judgment with no margin for error, and the restrictions on player substitutions, including a limited number of substitutions and the inability to re-insert substitutes. In short, coaches have relatively limited power on the field compared to other team sports, which is why one of the first things coaches do when they take over a new team is to get rid of the old guard. They keep the veterans who are receptive to their philosophy and leadership, but let go of the ones who have big heads and show signs of rebellion because they’ve become stars.토토사이트
Looking at the K League this year, it’s no surprise that teams with strong managerial control over their players performed well. Ulsan Hyundai, coached by Hong Myung-bo, hasn’t had the most impressive season, but they’ve won two straight league titles. Despite a few ups and downs, Ulsan were crowned champions, 12 points clear of the second-place Pohang Steelers.
Pohang was also coached by Kim Ki-dong. Kim has been a coach since 2016 and became head coach in 2019. He previously played for Pohang for 10 years. He knew everything about the youth system, how to run the team, and the past history of every player. The players obeyed him because of his thorough knowledge of the players and good judgment.
Lee Jeong-hyo, who made a huge splash, also took Gwangju FC by storm. The former Jeju coach took over as Gwangju’s head coach in 2022 and led the team to the top of the second division with a dominant performance, earning promotion to the first division. Lee gives his players autonomy and responsibility, but he also manages them in a very calm manner. His tireless focus on goals and tomorrow keeps his players playing and playing and playing.
Gimcheon Commerce head coach Jung Jung-yong, the second division champion, effectively manages his commerce players, many of whom he met while coaching the national team at different age groups. Gimpo FC head coach Jung Jae-woon has also groomed his unheralded players with a strong sense of dominance. Gimpo finished third in their second year in the second division. That’s with a squad that earns nearly the lowest salary of any club in the second division.
The teams in the bottom half of the table had weaker managerial control. FC Seoul’s Ahn Ik-soo impulsively left the team midseason. Suwon Samsung kept changing managers but couldn’t prevent relegation. Even Suwon FC, which barely managed to stay in the top flight, has a story of Kim Do-gyun not having full control of the squad. Seoul Eland fired Park Chung-gyun after just one year in charge. Ansan made the “disrespectful move” of installing the former Jeonnam Dragons head coach as head coach during a scouting scandal, something that shouldn’t be done by a business partner, and ended up finishing last. In addition to internal problems on the front line, Cheonan’s squad was not united due to various external pressures and unconfirmed rumors.
A manager’s control over his squad is fundamental to success in team sports. Alex Ferguson, Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, Jürgen Klopp, Gus Hiddink, and many other great coaches of the past and present have somehow gained control of their teams, albeit in different ways. A coach’s dominance can never come from his leadership alone. It’s a combination of leadership and player followership. Good results, in any organization, not just soccer, can only come from a strong fusion of leadership and followership. At the end of the day, the responsibility for performance ultimately lies with the head coach, but also, to a lesser extent, with the veterans.