Coach Park Hang-seo hinted at a gameplay revolution to refresh the Vietnamese team in the face of more and more “double-decker buses”, and it seems he has a little new capital to do it.
Hai “little” has grown up
The year 2022 witnessed the outstanding growth of Pham Tuan Hai, the guy first enlisted in 2021 after transferring from Hong Linh Ha Tinh Club to Hanoi FC. But for those who practice with “baby” Hai – the name that has been with the 1.72 m tall striker for a long time – his development is worth it. Even when recruiting Vietnam to close the list of candidates AFF Cup 2020, many team members were surprised with Pham Tuan Hai being eliminated at the last minute. At that time, Mr. Park, with the responsibility of a manager to create a balance for the Vietnamese team, was forced to make a choice, and he relied on Ha Duc Chinh’s experience.
Tuan Hai (11) is becoming more and more mature in the colors of the VN national team
But at this point, considering the development momentum of nearly half a year in the Vietnamese team, it is likely that the main kick will be Tien Linh and Tuan Hai. In fact, Mr. Park did not hide his intentions in the final matches of the 3rd qualifying round World Cup 2022, when the two strikers were combining very well before Tien Linh was injured in the match against Oman. Tuan Hai is strong, dashing and burning with all his heart, good at putting pressure on the opponent’s defence, reminiscent of Viet Thang in the 2008 AFF Cup. His aggressiveness will help divide the fire effectively, allowing Tien Linh to do it. I’m best at hiding and waiting for the opportunity to deliver a sharp finishing blow. A friendly match with Afghanistan at Thong Nhat Stadium on the night of June 1, when Tien Linh was given a break, Mr. Park deliberately let Tuan Hai “carry” the full 90 minutes. Tuan Hai’s result was really big with 2 goals: 1 with his head, a solo phase that went through the defender and coldly beat the goalkeeper.
When Mr. Park opens up more to new names
Tuan Hai’s story is what many young players want to see, in order to maintain their faith and strive to break into the Vietnamese team with a framework that is so familiar and understood. The absence of veteran names such as Tuan Anh, Xuan Truong, Minh Vuong … and the appearance of Thai Quy, Van Vi, Duc Chien, Tuyen Quang, Adriano Schmidt, Dinh Khuong… is blowing new life into the Vietnamese team. Mr. Park wanted to recruit Vietnam to attack more flexibly at the AFF Cup 2020 but was not really successful. And it seems that along with the revelation of the four defenders diagram like the first 25 minutes of the second half of the friendly match against Afghanistan on the evening of June 1, he has also opened up more to new names. They may still lack the top international experience, but like “baby” Hai, the new recruits will help the Vietnamese team ignite the fire of intense desire like they started with Mr. Park in the 2018 AFF Cup. .
In the first half, the Vietnamese team still attacked in the familiar 3-4-3 diagram. Although a lot of new faces are playing together for the first time, we can feel the freedom in the way to the ball. Mr. Park assessed that Chau Ngoc Quang did a good job on the attack. Thai Quy plays football rhythmically with Quang Hai in the middle of the field. Van Vi stormed to the left while Duc Chien and Schmidt vigorously contested Dinh Trong’s wise cover. In the second half, Coach Park Hang-seo switched to a 4-back formation with Ngoc Hai playing a holding midfielder and the attack also improved. But on the contrary, the gap also reveals more because the positions are still unfamiliar with the cards.
Mr. Park expressed: “In the first half, the Vietnamese team used a familiar scheme, but in the second half, we tried to kick 4 defenders in 25 minutes and the midfield revealed a lot of space. My foreign assistant was quite worried and thought that it was necessary to play safely, so the Vietnamese team returned to the familiar style of football. Obviously, to play 4 defenders, the division of roles is very important, but the focus time this time is short, so it has not been completed. Next time, especially the AFF Cup 2022, I will put the four defenders as the second tactical choice for the Vietnamese team.”
Invariably, new tactics will require new people, and let’s wait and see what new discoveries Mr. Park will have by the end of the year to serve the goal of winning the AFF Cup 2022.