“It is a competition of dedication for the team, not jealousy.”
This is the competitive structure between Bako (Georgia) and Rubikson (Sweden) explained by Ulsan Hyundai coach Hong Myung-bo. Even though the playing time is reduced because of the rival, they are accepting it as a competition for the team. This atmosphere is detected not only in the two players, but throughout the position. This is directly linked to the competitiveness that leads Ulsan’s solo system.
The first player coach Hong Myung-bo gave a chance was Bakko. He started in the opening three consecutive games. However, the competitive landscape changed as Rubiksson, who was playing as a substitute, started for the first time against Suwon FC in the 4th round and scored 1 goal and 1 assist. While Rubiksson started in three consecutive games, Bako even had a game where he only kept the bench. In the opening 7 games, Rubikson made a big success with 5 goals and 1 assist.
However, the atmosphere changed when Bako scored a beastly goal against the Pohang Steelers last month. Bakko, who was on the rise, scored 5 goals in the last 6 games, including a multi-goal against FC Seoul on the 14th. This time, Rubiksson’s playing time was extremely reduced. In the match against Seoul, he only kept the bench without being able to come on as a substitute. Coach Hong Myung-bo said, “If one player does well, the other one has no choice but to keep the bench.”
The important thing is that there is no problem with their attitude even if their playing time is reduced because of their rivals. The same goes for Rubik’s hand, whose playing time has decreased significantly recently, and Barco at the beginning of the season. An official from the club said, “Coach Hong Myung-bo acknowledges the appearance of both Rubikson and Bako at the training ground.” This is the background in which director Hong expressed their rivalry as a competition of devotion, not jealousy toward each other.
Other positions are no different. Joo Min-gyu and Martin Adam (Hungary), who are competing for one-stop in the forefront, are representative. Ju Min-kyu, who was the top scorer in the K-League, and Martin Adam, who played a key role in last season’s Ulsan championship, sitting on the bench can hurt each other’s pride. However, officials explained that even if they are sitting on the bench, they are the first to rejoice and congratulate a competitor’s goal.
Even after recovering from injury, ‘Chief’ Jeong Seung-hyeon has not been able to get the starter position immediately in place of Kim Ki-hee. As Kim Ki-hee, who is in sync with Kim Young-kwon, has such good performance, she has no reason to change. Jung Seung-hyun is playing his role as the team’s captain by playing on the bench or as a substitute instead.
Regardless of their position in the team, the player with the best performance starts as a starter, and even if he does not start, the atmosphere is accepted as a competition for the team. This leads to Ulsan’s competitiveness. It is in the same context that Barco filled the void when Rubiksson was silent. This is why Ulsan was not hit hard by the silence of Rubik’s hand, which had a large share of attack points at the beginning of the season. Joo Min-kyu and Martin Adam alternately score goals every time they play, giving Hong a ‘happy worry’.안전놀이터
As players who are ready to play as the starting lineup compete in good faith for the team, the effect is showing on the ground. It is also the driving force behind Ulsan’s high flight for a long period of time, with 11 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss in the opening 13 games, and the most points (34) since the introduction of the promotion and relegation system.
Coach Hong Myung-bo said, “The players have a sense of competition and a sense of crisis that they can sit on the bench at any time if they don’t show their best on the field. It’s not that they’re jealous of their opponents, but they’re competing with dedication. It’s a good thing for the team.”