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2019 Season Review: Seoul E-Land

The 2019 K League 2 season has finally ended for Seoul E-Land. It was to be another long, painful, and underwhelming performance once again from the Leopards. A team that have progressively gotten worse every year, 2019 marks the worst ever finish in the club's history. Let's look into what panned out this year for Seoul, and how they got to the position they ended up in.

What Went Well

Seoul E-Lands season went as follows. Five wins, ten draws, and twenty-one losses. This will be a short paragraph. What did go well for Seoul E-Land? Being generous to the side, I could say that their strike force was not the worst in the league. They managed to score 43 goals this year, and they were pretty well distributed around. It could also be said that they are a very fit team. July and August saw them win four games in a row. They are able to play in extreme heat and tire out opposing teams.

What Didn't Go Well

Oh boy. Where to start. Their defense was abysmal. A constant lack of composure sure a lot of late goals and set pieces go into the back of the net. They conceded a staggering 71 goals this year. 15 more than the second-highest in Asan Mugunhwa. Seoul E-Land do not know how to defend. It said a lot how on the last game of the season. Busan scored the same amount of goals, that Seoul E-Land have won games in 2019. They play a 3-4-3 formation. The formation was good for pressing teams, but they were constantly caught on the counter. Players looked sloppy, and easy goals were conceded in the majority of games. They only managed four clean sheets this year.

A lack of spirit, a lack of pride. A team that looked very strong going into the season, they severely underperformed. With a lot of options up top. The defense was left to fend for themselves. Seoul panicked whenever they went ahead in the game. Seoul did get the first goal in a number of games but lost their bottle after the restart. A team with no winning attitude, and no winning mentality.   

Young Player of the Year

Kwon Gi-pyo was one of the best players in the team this year, never mind young player of the year. The Pohang Steelers loanee was very good on the ball for Seoul. Although he only scored three goals for the leopards, his presence led to a higher tempo on the pitch. A fast and technically gifted player, he can do a lot with the ball at his feet.

A player who missed out on 13 games in a row in the summer, one could only imagine how Seoul could have faired if he was available all year long. The sad thing now for Seoul fans is that his loan is up. He will return to Pohang in the new year. His performance this year may see him break into their first team in 2020.

Team MVP

In a team with not much to write home about, it is particularly hard to pick an MVP. If someone did deserve it, however, you must say it would go to Kim Mink-yun. A midfielder with a lot of control on the ball, settled the game a lot for Seoul. Scoring five goals this season, he had a presence on the field, with elevated the team.

Players would look for him to pass that long ball into the box, of make the start of a run. He came across as a leader on the pitch and cemented himself nicely in the middle of the park.

Most Disappointing Player

So many players underperformed in this team this year, that it would not be fair to call one out. There were a lot of absentees for a big chunk of the season. Something which left Seoul fans asking questions about their commitments. It seriously would not be fair to put someone in this category, as half the team could be placed here.

Defending is a team job, and if they can not get the basic principals of defense under their belt. Then you are never going to win any games.

Most Important Decision of the Off Season

There will be a lot of departures in the winter. Seoul desperately need to build on a young, strong backline. Multiple players will return to their clubs from loan deals in the new year, and the squad will be thin. Seoul need to be smart in the window, and not sign aging players once again. The backline seriously needs sorting out. It was the worse defense in Korea. Seoul need a leader at the helm, someone who can raise spirits and play with his heart on his sleeve.

There will also be a managerial vacancy in the new year, as caretaker manager Woo Sung-yong has not been offered the role permanently at the time of this article. They will need to have a confident manager, who is not afraid to throw caution to the wind. Seoul looked a bit mundane in their play last year, and they need to liven things up. Seoul's most important thing now is to reconnect with the fans who have been almost insulted this year with their actions, both on and off the pitch. Fans were not particularly happy over the Cheonan ordeal, and their on-field performances did not help the matter.  Seoul fans are not looking for promotions or top of the table finish. They just do not want to be the laughing stock of the K League, as they have been now for two years in a row. Can we please now close the circus, and open the football club?

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