Jo Bonfrere

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Jo Bonfrere¡¯s Destiny on the Line

Postby Holyjoe » Sun Aug 21, 2005 11:56 pm

http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/sports/200508/kt2005082119315411620.htmJo Bonfrere¡¯s Destiny on the Line
Demands for a Korean Coach Gain Momentum


Speculations are becoming reality for the South Korean national team as the Korea Football Association (KFA) is expected to fire head coach Jo Bonfrere as early as Monday.

The KFA¡¯s technical committee will convene a meeting at its headquarters and decide whether to replace Bonfrere. The coach, who was selected by the same committee 14 months ago, has been hit hard by the majority of fans and media since Wednesday¡¯s 1-0 loss to Saudi Arabia in the national team¡¯s final match of the 2006 World Cup qualifier.

Bonfrere attended the K-League All-Star match on Sunday, and told reporters there that he can¡¯t answer their questions because he hasn¡¯t heard anything from the KFA.

Before Wednesday, Lee Hoi-taek, the KFA¡¯s vice president and chairman of the technical committee, said that they were giving the Dutchman their full commitment. But feeling the heat from the public, Lee seemed to have altered his stance over the matter.

``We have 10 months left until the World Cup final round, and that is enough time for a new coach to settle in and to change the team in his own way,¡¯¡¯ Lee was quoted as saying by an Internet news service, Pressian.com, on Saturday. ``Leagues in Europe have started their seasons, so we may have some troubles in finding a new foreign coach. But we don¡¯t have to worry about it too much. There always are good foreign coaches around.¡¯¡¯

``We needed more time to review, and that¡¯s why we are holding the meeting a little late. We will make a final decision on Tuesday. There will be no more talking after that.¡¯¡¯

As the atmosphere in the KFA has become unfavorable to Bonfrere, newspapers in South Korea started to name possible replacements for him, including Mick McCarthy of Sunderland and Ian Poterfield of Busan I¡¯Park. But meanwhile, some the K-League managers suggested that the KFA should hire a Korean coach who can better understand the Korean players.

``If Bonfrere is to be fired, a Korean coach can be a good alternative,¡¯¡¯ Daejon Citizen¡¯s manager Choi Yoon-kyum told Yonhap News Agency during the K-League All-Star game¡¯s dinner party. ``Korean coaches now have more experience in international football. And they know the Korean players better, so it will be easier for them to coach the national team with only 10 months left.¡¯¡¯

FC Seoul¡¯s Lee Jang-soo agreed on the idea. ``There are good things in having a foreign coach, but the level of local coaches has been much improved. So in a situation like this, it will be alright to hire a Korean coach.¡¯¡¯

Many fans also want to see a Korean coach in Germany next year. More than 50,000 have participated in an Internet poll by http://www.yahoo.co.kr, and 35 percent of them voted for Suwon Bluewings coach Cha Bum-keun to be Bonfrere¡¯s replacement. Pim Verbeek, who was an assistant coach for Guus Hiddink in 2002, received the second most votes with 26 percent. South Korea¡¯s U-20 team coach Park Sung-wha followed with 10 percent.

There are also negative voices on the idea of having a Korean coach. Because of the complicated politics within the KFA, Kim Ho, who led the national team in the 1994 World Cup, said he would refuse to take over the team if the KFA offers him the position.

``There are places where I don¡¯t want to go even if the fans want me to,¡¯¡¯ Kim said during an interview with CBS radio on Saturday. ``The national team coaching position is a job in which I could only work with people that I can work with.¡¯¡¯


If those quotes from Lee Hoi-taek are accurate, then it looks as if Bonfrere's definitely getting his jotters.

Not a hope of getting Mick McCarthy away from Sunderland I wouldn't have thought... and I wonder if those 35% who voted for Cha were disgruntled Suwon fans who want him away from the Bluewings ;)

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Postby SteveW » Mon Aug 22, 2005 2:12 pm

I voted 45,432 times for Cha!

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Postby KJ » Mon Aug 22, 2005 4:55 pm

I think Bonfrere's gone -with all the things the KFA have said, how could he carry on? I heard it's 90% a done deal.

Ian Porterfield has a good chance of becoming his replacement with his only weakness (in Korean eyes) is that he's never been to a WC but he's had a great year in Korea and has a wealth of internation experience. He's the compromise candidate between those who want a foreign coach and those who want a domestic one.

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Postby njs » Mon Aug 22, 2005 4:59 pm

At least he knows the korean players well enough so should be able to pick a better, more deserving group of players.

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Postby Holyjoe » Mon Aug 22, 2005 9:52 pm

Another article about Bonfrere, with a couple of quotes from him after the All-star game yesterday:

South Korea football coach accepts growing criticism

SEOUL, Aug. 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korea football coach Jo Bonfrere, who has come under mounting pressure to resign after a string of his side's lackluster performances, Sunday expressed his willingness to humbly accept any criticism of his performance.

But he was noncommittal over whether he would accept his dismissal if it was decided at an upcoming meeting over the team's progress by the directors of the (South) Korean Football Association.

"I can't answer that right now," Bonfrere was quoted as saying at a brief meeting with local reporters when he arrived at the World Cup Stadium to watch a South Korean "All Stars" football match.

South Korean football's top body will meet this week to discuss the fate of the embattled Dutch coach as calls for his resignation have mounting after a string of bad results, including his side's 1-0 recent home loss to Saudi Arabia.

Criticism of Bonfrere's leadership had grown since the South Korea's men's team finished last behind China in the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) Championship involving Japan and North Korea.

