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2018 Season Review: FC Anyang

After a horror start to the season, FC Anyang not only ended with a higher final position than last season, but also, some end of year entertainment, for once. Here, we take a look at what could be gained from a team suffering from mid table mediocrity, and what changes need to be made if there is to be a successful 2019 campaign for the new manager at the helm.

Summary

Anyang began the season without a win in their opening eleven games, which left them with a mountain to climb to get back into the playoff hunt. Although, the team had a great turn around and redeemed themselves, but just weren't quite good enough in the end. Even with the Asan playoff issues, a choke, to Gwangju, saw the dream of Anyang being more than just mid table crushed.

Top goal scorer, and now E-Land player, Wesley Alex, finished the season with 15 goals and was a  major highlight. So too was the abundance of youth prospects being given a chance, showing that Anyang have some life left in them.

Final Position: 6th
Total Points: 44
Top Scorers: Alex

What Went Well

In short, an improvement on the 2017 season and signs that the team is moving in the right direction.

They may have only improved by five points on their 2017 finish, however, the style of play was progressive towards the latter stages when some squad rotation was being utilized. Anyang's wingers proved deadly and Anyang became consistent in grinding out 2-1 or 1-0 results. 

Anyang improved in all areas of the pitch, with a goal scoring record even being broken by Alex. Discounting the first eleven games of disarray, the second half of the season saw a vast improvement in both attack and defence. If this could remain a theme heading into the 2019 season, it's hard to look past Anyang as not being part of the play-off picture. 

Some of the highlights of the year came in the final six games of the season. With clean sheets and 1-0 or 2-0 victories against all the bottom teams in the league, it really showed that Anyang had improved their level from last year, and actually had cemented themselves as contenders.

What Didn't Go Well

The first half of the season went horribly. Not having a win in the first eleven games really hurt Anyang in the latter stages. The team's tactics were originally quite poorly managed, with hopes of playing an incredibly versatile free flowing style of football being too hard to maintain, and hopelessly falling apart. Until they changed to a more disciplined style, which massively turned around their fortunes. It's possible they could revert back to free flowing, attacking football, but they just need more players and more quality options from the bench.

Anyang were quite one dimensional throughout the season, with a lack of any real goal scorer, apart from the now E-Land player, Alex. Although Alex was successful in carrying a lot of the burden, it was easy for teams to mark him out of the game sometimes. Also, towards the end of the season Anyang failed to capitalize on a lot of chances in games.

Young Player Of The Year

Anyang actually have quite a few youngsters, but none performed as well as the 21 year old Kim Jin-Rae. On loan from Suwon Bluewings, the left back provided something the team was lacking in the first half of the season, with high intensity and consistent performances.

Although he only got 1 goal and 2 assists to his name, in 24 appearances, his actual performances were stellar. And Anyang's win to loss ratio, when Kim was on the pitch, demonstrates this. With Kim Jin-rae on the field, Anyang only lost 10 games all season, with the large majority of those coming against top half teams. With Kim Jin-rae on the field they had a 59% chance of drawing or winning.

A special mention should also go to Kim Gyeong-joon, who also chipped in with great performances over the season.

Team MVP


Alex was Anyang's best player by a clear distance, and not only was he the best striker on the team, he was close to being one of the best in the league as well. Scoring 15 goals and winning a lot of games with his trickery and ability, he was clearly MVP.

He will be sorely missed at Anyang, and whoever replaces him will have huge shoes to fill. If they fail in that, then it will surely be a torrid season for Anyang.

Most Disappointing Player

Kim Dae-uk , the 31 year old holding midfielder, did not cover himself in any glory in 2018. Brought in from Auckland City, where he won 6 medals in 4 seasons, he had issues with injuries that held him back to 1 appearance.  He was then was overlooked 11 times, whilst on the bench, towards the end of the season. Kim could have been a difference maker with his experience, but ended up just languishing on the bench.

Bruno Catanhede also failed to perform. The Brazilian, who joined Anynag on a free transfer from Daejeon, clearly had talent but he just didn't adjust or look fit throughout the entire season.

Most Important Decision Of The Off Season

The changes for Anyang should be relatively simple.A much better start is needed. Even if they managed 5 wins out of those first 11, they would have been a part of the play-offs in 2018. They also need to get the players buying into the system early and not have to quickly change when it's clear they don't have enough ability to pull it off.

Anyang need to improve or build upon the squad. The squad is tiny, nearly one fourth the size of Daejeon's. Anyang need more options off the bench, as injuries will come, and suspensions too. It's okay to field youngsters for some games, but when the average age of your bench is starting to dip heavily it will have an affect on results.

The most important decision will be how to replace the goals scored by Alex. With Alex gone, it's fair to assume that Anyang will score less goals without a proper replacement. Steps have been taken, and it looks like they've signed a Colombian striker who could be the guy. However, they still need to bring in some back-up, with only one foreigner spot being used so far, recruitment should be the main focus.

Another season being mid table could be a step forward, but only if a long term plan of improving the club is made. If it's just another season of replacing what's been sold, then the club could be in danger of undoing all their hard work.

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