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The #KLeagueFM18 Challenges: Citizens Unite - Season Two Part 8


Before our own midweek FA Cup action, we have three treacherous away games in a row. Gwangju, Ulsan Hyundai and Jeonnam Dragons. We're heading into the 2nd round of the season, having only beaten one of these teams in an entertaining 4-3 victory. We need to perform better than last time to keep our recent unbeaten form. After a crash course from Choi Kang-Hee what can go wrong?





Catch Up On Season Two -  Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7




Transfers

He's finally gone! 25th of May 2018 remember the day Park Joo-Sung leaves.


The departure of ex-Suwon and Gyeongnam left back, is joy to my ears and to the finance department. With a weekly wage of £1,600 an a unused fee of £500. He was pocketing nearly 3% of the club wage bill while rotting in the reserves. The moment he left the front office, I was immediately on the phone looking for coaches.

Coaches:

Gege - Goalkeeping coach from Brazil. £800 a week we just acquired the best goalkeeping coach in the entire league.

Kim Tae-keun - The best attack orientated coach in the entire K League £450 a week.

Lee Sang-ho - The ex Jeonnam player has now joined as our defensive coach for a small fee of £750 a week.

These three additions now officially makes Daejeon Citizen have the best coaching staff in the whole of the K League 1. We are still looking for new coaches so K League Coach, if you're looking for a job, come to Daejeon.


Gwangju Away

The introduction of the three new coaches, have really had an impact on our ability to prepare for this match. The constant introduction of new styles has caused training sessions all week to be a bit problematic. The confident happy atmosphere has been disturbed somewhat as 14 first team players have came to voice their anger at the training exercises they've been asked to do. Even our captain Kim Chan-hee seems to be unhappy about having good coaches that won't just allow laziness. 

This has led to a complete drop in motivation of the players and even worryingly of their skill levels, or at least perceived skill levels. The old coaches only had a basic scouting knowledge so our real three star players looked like five star gods before, incredibly scary to walk into a dressing room of now worse rated players all looking tired and unhappy. 

Anyway we push on because it's game day, Su-hyun is dropped again for another hand injury. Lee Sang-min our young wonder kid is also out with a calf strain. With the defence having training issues and now missing 2 of our normal back 5. I'm getting increasingly worried. Time to step onto the field. 

Kick Off

Niall McGinn slotting home at the near post, poor goalkeeping strikes again. 

It's not the start we were hoping for, It's the fifth minute and a seemingly innocent freekick in the Gwangju half leads to a break away led by Niall McGinn. As you can see our players are running back as hard as they can with three Daejeon midfielders desperately trying to support the RB. 

Incredibly poor marking of the near post though means the easy goal can be slotted into the corner for 1-0 Gwangju. We really miss "Catman" Su-hyun. 

20th minute until action again, a terrible pass out by the Gwangju defence is picked upon by Chan-hee who plays a near perfect ball to Moon Chang-hyun. With a one on one and the fate of this game hanging in the balance. He somehow manages to scuff his shot off his own knee(?) and it goes out for a throw in. I've never seen worse finishing. 

The game is really lacking quality, apart from those two goal keeping mistakes both sides seem content to pass the ball around. My coaches are screaming instructions but the players look happier to just kick the ball around. With the Asian games selection being made right after this game a lot of the players look like they're trying to remain fit more than try and score. 

We come in 1-0 at half time. Chang-hyun is going off after his embarrassing miss, and Ho-jun is being taken off at CDM, for the more attacking Hee-su. We need some spark in this second half as the only interesting thing since the goal is the fact it's started raining. 

Straight red for Oh Ban-suk in the 70th!! What's your opinion? Goal scoring opportunity?


The second half comes to a close faster than Niall McGinn's opening goal, we haven't turned up for this away game at all. The pre-match coaching confusion combined with the players injury free mentality, meant we didn't want to win and no matter what I said or tried the players were unresponsive. That result drops us to 9th, with two more away games and the possibility of no Oh Ban-suk we might be in trouble.


Ulsan Hyundai Away

We don't have long to lick our wounds after that poor showing against Gwangju, the sad part is none of my players made the squad for the Asian games not even Hwang In-beom who has been amazing, it's looking likely I'll lose him next year for army service after that decision. Oh Ban-suk's red card was appealed.

Surprisingly it has been overturned! They felt it was a yellow card foul at maximum and his 2 match ban has been rescinded so straight into the Ulsan line up he goes next to the returning Lee Sang-min. The duo are back!

More worries on my mind, as the Daejeon board have decided this match is the one they're going to send a director to review our progress. If you remember earlier in the season when we lost 4-1 in a complete embarrassment of a match at home. If things go as bad as the first round it could be off to Seoul E-Land for me.

The normal starting eleven apart from Moon Chang-hyun playing LW. We will need all the luck for this clash. 

The starting eleven is as the media predicted, Ulsan's team is similar to my pre-match assumptions as well. Only problem is with Ulsan playing their entire first team it's not looking good for our hopes. The bookies even think we will lose, with odds of 14/1 to win away. With only one away win all season I can't blame them. The players at least look more motivated.

