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U23 Vietnam: New Courage!

U23 Vietnam for the second time in history passed the group stage at the continental tournament. What makes the success of the golden star warriors comes from the courage to renew themselves, instead of continuing with the safe way of thinking and playing like under Coach Park Hang Seo for more than 4 years.

We would like to quote the opinion of journalist Phan Dang verbatim about the very positive changes that Coach Gong Oh Kyun and his students are currently showing. AFC U23 Championship 2022.

Coach Park and the philosophy “don’t lose first, think about goals”

“Before Mr. Park took over the Vietnamese national team, we often played with a four-back formation, and often operated with the philosophy of 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1.

The most typical is the last match at the 2017 SEA Games group stage against Thailand, then just a draw to continue, and U23 Vietnam defended with a 4-4-2 diagram. As a result, we lose badly.

Many experts immediately analyzed: 4-4-2 is an offensive chart, not a defensive chart. Use that diagram to kick the defender, the rhythm of the player is not chaotic, the distance is not broken.

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Coach Park Hang Seo brings changes to the Vietnamese team’s gameplay

Mr. Park Towards, the 4 defenders map was switched to 5 defenders, with 2 people on the sideline and 3 people in the middle. Immediately, the Vietnamese teams, from U23 to the national team, were refreshed with the 3-4-3 system and its variations like 3-5-2 or 5-3-2.

The renewal with the idea of ​​”definitely not losing before thinking about winning” has brought special vitality. The effects that the new vitality has brought about over the past 5 years is something that should not be repeated.

But Mr. Park understands that it is time to renew, because a philosophy that has lasted for 5 years has been caught by Southeast Asian competitors. The 0-0 draw against Indonesia in the group stage of the AFF Cup earlier this year (national team level), and the draw against the Philippines U23 in the group stage of SEA Games 31 a short time ago (U23 level) are two typical examples. Math quiz for Mr. Park: How to make it new?

Young teachers and the ability to train young people

And this is what Mr. Park did: introduce to VFF Mr. Gonga brand new teacher, only specializes in working as an assistant coach in young teams, from Korean youth to Indonesian youth, but has never directly led an army to fight.

But on the contrary, Mr. Park knows well: as a young person (at least younger than himself), Mr. Gong has a modern coaching mindset, and is competent enough to launch new experiments. The test level is also very well defined: Junior level, U23. Finding a new teacher, experimenting at a young level, it was a decision that could not have been more accurate.

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Coach Gong Oh Kyun with a new style of leadership

In fact, what Mr. Gong did in the last group stage of the Asian U23 Championship shows that: the 3 central defenders are replaced by 2 centre-backs, and the commonly seen 5-3-2 system is rotated to 4- 3-3 and its variations such as 4-1-4-1.

Mr. Gong also boldly used a series of “anonymous” players, boldly rotated the squad (the last match against Malaysia U23 changed the entire midfield compared to the previous match), boldly pushed his army to press on the right time.

During practice sessions, Mr. Gong plays “floor music” to stimulate the players’ motivation to practice. Before entering the tournament, especially before meeting the Korean “boggart”, Mr. Gong reminded the players to challenge themselves with confidence. A U23 team confidently playing football, confidently expressing themselves, confidently aiming for good results has been released.

From Mr. Park to Mr. Gong

From Mr. Park to Mr. Gong, it is thus a journey of constant renewal. Mr. Park refreshed the team at the time he started. Mr. Gong continued to refresh U23 at the time he appeared.

And it seems that there is a connection between them about the story of “refreshing” at this very necessary time, as evidenced by the recent friendly match against Afghanistan at Thong Nhat Stadium, the Vietnamese national team itself. Nam also rotated through to test the 4 defenders scheme. And it won’t be surprising if coming here, the national team will more or less show fresh features after the inspiration U23 Vietnam Last.

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U23 Vietnam gets out of the “safe zone” to refresh themselves

For Mr. Gong, the road ahead is still far, but the road is far away to know the horse is good, so it is not possible to hurry up and conclude anything. It can only be said that Mr. Gong’s initial renewal brought a new breath of life, just like Mr. Park’s initial renewal when he appeared at the end of 2017.

From football stories to life stories, doing any job is the same, anywhere: doing a lot, working for a long time will inevitably become dull. Therefore, daring to renew oneself, or daring to rely on others to experiment with new models, to get out of the “safe zone” that is in danger of becoming “backward zone” is of paramount importance.

To do so, one must have an open mind, must have the ability to overcome the prejudices inherent in one’s head, and most importantly, must have courage!

Thank you for the vivid, intuitive lessons that go beyond the football category that both Mr. Park and Mr. Gong have left up to now.

Phan Dang

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