Saturday, September 10, 2005

Bonfrere's candid comments on South Korea

After 14 months in East Asia, former South Korean national coach, Jo Bonfrere, provided Goal.com's John Duerden with some candid comments about players including:

"In the K-League they don’t play well. And when they come to the national team, they think, now we’re going to play good. But that’s not possible. It’s too big, the gap. But there is a big difference when you see a player playing in the national team and when you see him play in the clubs."

"I expected that they would be better at team play. I said to my players, if I see some of you playing [poorly] in the league, then how can I select you for the national team? How will you improve yourselves? ... If you try to improve yourself at the club level, you can also play better in the national team. But here they don’t care."

"You have to make the player understand that his club is his starting to play in the national team. If you don’t do well in your club, normally you’ll never be selected for the national team. So low is the level sometimes of the national team players. But if you play in England, and you don’t play good in Manchester, Chelsea, Arsenal, anywhere, you will never be selected for the national team ...

"But here we have players who have played for the national team before, or they played in an Olympic team, they think they have a good possibility, so that’s why you select them. But the K-League is not comparable to the English or the Dutch or German leagues. So that’s why the player, here, must do much more in the club, to make the gap with the national team or Europe much smaller."

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