Kick Off 


Ulsan have a great stadium and a great crowd for this one as 8,457 fans have paid to watch. Nearly double our average attendance figures, 365 of those are our loyal travelling away fans. Nervous energy fills the stadium as the whistle blows I could swear I saw Lee Sang-min shake. Really regretting putting my hopes on a child.

Catman's hand doesn't seem to have healed...5 minutes into this match at yet again we are behind. Oh Ban-suk who is making the headlines for all the wrong reasons recently is back at it again. He misses his diving interception header, which sets free the Ulsan striker to power past Su-hyun for 1-0.

This could turn ugly at this rate, It's 15 minutes in and we only have 32% possession. I don't know if Park Joo-sung was the glue holding our team together but we have completely fall apart since his departure. Who would of knew his experience actually impacted our dressing room.


We have completely fallen apart mentally and physically. 

It's 2-0 to Ulsan. In fairness it's a great shot that bounces in of the crossbar quite unluckily, but it's not helping us mentally. The players have turned abysmal morale and if the Daejeon board member is in the stadium I hope he thinks we are wearing blue.

I wish I could say some more commentary of our efforts but we actually finished the match with 0 shots on target and 41% possession. Hyundai drove all over us. Final score 2-0, the mid season crash continues.

Jeonnam Away 

It's took 2 weeks, but finally our three coaches have turned around the dressing room. We had a team meeting after that match. After telling the players "It's okay we're playing bad right now but we have the quality to turn this around". This seems to have had the desired effect. The Daejeon board member must of genuinely thought we were wearing blue. His feedback from the match was that we are on track for not being relegated. I don't know if losing 2-0 and having no shots screams "Safe" but at this point any good news is helpful.

We head into this game still clinging onto 9th position, Hwang In-beom even at the tender age of 22 has helped inspire us even more, he gave a press conference giving complete faith in my management and assuring fans we are playing well in training.

The look of a player who knows I love him more than the rest.

The match squad is featuring major tweaks, we've switched to a more direct approach we will aim to hold the ball again'st tall Jeonnam but also use our long balls to unleash a winger possibly. Last time we played Jeonnam we drew 2-2 and got a cruel 94th minute goal going for them. We are really looking for redemption, not just for that game but also for the last two games of not a single real chance or goal.

Kick Off


It's an early goal again!!! This time it's for Daejeon though, the goal scoring duck has been broken! Eight minutes in and I was preparing my notes for saying that we are playing better and we go and prove it.

Admittedly it wasn't from open play. A free kick comes to our freekick specialist in You Ho-jun who curls it over the wall and past the flying goalkeeper, Can we play Jeonnam every week we actually play well. The 1,231 away Daejeon fans are in wild celebration. "We've scored a gooooaaallll." is sung from the distant empty side of the stadium.

We are playing incredibly well, knocking the ball around the slower Jeonnam side. I think I've played this match perfectly so far 30 minutes in, restricting Jeonnam to long distance shots and forcing fouls from our high pressure dynamic football style.

The first half comes to a close with Daejeon winning 1-0, 57% possession and 12 shots to 2. It might be too early too say we are back, but it's fair to say we are looking much better after the coaching changes and player meetings this week.

Heat Map from a dominant first half performance. 

We've made no changes yet, Jeonnam are really trying to foul their way to a comeback. Committing 6 fouls inside the first 10 minutes of the second half. One player who has been affected by these fouls is Kim Chan-hee who sustains a cut on his forehead from a battle with Feczesin in the air. Park Dae-hoon is coming on in his place after great performances in under 21's. 

72nd minute and Jeonnam make their first change, Moon Seon-min the big money signing from Incheon makes his way onto the pitch as Jeonnam play a more attacking style. I decide to bring Sung-su on to try and counterattack the fresh legs.

The Daejeon bench is in tatters after that goal. Feczesin has scored an equalizer in the dying minutes. Oh Ban-suk again misses his header allowing the big target man to prod home in the 88th minute. We were so close to a victory and now three Oh Ban-suk errors in three matches sees us close to 1 point in three matches. We have dominated the match, but costly decision mistakes are really taking a toll. 

People saying losing to a wonder goal feels better than losing to a mistake, but it's not true. Watch this goal by Feczesin make it 2-1 in the 94th minute. I can't speak.

Complete shock. 2-1 Jeonnam in the 94th. 

The only positives to take out of that game is we were the best team for 88 minutes, then we got Jeonnamed. How a player like Feczesin turns and shoots like that is beyond me. It's time to escape this stadium before the traveling Daejeon fans find our team bus. 



TL:DR

Three loses in a row, six goals conceded one goal scored. Who would of guessed selling a 34 year old LB could cause all these problems. At least the next game is the FA Cup against Gangwon we can't lose that surely? The only person who could take a positive from these three games is Mr Ryan Walters - his dragons beat our depressed and beaten purple and blue boys....oh well onto the next set of games. I promise we will win a game next time!

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