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2016 K-League Worst XI

Following up his Best XI, here's Miro Tramita's team of the worst players who were regularly given a chance by their managers, but did poorly time and time again. 

One could argue there are even worse players, but I've tried to go with the ones who were often starting games or the ones who were expected to make a positive difference for their teams, but their performances often helped the opposition. I've opted for 3-5-2 formation.

GK + Defense

GK - Kim Jin-young (Pohang)
K-League offers plenty of goalkeeping errors and it's difficult to find a reliable keeper. Kim forced his way into Pohang's net this season following Shin Hwa-yong's drop in form and the team not doing great, but it was a move that definitely didn't work. Kim was at fault for a number of goals that often cost his team points.

CB- Kang Min-soo (Ulsan)
The 30-year-old slotted right into Ulsan's XI following his return from military duty and it took Yoon JH until May to realise what a liability Kang is. He was then pushed out of the XI by a bit more solid Korean National Team U23 member Jung Seung-hyun, but Kang continued with his shaky performances whenever given a chance.

CB - Kim Gwang-seok (Pohang)
Kim hasn't missed many games this season, but it's beyond me why. I'm confident in saying Pohang would have been better off if any other player had started the majority of games in his place. If I had to pick the worst defender in the league who starts regularly, it would be Gwang-seok.

CB- Lim Jong-eun (Jeonbuk)
Jeonbuk's supporter and columnist Matt Binns branded him a “serial wanderer” and it really suits his game perfectly. He saw plenty of game time following his surprising move from Jeonnam, but that was mostly due to injuries to better players. He certainly hasn't done enough to convince the manager of his qualities and he was dropped as soon as other CBs got fit. I wouldn't be surprised to see him go after just one season at Jeonbuk.


RWB - Park Sun-yong (Pohang)
Another Pohang player makes the team. Park was deployed at RB/RWB as well as CM/DM roles this season, but he was quite poor wherever he played and eventually lost his place in September.

DM - Lee Jong-sung (Suwon BW)
Lee was completely out of the squad at the start of the season following his return from loan at Daegu, but somehow forced his way into the XI in July and started every game when available from then. However, I never saw him have a great game and he definitely didn't help the team improve defensively.

DM - Shin Hyung-min (Jeonbuk)
Probably the player who made the most impact at Jeonbuk following his return from military duty in terms of games he started. He seemed like a perfect solution to Jeonbuk's DM problem, but he definitely wasn't able to replace the injured Lee Ho.

LWB - Jang Hak-young (Seongnam)
The experienced full back retained his place in the Seongnam XI this season, but he definitely wasn't as solid as in 2015. Seongnam's defence was much worse in general, but Jang's form had changed the most since last season. He offered very little going forward while opposition's wingers enjoyed a lot of freedom breaking down his side.

AM - Moon Chang-jin (Pohang)
Many, including myself, expected Moon to be a key player for Pohang this season and transfer his performances from the U23 National Team to league games. However, that never really happened and he rarely offered the creativity or finishing that he's shown for the national team. Hopefully, he can step up his game next year!


ATT - Edu (Jeonbuk)
Edu only had a little more than 3 months to prove whether his signing was a good decision or not and it might be a little harsh to include him here due to that reason. However, given the expectations and the fact in-form Luiz was let go to make a space for him, he really failed to convince K League followers this move was the right one for anyone. It wouldn't be a surprise to see him go at the end of the year.

ATT- Lee Jung-hyup (Ulsan)
Uli’s favourite came on a season long loan from Busan and was expected to prove what the KNT manager sees in him. However, he started the season really poorly and Ulsan eventually brought Mendy in during the summer. The Frenchman quickly became the first choice striker and pushed Lee out to the role of impact sub. I'm not too sure he did well from the bench either.


  1. Shin Hyung-min Worst??
    I do not agree.
    He is obviously better player than Lee Ho.

    1. There might be an argument for Shin as better overall, but most of the Sangju players really struggled when they returned to their parent clubs. I think Hyung-min falls into that category as well.


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