The player who gathers the hottest gaze in Gwangju FC in the 2023 season is the Macedonian Express Asana. As soon as he stepped into the K-League, he boasted an unrivaled presence, scoring not only his debut goal but also a hat-trick. However, no matter how fierce he is, Lee Jeong-hyo, coach of Gwangju FC, is not giving him special treatment. Coach Lee is strongly demanding principles from Asani.
Gwangju, 메이저놀이터led by coach Lee, won 4-3 against Daegu FC in the 7th round of Hana 1 Q K League 1 2023 at 7 pm on the 16th at DGB Daegu Bank Park in Daegu. Thanks to consecutive goals from Kim Han-gil in the 19th minute, Sandro in the 44th minute, Heo Yul in the 15th minute, and Ha Seung-woon in the 43rd minute, Gwangju won their fourth victory of the season after a seven-goal battle.
A game that could easily be won has turned into a thrilling game until the end, so it is a game that cannot be 100% satisfied from the position of coach Lee. Still, since we managed to get 3 points, it is a game that deserves praise for the players who showed their potential. However, coach Lee drew a lot of attention from his soccer fans because of his angry expression in a close-up after the game. To those who don’t know him, he had such an angry expression that he might be the coach of Daegu, who lost the game.
Coach Lee said in a press conference after the game that he was angry because of the chronic defensive problem that was shaken greatly after the second half on the surface. It is a situation where the head hurts because of the shortcomings that cannot be resolved even after a lot of training and opponent analysis. However, in the match against Daegu that day, there was a scene where we had no choice but to ask a specific player for loose defense that could be replaced by organizational problems.
That was the situation with Ko Jae-hyeon’s goal in the 19th minute of the second half. The starting point was that Asani, who had a ball fight with Edgar near the half-line of the Gwangju camp, appealed to the judge after falling down. When Asani expressed his dissatisfaction toward the referee, Ko Jae-hyeon, who received a pass from Keita who quickly brought the ball, beat one of the defenders and solved the goal with a right-footed shot.
It was also a scene where Daegu made a clean attack until the goal, but it was a goal that would have been difficult to come by if Asani had focused on playing until the end. Finally, coach Lee replaced Asani in the 27th minute of the second half. Asani, who entered the pitch as a substitute in the 32nd minute of the first half, showed great dissatisfaction with coach Lee by walking to the bench as if he was very angry at the situation of being resubstituted, and manager Lee also showed a fiery anger at Asani.
In Asani’s situation, the re-exchange out on this day can be felt as a humiliating situation. I can’t help but be angry at being treated like this even though I have a lot of stake in Gwangju’s rise at the beginning of this season. However, if Asani had properly understood Director Lee’s guiding philosophy, he would not have suffered such humiliation.
In fact, coach Lee said at a meeting with reporters ahead of the game against Daegu that day, “It’s better to win once than to draw twice.” I tell the players, ‘If the opponent is lying down, just do it.’ That’s why the opponent doesn’t want to waste time by collapsing again. I also tell our players, ‘If you fail, score a goal.'”
Coach Lee made it clear that he absolutely hates stopping play in response to the referee’s decision or the opponent’s game attitude. At that time, I try to use ‘realistic football’ to jump one step further and create the desired situation. Gwangju players are well aware of that, so they jump up and take the next play, even when they play soccer in which they fight fiercely against their opponents.
However, Asani did not show this. Moreover, because of that situation, I conceded, and at one point I went through a sweaty situation where I was chased by 3-3. Because of this, the director could not help but be angry with Asani.
For reference, Asani showed a similar attitude in the match against Pohang Steelers in the 6th round. At that time, director Lee warned Asani through a meeting. However, the same scene came out in the next game against Daegu, and the result was even worse. Director Lee said there was no further meeting with Asani. Now, he is holding a cane and trying to focus on taming Asani.