Heading to Qatar without incident, Lee Ki-je’s ‘mystery’… Clinsmann’s mixed choice with Yeom Ki-hoon

Lee Ki-je (Suwon Samsung), left side back of the Korean national soccer team, has been selected as a member of Qatar without any surprise. National soccer team coach Jurgen Klinsmann included Lee in the final entry of the 2023 Asian Cup of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

It is an unexpected decision. Since Klinsmann’s inauguration, Lee has consistently joined the national team. He played in two A-match games in March and made appearances again in June. He also played in all six matches in the second half of the season from September to November. As a player who was actually close to starting the team, it was natural for him to be on the roster for the Asian Cup. There are no question marks over Klinsmann’s decision.

What is questionable is how he played for his team. Lee Ki-je has not played a single game for Suwon Samsung since the match against Incheon United on September 30. Given that he has continued to play for the A team, it is difficult to see it as an injury problem. It is impossible for a player who cannot participate to play in all the national team matches.

Coincidentally, the time when former acting coach Yeom Ki-hoon took the helm coincides with the time when Lee Ki-je disappeared. Acting coach Yeom took the helm on Sept. 27. Lee Ki-je was the only player in the match against Incheon, the first game he played under acting coach Yeom. 슬롯머신

Suwon was on the verge of being demoted throughout the season. The same was true at the end of the season. It is a mystery that Lee Ki-je, who plays as a starting member of the national team, did not contribute to the team’s performance. Even Klinsmann said, “Lee Ki-je had a difficult time.

We can’t be involved in matters involving our team,” he said, hinting that Lee had a problem with the situation. “Whenever we convened this year, we always showed good performance in the national team. He fully played his role. More than anyone else, he shows professional attitude. There have always been side-back concerns. Until the Asian Cup, I will play with Lee and Kim Jin-soo.

Now, the two players are qualified to play in a big competition,” Lee said. “In fact, Lee played his part every time he took part. It wasn’t a huge performance, but he stayed true to his role as an assistant to the brilliant strikers.

He is the only national team player for Suwon Samsung. Why didn’t Lee Ki-je make an appearance at a K-League game? Acting President Yeom can only know the exact reason. For a coach leading a team, he can rule out a player from participating if he or she feels a sense of problem with the player’s attitude or posture. The decision could be made based on skills and style.

No matter how different the plans and styles are, there is no national team coach who can appoint a player who is so poor that he can’t get a chance to play in a relegation zone team. It is strange to see a player from a non-European team and the lowest ranking team in the top-division league not participating in a single event in his team, and the team is taking him to the Asian Cup. It can be said that either Klinsmann or Yeom made a decision that was difficult to understand.

What is certain is that for any reason, a choice without a national team player will be questioned. As a result, Suwon Samsung was relegated. I don’t know if the replacement who played on the left side without Lee Ki-je performed well, but it’s hard to say that.

What if Lee Ki-je had played in the K League 1 game at the end of the season? It is a pointless assumption, but it may be the most regrettable point when Suwon Samsung, which received a disastrous report card of relegation, recalls 2023.

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