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Writer's Chat: Daegu vs Suwon Bluewings


Daegu and Suwon both had disastrous starts to the new Kleague season last week dropping to defeat at the hands of Pohang and Jeonnam respectively and both will be looking to get back on track with a win at Daegu stadium this coming Saturday. Can Daegu's new Brazilians get off the mark or will Suwon's Dejan Damjanovic get back to his scoring ways? Here, our Daegu columnist, Muyeol Jung, and our Suwon columnist, Scott Whitelock discuss those questions. 


First, Scott Asks, Muyeol Answers

Scott: After being tipped by some commentators to have a decent season Daegu got off to the worst possible start being comfortably beaten by Pohang last weekend. How do you think the team will react to that defeat?

Muyeol: To be frank, I think the result was a bit surprising and unfair, and the final score didn’t reflect Daegu's performance at all. Apart from the three goals scored there were few chances created by Pohang and Daegu looked sharper and more accomplished in general play.

I assume that the playing squad and manager would share my viewpoint. Also, given the fact that Daegu historically struggle on the opening day of the season the result can be forgiven. I am sure that Andre’s side will be sweating and sharpening their axes in preparation for Suwon, and they won't care too much about the result.

SW: Daegu relied so heavily on their foreign imports last season and although the majority of them have moved onto pastures new, do you think the new boys brought in can have the same influence on the league this year?

MJ: Thus far the new Brazilians have received a warm welcome from Daegu fans. However, in the cold light of day, their performance against Pohang was not strong enough to live up to the high expectations from the fans. Nevertheless, the reason why fans are optimistic are that it was their debut match as well as their skills (like dribbling skills, speed, and strength) look decent. In addition, the match was played without Cesinha, who is a key player for Daegu. Therefore, once Cesinha is back on the pitch, the two new boys could create more chances.

SW: Daegu played very well against Suwon last year and their battling, defensive performances got them 2 draws. Do you expect Andre, the manager, to deploy the same tactics or should Suwon expect something a little fresher from Daegu this term?

MJ: Honestly, for Daegu, there’s no variety of choices to opt for. I think Andre will deploy the same counter attacking strategy but with one very subtle change to the last starting 11. I would expect that Hong Seung-hyun would replace Ko Seung-bum who can’t play because of the clause which prohibits him playing against his parent team while on loan.

Up front, the two Brazilians and Jeon Hyun-chul will be aiming for a debut goal. With Cesinha still unavailable, the central midfield spots are still up for grabs, but Hwang Soon-min and Hong Jung-woon will be the most likely players to start.

Suwon will feel under immense pressure to come away with a result while Daegu can revel in the role of the underdog. The later Suwon score, the greater the chance that Daegu will have using spaces behind the defense line.

SW: What is your prediction for this game?

MJ: I personally hope Daegu win, but I think that the game will end in a draw with a late equalizer from Daegu.

SW: Score Prediction?

MJ: Daegu 1-1 Suwon Bluewings


Now, Muyeol Asks, Scott Answers

Muyeol: Despite making several big signings in the winter transfer window Suwon have struggled to pick up wins recently. How has the reaction from the fans been and what do you think about Suwon's current state?

Scott: The reaction from the fans has been quite understanding but even at this early point in the season there are huge warning signs for Suwon. Despite the plethora of signings to improve their attack they look a shadow of their former selves going forward and struggled yet again to create clear cut chances in the game against Shanghai Shenhua in midweek.

The root of this problem has been a lack of dynamism in midfield and unwillingness from the midfield players to even attempt something bordering creativity. Suwon may have had the bulk of the possession in their games against Kashima, Jeonnam and Shanghai but what they do with that possession is the reason why they lost 2 of those games, and had it not been for Shanghai's own poor performance those 2 would have been 3. Far too often the ball is played sideways or backwards and with no real number ten or attacking midfielder in the team Dejan is left isolated in attack.

It should be blatantly obvious to the manager (although it isn't) that Suwon's best performance of the season, their 5-1 dismantling of TLC Thanh Hoa, came when Waguininho was played as an outright number 10, just behind Dejan. And it certainly shouldn't come as a surprise that the Brazilian scored two that night and Dejan bagged his debut goal for the club, but probably could have scored a hatrick with the amount of chances that came his way. Since then, Waguininho has been exiled to the right-wing and has been largely ineffective as Dejan's form has also stumbled. If Suwon are to improve then the manager will either need to adapt his tactics or start deploying players in positions that suit them.

MJ: Dejan has struggled for goals and form over the last month and doesn't seem to have settled in his new environment just yet. It is still too early to make a judgement but are there some concerns and doubts about his quality? 

SW: The fact that Suwon have essentially pinned their whole season on Dejan scoring goals means there has to be some genuine concern over his current form. He has played very poorly in his last 3 games and it all seems to have stemmed from his penalty miss against Kashima Antlers.

Although, the striker has been isolated, with only really Yeom Ki-hun attempting to link with him, he has also been wasteful in front of goal missing a number of easy opportunities that have been made for him. Added to that, his own general link-up play has been rather poor recently and he hasn't been able to find his own team mates as often as he needs to.

I do have sympathy for him as Suwon are still playing in their same style as last season, when they had the dynamism of Johnathan to save them, and the system that Seo Jung-won is playing clearly doesn't match the Montenegrin's skill set. But, coming from such a huge rival, Dejan does need to start converting more of the chances that come his way or it won't be long until the supporters begin to have second thoughts about him.

MJ: To Daegu FC who is believed to be the underdog, which strategy do you think Suwon should take? Which players do you think should be given more chances?

SW: Suwon need to be more adventurous in their play, it really is that simple. They need their midfielders to take more risks in the game and they need more output from the right side of the team.

Kim Jong-woo got his first start of the season in midweek and given that he is essentially the only attacking minded midfielder in the squad he must be involved more with the first team. He had a decent season last year but dropped out of the matchday squad for the last couple of months of the season. However, he, hopefully, now appears to have re-established himself and his forward thinking play and dribbling will be key if Suwon are to recover from this mini-slump.

If Seo Jung-won is insistent on playing Waguininho from the wing then I would also like to see youngster, Yoo Ju-an make his way back into the first team to play just behind Dejan. The 19 year old made an impressive start to his career last season and his energy and enthusiasm on the pitch caused many a team problems. He still has a lot to learn but even at such a young age he has enough quality to compete in the Kleague and he could be the perfect foil for Dejan to score the goals he needs to.

MJ: What is your prediction?

SW: Suwon really struggled against Daegu last year and I think they will also find it difficult to break them down this weekend. I expect that Daegu will park the proverbial bus and with Suwon's lack of cutting edge this game will be a boring score draw.

MJ: Score Prediction?

SW: Daegu 1-1 Suwon Bluewings

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