This sunday I learnt the literal meaning of the infamous English chant of 'you're not fit to wear the shirt'. As the citizens sunk to a 2-0 defeat away to Seoul it became painfully obvious the team are not fit enough to last 90 minutes. So far this season Daejeon have lost all three games and failed to register a single goal, and in the process conceeded 6 goals. Quite telling is the fact that 5 of these goals have come in the second half, with 4 being after the 60th minute. On sunday the team look exhausted by the final third of the match and looked likely to conceed, perhaps more than the two they did.
Now their are two possible reasons for this that I can see. The first would be to say that the team are unprepared for the season and simply arent fit enough. However their pre season training was well documented on the clubs site and seemed to include the usual number of friendlies. Also the current manager is one of South Koreas greatest ever players, famed for his hard work and industry in the middle of the park, and played in 2 world cups and was once offered a trial with Barcelona, so I feel he would know how to prepare a team. Hes also working with a rather young squad so fitness should not be an issue.
Its the second possible explaination, one that is far harder to correct, that I feel is more likely.
Daejeon have a total inability to keep the ball.
At no point in any of the three games have I see them retain possesion for any serious amount of time and we often lose the ball within the first 3 passes or just boot it long. In most games we are playing against more experienced and higher quality players and though we can compete and scrap once we begin to tire we are easily picked off.
The team work hard to press in our own half but as soon as we get the ball it is given back to the opposition. Worringly, it took around 40 minutes for our left back to complete his first pass on sunday. This only increases the work load on our team and results in the team fading in the final third of the game.
Often a poor decision on the ball or pass means players are sprinting to make last ditch tackles or clearances whilst covering other players positions. At times on sunday it was difficult to pinpoint who was playing the defensive midfield role out of the 3 central player as they were all constantly chasing the ball everywhere.
This weekend Daejeon face Incheon, the only other team on zero points (though they have scored a goal). Incheon have not been receiving glowing reports about their standard of football and you would hope that this may be an opportunity for Dajeon to try and impose themselves on a game for the first time this year. We will see.....