“Analyzing both teams’ situations broadens my perspective on soccer.”
Former Jeonnam head coach Jeon Jeon-jun, 50, who is a member of the Technical Study Group (TSG), a “think tank” that analyzes the performance of professional soccer’s K League and researches ways to improve it, said he is opening new eyes to the game.
“While serving on the TSG, I looked at both clubs from a third-party perspective, and it definitely changed the way I analyzed the game,” he said. “When I coach, I often worry about analyzing the other team’s strengths and weaknesses and finding ways to deal with them, but studying and looking at both teams’ situations broadens my horizons.”
TSG members are former and current K League coaches who hold a P-class license or a relevant doctoral degree to ensure their expertise. They are dispatched to all K League 1 and 2 venues to watch games and evaluate players, and select the Best 11 and Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the round through match evaluation meetings.
The former coach’s analytical data is highly valued within the Korean Football Association. During his coaching career, he was affectionately known as “Genius” by fans. The former Olympic and A-team coach has coached in Jeonnam and Jeju, South Korea. He was especially recognized by current Indonesian national team coach Shin Tae-yong as a tactician when he led South Korea to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
In 2021, Jeon led Jeonnam to the first ever Korean Football Association (FA) Cup title for a second division (K League 2) team. After losing the first leg of the final 0-1 at home to Daegu FC, the team came back to win the second leg 4-3 on away goals, thanks to the away goals rule. It is said to be a game where the tactical skills of the former coach, who responded to the inferior power in a calm and planned manner, were properly displayed.
Nevertheless, he struggled as the head coach of Jeonnam with a poor squad in an increasingly competitive second-tier promotion race. He finally relinquished the reins in June last year. “I was offered TSG immediately (after leaving Jeonnam), but I was so tired and exhausted at the time. I wanted to take a break, but after a while, I started watching the games again,” he laughs, adding, “This year, I joined TSG, and I left behind the memories of the hardships on the field and became passionate again.”
Analyzing the different team colors up close, he also breaks down preconceived notions. “In the past, I used to think it was a negative thing for a team to play with a few main players, but now I think it’s an important strategy. It’s not about sticking to something, it’s about making the best use of my resources,” says Jeon, who emphasizes that the tactics of teams in the K League have matured significantly through TSG. “It’s definitely different from what it was a year or two ago. I think the main factor is that the tactics have improved,” he said.
Regarding the K League 2 (Part 2), which he played in, he said, “In the past, teams that only defended tried to link up with the offense. Teams that only defend and get results are actually read within three games. This is because the pressure is weak. Now, whether it’s a three-back or a four-back, they’ve evolved to organize themselves according to their team and build up according to the opponent.” “Naturally, the way the weaker team catches the stronger team has also changed from the simple method of defending, counting, and winning set pieces in the danger zone to a variety of topics such as ‘how to put numbers’,” he said.바카라사이트
He also continues to study the Spanish La Liga, which has an MOU with the K League. “There are many different styles of teams. Barcelona has one or two promised plays that make it difficult for opponents to play their shape. Real Madrid play with bold lines but maximize individual stats. Villarreal keeps changing to suit the team they’re playing. Atletico Madrid is good at attacking based on their famous variation of the three-back (3-5-2).”
The former coach’s ultimate goal in running TSG is to help improve the quality of the game in the K League. He also vowed to bring an “evolved genius” to the table if given the opportunity to return to the field. “I think it’s good for a coach to focus on the maximum capabilities of the players you have. “I think that’s what you want to do as a coach, focus on what your players are capable of, and then the tactical ideas that go along with that,” he promised.