Yeom Ki-hoon (40) will take his first coach position at his former team Suwon Samsung. Will the “first-time coach” be able to make a remarkable turnaround.
Suwon officially confirmed through a press release on the 9th that Yeom Ki-hoon has been appointed as the ninth manager of the club. It has broken its silence in about a month since the team was confirmed to be demoted to the bottom of the Hana One Q K League 1 2023 in December last year.
2023 was the worst year for Suwon. It was stigmatized as being demoted to the second division for the first time since its foundation. The number that was brought up out of desperation was the appointment of Yeom Ki-hoon. Manager Yeom Ki-hoon, who said he took the helm under pressure, said, “I will re-enter the K-League 1 with my fans. It is a difficult situation, but as long as our fans are there, I will run towards the goal with heavy responsibility.”
For now, Suwon seems to be looking to accompany Yeom Ki-hoon for a long time. Announcing the initial contract period with Yeom Ki-hoon as two years, Suwon explained that it has decided to overcome a sense of defeat, present and implement new goals, prevent the departure of key players, and implement the team’s long-term development plan under the conditions of the new coach. “We have carefully reviewed multiple candidates for the coach.” The move is believed to be aimed at giving a clear boost to Yeom Ki-hoon, who will take his first official role as a coach.마카오토토
However, fans’ view is not that great. Yeom Ki-hoon quit his position as a playing coach during the last season and will play the role of a firefighter as acting coach. He lost 0-2 in his first game away to Incheon United, but boosted the mood in the early days by catching the Pohang Steelers to some extent. In November, he garnered Suwon FC and FC Seoul in succession to vitalize his hope of escaping the bottom of the league. However, he failed to avoid relegation by helplessly tying 0-0 in the final match between Gangwon FC and K League 1. Suwon fans openly expressed their dissatisfaction with the team, including throwing smoke bombs on the ground right after the match against Gangwon FC.
Suwon had already been pushed to the bottom of the league from the beginning of the season. It also struggled in its own way, including two managerial changes. The team took the initiative to dismiss Lee Byung-geun, 50, as the seventh manager, citing his poor performance. Former manager Lee Byung-geun, who is known as a legend of the team, left the team in disgrace. The team’s determination to overcome difficult times, which it had shouted when appointing Suwon manager, ended in 364 days.
Suwon, which desperately needed mood reform, appointed Kim Byung-soo (53), who was recognized as a tactician by leading Gangwon Province, Seoul E-Land and Yeungnam University in the past, as its eighth head coach. It also broke the “real blue” stance that Yoon Seong-hyo and Lee Byung-keun took over in 2010. Kim took the helm of Suwon in 13 years as a “non-Suwon person.”
At the time, Suwon informed that it expects Kim to quickly renew his team despite tight schedule. We will put Suwon on track.” The initial contract period was until the end of 2023.
However, coach Kim Byung-soo failed to bring Suwon back from the bottom. Although his performance has somewhat improved from the level of manager Lee Byung-keun (11 matches and five points in 11 matches), it was not enough to escape from the relegation zone with 17 points in 20 matches. Gangwon, Suwon FC, and Jeju United were also sluggish during the same period, but Suwon ranked 12th with seven more matches to go.
An official who had been with Suwon for a long time also shook his head at the club. “I heard that the coach of Suwon has a strong attachment to the club as the best reason for his appointment,” he said. “However, when I become a coach, I face realistic problems.” “I heard romance and reality are different. I saw him struggle a lot.”
A leader with close ties to Suwon also said, “It’s a pity to see Suwon’s situation. In the past, the team used to win with simple tactics. Now, it doesn’t look like that. I felt a lot of frustration watching the game. I was quite shocked to see Suwon rushing to the brink of relegation.”
Suwon even had the experience of being on the verge of being demoted in 2022. Oh Hyun-kyu (Celtic), then dubbed the “boy breadwinner,” scored a dramatic goal in a match against FC Anyang in the final round of the playoffs, and brought Suwon out of the danger of being demoted. Oh Hyun-kyu, who protected Suwon, left for the European challenge for a long time.
Meanwhile, resources such as substitutes failed to fill Oh’s vacancy. Foreign striker Mülich missed the early part of the season due to a chronic hamstring injury, but failed to display his full capacity even after his return. Strikers Ahn Byung-joon and mercenary Basarajinji remained silent. Suwon’s poor performance lasted quite a long time. With a total of 35 goals, it ranked second in scoring among the 12 teams in the K League 1.
As his performance plummeted out of control, Suwon seemed to be taking only an urgent task of changing its coach. The hurriedly-elected leaders tried various cards to overcome the crisis. They did not hesitate to change tactics, lineup changes, and formation changes during matches. However, Suwon’s performance has not changed dramatically.
Former coach Kim Byung-soo was also well aware of the current situation in Suwon. At the press conference after his appointment, Kim said, “Change is difficult right now. However, if someone had to (director Suwon), I didn’t intend to avoid the challenge. I thought I would learn more,” adding, “Wouldn’t I be criticized more than compliments? Of course. It would be valuable if I could grow?”
He had to meet the club’s expectations to some extent right away. Former coach Kim Byung-soo was also well aware of it. “Next year doesn’t mean much to me. It’s not a good form of contract for me,” he said of the contract until the end of 2024. “If I overcome difficult situations, the duration of the contract won’t matter much. I have to do what I need to do right now. If I have time to relax, I think I can answer the contract.” He was an answer that he realistically grasped that the only way to survive is to overcome the crisis of relegation.