That was probably why. Because everything about where and when the question was asked didn’t seem too appropriate. It happened at Altumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, where the South Korean national soccer team met Jordan and tied 2-2. According to CNN and other foreign media, Vietnamese reporters, who were waiting for Son, asked him a question about Vietnamese soccer right after the match.
At the time, Vietnam was frustrated to advance to the round of 16 after losing 2-4 to Japan and 0-1 to Indonesia, which had not been lost in recent years. However, Son Heung-min offered words of blessing, saying, “I was impressed by the team’s performance after watching the Vietnam match,” and “I hope that Vietnam will get a better result in the next match.” He said, “The Vietnamese team did everything it could for its national pride. I have always supported Vietnam. Good luck.”
Son Heung-min’s unexpected words of blessing became a hot topic in Vietnam, but Vietnamese public sentiment is boiling. This is because public opinion is mounting that Philippe Trussier, who has taken the helm since former coach Park Hang-seo stepped down, should be given up.
Public sentiment was not tilted in one direction even when the team was defeated 2-4 by Japan. However, losing the second game against Indonesia 0-1 was painful. When coach Park Hang-seo was at the helm, Vietnam never lost to Indonesia. At the 2022 Mitsubishi Cup, the two teams had a showdown in the semifinals, and in the second game, Vietnam won 2-0 against Indonesia.
Coincidentally, the Indonesian baton was coach Shin Tae-yong from Korea, who was constantly blocked by Vietnam on the important stage and only tasted bitterness. However, when Coach Park stepped down and Trusier became the coach, he won a victory against Vietnam that he had never won before and fought for revenge.
In fact, Vietnamese people were fascinated by the team’s performance under coach Park Hang-seo, and the situation has risen to the level of their expectations. Of course, they would not be satisfied in the Southeast Asian stage unless they won the title. As coach Park Hang-seo advanced Vietnam to the final qualifying round for the World Cup, I think the Vietnamese team has reached the top level at least in Asia. In fact, the Vietnamese U23 team has staged several “Underdog Rebellion” by defeating Japan. It has been doing quite well on the Asian soccer stage, reaching the semi-finals of the Asian Games and losing 1-3.
However, public opinion cannot be quiet as the national soccer team led by Trussier failed to make the round of 16 at the Asian Cup and lost to Indonesia, which was considered one step lower.
This is why the article announcing Vietnam’s elimination from the round of 16 is full of complaints such as “Let Trussier out right away and bring back Park Hang-seo,” “I can’t understand Trussier’s tactics,” “There is a huge problem with his way of playing,” and “Where on earth can I find a coach like Park Hang-seo again?”
Given that the team’s performance is so different just because one coach has changed, it is certain that Vietnam showed tremendous skills during coach Park Hang-seo’s time. He showed his power not to be behind in the match against strong teams with his unique “defense after counterattack” formation.
He united the team by showing his “deokjang” leadership by massaging players with sore legs, and giving up his business class to injured players. Perhaps Trussier’s failure to take over the coach position after Park Hang-seo. It is because his predecessor’s halo is too strong to overcome.
Looking back, the Korean national team coach has been on the same leash since Guus Hiddink took the helm. It seems highly likely that Park Hang-seo’s successor, who led Vietnam for much longer than Hiddink, will face a similar fate.