Coach Colin Bell (England), who took office as the Korean women’s national soccer team’s command tower in October 2019, is a foreign command tower that has received the strongest support from the Korea Football Association (KFA) in all men’s and women’s football history.
She signed an unusual contract extension twice. Following February of last year, she signed a new contract for the second time in April, three months before the World Cup finals. Regardless of the World Cup results, the KFA entrusted Coach Bell with the top Korean women’s soccer team until December 2024.
She specifically encloses the details of her second extension contract, which doubles as an advisor for the women’s soccer age-group. However, at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, where she accompanied and competed with the top Korean women’s soccer team A for nearly four years, Bell’s leadership was questioned.
Coach Bell said whenever the national team fails to overcome major hurdles, such as failing to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and winning 2-0 in the Asian Cup final against China last year and suffering a shocking 2-3 come-from-behind defeat, “I have to improve my physical and strength.” He repeated the words “I have to improve my defense concentration”.
However, on the 25th of last month, after losing helplessly 0-2 in the first leg of the World Cup group stage against Colombia, which they worked hard on, “the player’s decision-making was not quick, and he needs to improve his physicality more. We need to do more high-intensity training,” he said, and after a 0-1 defeat in the second leg against Morocco on the 30th, he said, “We couldn’t show the full capabilities of the team. Korea was too slow,” he emphasized several times, not much different from before.
It is no different from not being able to overcome the weaknesses of the national team that he has been aware of for the past four years.
In particular, even though the group stage was not over, as if briefing after the tournament, remarks pointing out the reality of Korean women’s soccer became a gossip. Right after the match against Morocco, “Most players in the WK League think, ‘It’s good if we win, but it’s not bad if we lose. It makes no sense. This World Cup is a reality. If you win, you rise, if you lose, you fall. You have to open your eyes,” he said in a voice.
She also compared it to Germany, where she lived for a long time. “Germany will undergo restructuring if it struggles even after success. If the system is the same, the result must be the same. As a manager, (this World Cup) feels like a warning. If you are not successful, it means that the work you are doing is not working.”
Regardless of the authenticity of Coach Bell’s remarks, it is a misleading statement for players who have the possibility of advancing to the round of 16 and who want to focus on the final match against Germany. There were many who interpreted the ‘failure’ early on as a fait accompli and putting the blame on the players and the domestic women’s soccer environment.
Even after returning to Incheon International Airport on the 5th, he only emphasized another blueprint rather than self-responsibility for his failure.
“As a manager, I am responsible for the team. It is also my role to analyze the reasons for the results of this competition. I will analyze it soberly. I will reflect on what I have learned and experienced at this competition.”
The fact that Korean women’s soccer team entrusted Coach Bell with the baton for a long time until the World Cup was not given ‘learning time’, but ‘proof’. This is the reason why the criticism of many soccer players follows.
The tactical capability was also close to failing. Goalkeeper Yoon Young-geul (Heken), who made a mistake in the match against Colombia, has been playing in Europe but has hardly played a real game. In Heken, Jennifer Falk (Sweden) is a regular starter. Coach Bell eventually entrusted veteran Kim Jeong-mi (Incheon Hyundai Steel) as the goalkeeper for the remaining two games in the 2nd and 3rd matches of the group stage.스포츠토토
In addition, at the time of the chase in the second half of the Colombia match, Jo So-hyun, who was the only central agent in the second line who contributed with effective pressure, was filled in only as a striker and provided an excuse for a counterattack. In the game against Morocco, the tall striker Park Eun-seon was selected as the starter after seeing the opponent’s side loophole, but he consistently made a monotonous cross and only made 0 effective shots. After Park Eun-sun left in the second half, there were no tactics to speak of.
Besides, goalkeeper Ryu Ji-soo and defender Lim Seon-joo were injured during the tournament and Lee Geum-min suffered from poor physical condition. Team management was also difficult to give a good score.
The 1-1 draw with Germany in the 3rd game was the result of the fighting spirit of the golden generation, such as Ji So-yeon and Cho So-hyun, who virtually won the last World Cup, and newcomers such as Casey Fair, Eugene, and Chun Garam. Now is the time to calmly check whether Korean women’s football is making progress in line with the buzzword raised by coach Bell.