The Korea Football Association had previously backed Bonfrere after the Saudi Arabia loss as fans and media called for his quitting. The Dutchman has pleaded for more time to turn things around.

"I have behaved a bit strange, including in my relations with the media. I will accept this opinion and improve myself," the coach said. "So far, I have focused on finding out about the players. Now is the important time to train with them repeatedly"

Bonfrere took over from Humberto Coelho in June last year after the Portuguese coach failed to match the heightened expectations created by South Korea's run to the 2002 World Cup semi-finals under Guus Hiddink.



On Porterfield, it would actually be interesting to see him offered the job and see what the general opinion amongst Korean football fans would be with regard to him leaving a high-flying K-League club for the national team.

There aren't that many Busan fans to protest his potential departure, but there does seem to be a bit more of a fellowship amongst K-League fans than in other leagues I've experienced and it wouldn't surprise me to see a Suwon fan claim that Porterfield should stay with Busan to continue the work he's doing there instead of leaving for the national team job. I know that if George Burley continues the decent work he's started so far at Hearts I'll be hoping he's off like a shot at the first opportunity (and, if their reasonably shaky start is a sign of things to come, I'm hoping that Gordon Strachan's going nowhere ;) )

He's already said something in the Korean press to the effect that he views the Busan job as 'more important' than the national team job, and he's still got a decent crack at the AFC Champions League, the K-League and potentially the World Club Championship in the next four months. I wouldn't be surprised if (assuming the KFA approach him) he goes back to them and offers to do it part-time until December and then take over full-time after Busan's season finishes. I wonder how that would go down...

Even if he doesn't get the job, it might be helpful for the new boss (if they plump for a non-Korean again) to have Porterfield involved in some sort of capacity in the run-up to the World Cup.

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Postby KJ » Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:15 am

I think Porterfield could be interesting too but I wouldn't read too much into what he told the papers - it's very bad form to appear interested in a position that's still occupied. I think he may say slightly more if/when Bonfrere goes.

I'm sure if he was offered the position, he wouldn't think twice. The pull of the World Cup would be too strong - he could be the only British manager there - his profile would increase expedentially in the UK and Europe. He did say that his biggest disappointment was not reaching the WC with Trinidad.

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Postby Holyjoe » Tue Aug 23, 2005 9:49 am

Aye, potentially a last crack at the World Cup versus seemingly onto a good thing at club level... personally I'd rather he stayed at Busan than took over the national team but that's just my own biased opinion.

Paradoxically though the fact that he could do a good job might count against him actually getting it, in the sense that if he does do well then a number of job opportunities back in Europe/UK (Dundee United? ;) ) could open up for him. The KFA could find themselves on the hunt for a new manager again next July and that might even sway the pendulum enough in favour of appointing a Korean coach to take them through to the Asian Cup in 2007.

Dunno, just hypothesising with that one there but it's a situation that could very well happen for whichever foreign manager they bring in.

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Postby Colombian » Tue Aug 23, 2005 10:57 am

If offered, he'll take it.
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Postby KJ » Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:27 pm

That's a good point HJ.

It will be interesting to see how long the contract is if a foreigner gets the job. I can't see the KFA wanting to look past the WC -it's the same elsewhere, the coaches of Uzbekistan, Bahrain and Kuwait were all given short-deals just to see if they got to Germany.

I think most of the 'big' name foreign coaches mentioned wouldn't want to stay on after the WC for the Asian Cup anyway.

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Postby KJ » Tue Aug 23, 2005 4:34 pm

Well -he's gone - resigned -so the official line goes.

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Postby rkim291968 » Tue Aug 23, 2005 5:07 pm

Good riddance! It was big waste of money and time. Let's see what KFA does now.
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Postby kamsahamnida » Tue Aug 23, 2005 7:24 pm


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Postby Holyjoe » Tue Aug 23, 2005 9:48 pm

Lee Hoi-taek's copping a fair bit of flak for some of his comments, particularly the one from the article above from Saturday:

"We have 10 months left until the World Cup final round, and that is enough time for a new coach to settle in and to change the team in his own way... Leagues in Europe have started their seasons, so we may have some troubles in finding a new foreign coach. But we don't have to worry about it too much. There always are good foreign coaches around".


And his comments from after the meeting today:

"Because we hadn't decided to change the coach, we haven¡¯t thought about a replacement"


Something doesn't quite add up...

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Postby forzakr » Tue Aug 23, 2005 10:24 pm

He's another old bag that needs to go
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Postby Holyjoe » Wed Aug 24, 2005 9:32 am

Quote from a Donga.com article:

Bonfrere Steps Down from National Team

Busan I¡¯Park coach Ian Porterfield (59) and Suwon Bluewings coach Cha Bum-keun (52) seem to be the most probable candidates for the post of South Korea¡¯s new national football team coach.

A high-ranking officer of the Korea Football Association (KFA) said on August 23 that the association is forming its opinion on which one to pick. Coach Porterfield turned his team into the surprise winners of the first K-League, and coach Cha was once a star player himself.

He added that if adopting either of them fails, the association will go for another world-class coach as soon as possible so the new coach could be named until mid September at latest.


No direct quotes, but this seems to be suggesting that Porterfield and Cha are being considered now by the KFA (there's a similar article in Korean on the Donga site too) - again more merit to the 'National team job playoff' match tonight between Busan and Suwon ;)

Oh yeah, and Vogts for Korea - they're going through exactly the same list of names the media came up with last summer when Coehlo was being replaced.


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