Former Korean national team manager Uli Stielike blamed what he sees as a lack of aggression in the Korean football team on the Korean War and the division of the Korean peninsula in a confusing interview on Tuesday.

“There is no peace agreement between North and South Korea, so the country is on constant alert,” Stielike said in an interview with German football website Sportbuzzer on his advice for incoming manager Jurgen Klinsmann.

“This caution is of course reflected in the character of the people, including in football. They quite defend well because they have the discipline, will, coordination and toughness required. On the offensive, however, there is a lack of creativity and risk-taking.”

Stielike, who managed Korea from 2014 until he was fired in 2017, also claimed that domestic football is not very popular in Korea and the development of players is stilted by a lack of structured youth programs and an overreliance on university education.

“With few exceptions, the domestic league is not very popular,” Stielike claimed. “The clubs are run as corporate initiatives. As big companies such as Hyundai and Samsung, which have invested heavily in football, have tightened their belts in recent years, the clubs are also suffering a lot.” 안전놀이터

When asked if Korea has a lot of football potential, Stielike said there was potential but it was not properly nurtured.

“There is potential,” he said. “But the problem in my day was that the development of young people was in the hands of schools and universities. That’s why you don’t see a large number of talented young people because they are already moving from university to neighboring countries, primarily Japan. There is a clear lack of structured promotion of young talent on the part of the association, which is based on uniform principles such as trainer diplomas and curricula.”

Stielike’s assessment of the Korean team and its potential is likely to be met with a fair amount of bemusement in Seoul. His analysis of the popularity of the sport and the players’ potential is at best outdated, although concerns about the development of players do remain an issue.

Stielike’s attempt to conflate the performance of the Korean team to the division of the peninsula, described by the JoongAng Ilbo as “making no sense whatsoever” and “a foolish diagnosis,” is a far more outlandish idea with little real supporting evidence.

Klinsmann was appointed as the new Korean national team manager on Monday. He is expected to arrive in Seoul at some point next week.

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