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Writer's Chat: Daejeon Citizen vs Ansan Mugunghwa

The two sides that finished first and second during the 2014 season go head-to-head on Saturday with Daejeon Citizen entertaining the newly re-branded Ansan Mungunghwa. With Daejeon still looking for their first goal, let alone win, and Ansan on the back of two straight wins to begin the 2016 season, Paul Neat and Kyle Gobler sat down to discuss what should be an interesting forthcoming match. 

Paul asks, Kyle answers:

Paul Neat: Ansan have started rather well, you must be pleased with what you’ve seen so far. Can it continue?

Kyle Gobler: Two wins out of two matches. I’ll take that anytime. It is hard to get too excited as in past seasons we have started well and just fallen off.

PN: Ansan of course have a rather unique situation in that they don’t have much say in who they sign, how do you rate this current batch of players?

KG: The current squad has performed better than expected so far. There wasn’t much excitement about any particular player coming in. We’ve produced goals, which was a big issue with last season’s squad. Not sure if there is a single constant goal scorer or if goals will continue to be spread around. Either way, we have been attacking much more attractively and frequently than in previous seasons. So hopefully that sticks.

PN: How far do you think Ansan will go this season?

KG: In the league table I see Ansan sitting in the upper half at the end of the season. I’m not quite sold that this early we are in the promotion slots. I’d like to see them do well in the FA Cup, hopefully surprise a few folks. We have a desirable pathway in the competition, starting with two university teams.

PN: The last time Daejeon and Ansan were in the same league they battled it out for the title, surely lightening can’t strike twice?

KG: I’d love to see Ansan battle ANYONE for a title. I think Daejeon has a stronger team than early results have indicated. So you never know…

PN: The rebrand is a good move. Do you think this will encourage more people to come through the turnstiles?

KG: That’s the hope. There was a good crowd for the home opener this past Sunday, despite the poor weather. I believe if the team remains competitive then people will continue to attend in good numbers. I also like the new name, the random green kits, eh, less so.

PN: Any predictions for this Saturday’s game?

KG: This will be a fun game. After seeing both teams play over the past weekend. Both have a bit to work on defensively. I see both teams putting at least one in the back of the net. Not going to put a score but a tie would not surprise me.

Kyle asks, Paul answers:

Kyle Gobler: Daejeon is not of to a great start this year, losing their first two matches. What are some of the team strengths and how do they help “the Purples” turn it around?

Paul Neat: Daejeon teams of the past have used pace to their advantage, I am not sure that Daejeon have that this season. Thus, it looks as those Daejeon will be hoping that their passing game is going to produce the desired results. You and I were both at the game on Saturday against E-Land, Daejeon bossed the second half but couldn't find that killer instinct in the final third. The forward line is new, I am hoping that it is just a case of letting the team gel before everything clicks into place. Once the forward line and midfield build up as solid understanding hopefully the passing game, which Coach Choi is insistent on, will begin to work..

KG: So far Daejeon has used two goalkeepers. Do you expect to see any changes to the starting lineup? If so, where?

PN: Coach Choi was quick to wield the axe and drop Lee Bum-Soo so it's possible he could do the same for the outfield players. Perhaps we will see the same eleven that finished the game against E-Land with Kim Dong-Chan coming in. Hwang In-Beom hasn't featured yet, Daejeon fans will be hoping to see him in the side as soon as possible. He's a real prospect and could just be that livewire that shocks the forward line into action.

KG: What is your opinion on where Daejeon will finish this season?

PN: Despite the rocky start I still believe Daejeon will mount a challenge for the playoffs. I don't think there is enough tactical know-how in the dugout nor is there enough pace in the team to really challenge for the title. But, if Daejeon are to do that they need to get off the mark sooner rather than later.

KG: Seeing Daejeon's offseason moves in the transfer market, I was pretty excited to see how certain players performed. Who has had an impact so far and who do you believe will help as the season progresses?

PN: I have liked the look of Gustavo, the Brazilian forward whose corner won the (missed) penalty against Daegu. He has looked like an intelligent player with bags of technique. He has played a lot deeper than I ever imagined he would do, perhaps this is Coach Choi's way of getting the ball up the pitch; having someone with the technical skills and vision to come deep.

KG: Former Ansan forward Seo Dong-Hyeon was missed when he left after his Police service. Do you see him punishing his former team on Saturday?

PN: His signing was greeted with much enthusiasm but thus far all he has been able to contribute is a rather tame penalty against Daegu. At 2-0 down Citizen had a chance to get back into the game but Seo Dong-Hyeon's penalty was all too easy for the goalkeeper and still the Purples are looking for their first goal of the season. I am sure it will come good for him and indeed Daejeon eventually, though.

EDIT: A reliable source informs me that Seo Dong-Hyeon is out until May with a facial injury he picked up against Daegu.

KG: As for predictions, The series between these two teams is split all-time (1 win apiece and 2 draws), The home team hasn't lost, could Ansan be Daejeon's upward turning point?

PN: If Ansan get an early goal Daejeon will struggle to recover. I am predicting a draw but if Ansan score first then I think it could be the first away win between these two sides. Daejeon seem to have a knack of going ahead early on and not killing the game off. This has come back to haunt them a few times and points have been dropped. If Daejeon score first, it will be a draw. If Ansan score first, Ansan will win.

1 comment

  1. Nice preview guys, looks like Daejon are wishing that they could turn the table upside down :-D


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