Monday, 30 April 2012

Yoo must be joking

Ulsan 2-0 Daejeon Citizen
28th April 2012

This week was perhaps the worst performance by DCFC so far, and coming in such a poor season that takes some doing. None of the issues surrounding goal scoring or ball retention from the last few weeks have been addressed and Yoo seems to have no idea about how to move forward. The side and tactics selected were even more negative  than recent games, with the team playing 4-1-5-0 at times. Yoo seems to have accepted defeat before the game had started and was aiming for damage limitation. There was no apparent attacking philosophy or idea on how Daejeon might score and even once they were trailing 1-0 with 20 minutes to the tactic remained the same. To send out a side who is either incapable of scoring or has no intention to do so is criminal. It was further compounded by the fact Ulsan rested key players due to AFC commitments


Gu was the only recognised striker on the pitch, but he is a young player who has yet to score a league goal in the handful of appearances he has made in his career to date. Leo was demoted to the bench and Kevin was completely omitted from the squad without any reason given to supporters.

Depressing shape
From the start of the game it became painfully clear Daejeon had no real intent of attacking. The Ulsan centre halves were afforded complete freedom on the ball; they would would take it from their keeper and stroll forward to the edge of their half before choosing a pass. At this level a high percentage of goals are scored via forcing errors by the opposition defence, a tactic that has been used continually against Daejeon. The Ulsan defenders were never subjected to this and at times Daejeon retreated to their own half leaving Ulsan defenders as the only players in camera shot. They would bring the ball forward and probe the Daejeon defensive lines repeatedly. This continued throughout the entire game, even when Ulsan took the lead with 20 minutes remaining. Seeing a side play without even a lone striker pressing in some way is the closest I have seen a side come to waving a white flag at the start of a game.

The Game

Rather predictably from the shape Yoo set out, Daejeon saw little of the ball and looked even less like scoring than in previous fixtures. Ulsan were not creating many clear-cut chances but were testing the defensive organisation of Daejeon at will and under very little pressure. The sheer amount of purple shirts in Daejeon's defensive third ensured it would not be straight forward for Ulsan, but it still felt inevitable. The deadlock was finally broken in the 70th minute by substitute Maranhao. As Daejeon legs tired and concentration waned, short inter-passing down the right-hand side cut a path through the Daejeon defence and left Maranhao with the simplest of finishes after cutbacks from the winger. There was very little response from Daejeon after the first goal, and following the second in the 79th minute the game descended to walking pass, with Ulsan defenders standing still on the ball and watching the clock wind down.

Decision making
A constant issue for the Citizen in previous games has been poor decision-making on the ball. In choosing the wrong pass or option Daejeon have often both scuppered their own attacks and caused themselves more trouble in defence. This week Daejeon saw so little of the ball its decision-making was rarely an issue. However, when a team is playing so defensively, set pieces become a crucial part in any attempting of getting points from the game, and it is here that some truly awful decisions were made. On the stroke of half-time with the game still goalless, Daejeon had a free kick 10 yards inside the Ulsan half. As would be expected, Daejeon filled the box in what was their first real threat of the game. It is almost unimaginable what went through the players head then, when he decided to shoot from what must have been an impossible position. Daejeon's first possible threat had been wasted.

During the second half the Purples had a succession of free kicks midway in to the Ulsan half from wide left. It has become apparent that there has been no work on set pieces in preparation for the season as every single set piece was either straight at the goalkeeper or aimed at runners that had gone in a different direction. To waste such opportunity, especially when the game is still level and your side have no goal threat from open play, is despicable.

I fear Yoo has ran out of ideas on how to make DCFC an attacking threat. His only answer to the side's poor defending has been to throw on more defenders and retreat further and further towards the Daejeon goalkeeper. This has not stopped DCFC conceding, and has just resulted in sides taking longer to break down the Purple's defence, whilst allowing opposition full-backs and defenders to advance at will. Yoo must quickly come up with alternatives otherwise at this rate and level of performance it can only be a matter of time until he is replaced.

1 comment:

  1. We'll be waiting for photos with the hat.