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Ranking the top 3 Offenses and Defenses (Part 4 and 5)

(from koreasushi.tistory.com)
In Part 2 and 3, I compared the last five winners of the K-League titles and the last five teams to finish at the bottom of the table.  Now I will look at the top attacking and defending teams in the K-League.  

Part IV- Offense in the K-League Classic

                    K-League Top 3 Teams in Offense and Their League Position
Year
Team
Goals
GF Avg.
Pos.
2011
Jeonbuk
67
2.23
1st

Pohang
59
1.97
2nd

Seoul
56
1.87
3rd
2012
Jeonbuk
82
1.86
2nd

Seoul
76
1.72
1st

Pohang
72
1.64
3rd
2013
Pohang
63
1.66
1st

Ulsan
63
1.66
2nd

Jeonbuk
61
1.61
3rd
2014
Jeonbuk
60
1.58
1st

Suwon
52
1.37
2nd

Pohang
50
1.32
4th
2015
Suwon
60
1.58
2nd

Jeonbuk
57
1.5
1st

Jeju United
55
1.45
6th


Obviously goals win championships.  The team in the top two in goals has been the champion in two out of the last five years.  In the other three, they have been second in the league in scoring.  In sum, if you lead the league in goals or are a close second, you will be the champion.  

No surprise that Jeonbuk has been in the top three for the last five years.  Being the richest team that spends the most money, it is evident that they have got their money's worth.  It helps having the leagues best striker (Lee Dong-gook) and one of the best creators (Leonardo).   

FC Seoul, since 2012 have struggled offensively.  Even though they were not in the top three, Seoul were decent in 2013.  Unfortunately, they were terrible in 2014 and a large part of 2015.  

I never realized how good of a team Pohang has been these last five years.  They were in the top three for four of the last five years.  Based on their budget, they really have exceeded expectations.  Maybe Hwang Sun-hong, not Choi Hee-kang, has been the best manager for the last five years.  

Finally, as the goal average has fallen league wide, it is no surprise that the goal average for the top three teams has also dropped concomitantly as well every year.  There was a slight rebound in 2015 and hopefully that will continue next year. 

Part V- Defense in the K-League Classic

                    K-League Top 3 Teams in Defense and Their League Position
Year
Team
Goals
GA Avg.
Pos.
2011
Ulsan
29
0.97
6th

Jeonnam
29
0.97
7th

Jeonbuk
32
1.07
1st
2012
Incheon
40
0.91
9th

Seoul
42
0.95
1st

Pohang
47
1.07
3rd
2013
Ulsan
37
0.97
2nd

Pohang
38
1.0
1st

Busan
41
1.08
6th
2014
Jeonbuk
22
0.58
1st

FC Seoul
28
0.74
3rd

Jeju United
36
0.95
5th
2015
Pohang
32
0.97
3rd

Incheon
32
0.97
8th

Seongnam
33
0.98
5th


No surprise, but the last two years have been quite defensive.  The top three teams in 2014 and 2015 all conceded less than a goal a game.  Compare that with the three years prior when the third place team gave up slightly more than a goal a game.  

Jeonbuk conceded a paltry 0.58 goals per game in 2014, which is the best defense of any team in the last five years.  Jeju Utd., at 0.95 goals per game conceded, was the third that year.  Any other year, including 2012, Jeju would be ranked as the top defense in the league.  This is evident why the league only averaged 1.1 goals per game in 2014.  It really was the year of defensive play.  

The question though is whether or not the quality in defensive play has increased, the quality in offensive play has decreased, or is it something else such as conservative coaching tactics.  I would say that it is probably a factor of all three.  


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