It has become an almost annual event, one which is loved by journalists all over South Korea- trying to guess the identity of the next national team coach.
No official candidates have been announced by the Korean Football Association (KFA) as yet. The task of hiring and firing belongs to the body’s Technical Committee. It has been busy with many meetings over the last month.
Since the resignation of Pim Verbeek at the end of the 2007 Asian Cup in July, the ten men on the committee have been fairly casual about getting a new man in place but pressure is mounting. The start of qualification for the 2010 World Cup starts in February and the next coach should be firmly settled in place by then.
One thing is for sure, he will be foreign. That issue was settled fairly quickly despite a debate of some ferocity that raged for a time in soccer circles. Much of the media wanted an import while, perhaps unsurprisingly, Korean coaches argued that it was time for a Korean coach to be given the job.
The local leaders lost and, like the rest of us, will have to wait to find out the identity of the next foreigner – a sixth in as many years. Some writers can’t wait that long, preferring to keep close tabs on KFA house, its fax machines, printers, copiers and even garbage in attempts to reveal the identity.
Supposed contenders range from former Liverpool, Lyon and France boss Gerard Houllier, the English ex-coach of Ireland Mick McCarthy and the current coach of Denmark Morten Olsen.
Houllier is perhaps top of the list and is available – kind of. Since resigning after leading Lyon to the French title last season, the 60 …