Dejan (42, Montenegro), one of the legends of the Korean Football League (K League), took a shot at coach Hwang Sun-hong. This is especially significant as it comes just after Hwang’s U-23 national team suffered a devastating defeat.
Dejan spent 12 years in the K League, starting with Incheon in 2007 and moving on to FC Seoul, Suwon Samsung, and Daegu FC. He spent eight years with Seoul, winning three league titles (2010, 2012, and 2016). He was the first player in the K League to lead the league in scoring for three consecutive seasons (2011-2013) and won the MVP award once (2012).
On July 7, Dejan wrote a blog post titled “Why I Crossed the Bridge of No Return,” in which he took a swipe at coach Hwang Sun-hong. Dejan cited Hwang as the most difficult coach in his career.
Hwang had been at the helm of Seoul since 2016, but resigned in April 2018. When Choi Yong-soo left for Jiangsu in China, Hwang took over and won the league title and FA Cup in his first year. He also took home the Coach of the Year award.
But in 2017, Seoul plummeted to fifth place. The team also failed to qualify for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League due to rumored feuds with foreign players like Dejan. In 2018, he dropped out and was dismissed in disgrace.
Dejan said of Hwang, “He had good ideas in terms of football, but his strength was in managing the squad,” adding, “He believed he could change everything at FC Seoul, which was a big mistake. FC Seoul does not belong to one person.”
He continued, “Hwang treated FC Seoul like his own team. It’s been five years since he left, and the team still hasn’t gotten back to its original position.” “A coach should approach each player differently. Coach Hwang didn’t recognize that at all.”
“Coach Huang has a lot of international experience, including the Japanese J-League and the World Cup, so it’s surprising that he has communication problems with foreign players,” Deyan said, adding, “As soon as he arrived, he attacked the foreign players who were the mainstay of the team.” It didn’t end there.
It didn’t end there. “It seemed like he couldn’t handle the situation where the players were more prominent than him. “At that time, we were performing well and the foreign players were especially popular,” he says, adding that he couldn’t stand the situation.
“It’s not right for any coach, no matter how star-studded, to deny the culture that has been established over time at a club,” says Dejan. “FC Seoul was a good team at the time. You can be the best manager in the league if you are in the driver’s seat, but Hwang denied everything and tried to change it.”
Dejan’s post could not have come at a worse time for Hwang. The previous day, Hwang’s U-23s lost 0-2 to Qatar at the Changwon Football Center main stadium in their first Group B match of the 2024 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Asian Cup Qualifiers sponsored by Hana Bank. They were unable to recover from a first-half concession, and a miscommunication between the goalkeeper and defender in the second half contributed to the loss.
Hwang Sun-Hong will need to win this qualifier to advance to the AFC U-23 Asian Cup, the final Asian qualifier for the Paris Olympics. In this qualifier, the top four teams from each of the 11 groups, the top four teams from Group 2, and the hosts, Qatar, will qualify for the U-23 Asian Cup.
Fortunately, the hosts have already qualified for the U-23 Asian Cup. As such, the result of this match will not affect the group standings. That’s good news for Hwang Sun-hong. South Korea will face Kyrgyzstan on Sept. 9 and Myanmar on Sept. 12.
However, the loss was a blow to Hwang’s team. It’s a blow that could cause anxiety ahead of the Hangzhou Asian Games, which are just a few days away, and could also lead to negative comments about the team’s chances of qualifying for the Paris Olympics. Dejan’s blog post could have further shaken Hwang’s position.
Hwang failed to win a second consecutive U-23 Asian Cup in Uzbekistan last year. The defending champions suffered a humiliating 0-3 loss to Japan in the quarterfinals of the tournament, failing to reach the top four for the first time in their history.
Dejan also expressed his dissatisfaction with FC Seoul. “At the end of the 2017 season, the club informed me that they would not re-sign me. There was no explanation or conversation.” “I respect the club’s decision. But I wasn’t a youth player or a foreigner who would come and go. They could have at least asked me what I thought and where I wanted to go before making a final decision,” he said.
“After the season ended, I scheduled my flight home. The day before my departure, the club called me in the morning,” Dejan recalls, “and asked me why I hadn’t been contacted. “I asked them why they hadn’t contacted me and how could I be the first to reach out to a club that didn’t want to re-sign me without asking me?” “Anyway, I went to the club that very day. I wanted to know why they had decided to part ways with me. After lunch, the manager and I went to the club’s office, where all I got was an FC Seoul muffler and a teddy bear,” he says.먹튀검증
“Lunch, a teddy bear, and a muffler were the way to say goodbye to a player who had scored nearly 200 goals for the club! Shouldn’t there have been a different way of communicating?” He also expressed his disappointment with Seoul, saying, “I never thought it would be so ‘zero expectations’.”