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War & Football 2010: Korea DPR

Sinpyong Lake, North KoreaOperation Repeat 1966

The General:

Kim Jong-Hun is the head coach although rumors have circulated for quite a few months that the nation might try to land a more world renowned coach before the tournament begins.  But Jong-Hun is one of the younger coaches participating in the tournament at 41 years old.  The manager believes in defense to win in South Africa this summer and seeing who he is up against I think he might be onto something.

The Plan of Attack:

Korea DPR has probably the most defensive minded strategy in the tournament with the 5-3-2 formation.  The lineup consists of three center fullbacks, two wingbacks, three midfielders, and two strikers up top.  The team will look to low scores to be successful this summer.

The Key Troops:

Korea DPR’s most talented player is probably one of the few league exports playing for the mostly home-based squad in forward Jong Tae-Se who plays in the Japanese league.  Captain Hong Yong-Jo is a fine partner up top for the squad and Mun in Guk is the leader of the midfield unit.  Ri Myong Guk isn’t too shabby in the net either.  But out of all the teams playing in the World Cup, Korea DPR’s squad is globally the least known of any. 

The Mission:

North Korea hopes to repeat their success from their lone run in 1966 when they beat Italy and advanced all the way to the elite eight spots left, but to be honest the squad should aim a little bit lower than that and hope to earn a single point this summer.  They have the toughest draw of any single team in the tournament and it will be seen as amazing if the squad can make it to the second round. They do have one of the most team oriented squads for the fact that most of these guys play together year round, but still it will be a real stretch to win a single match.

Potential Duds:

The group draw is the biggest red flag to North Korea’s potential failure and the squad lacks any real big stage experience.  Put them up against Brazil and they will lose.  Put them up against Ronaldo and Portugal and they will lose again.  One more time against the best African team in the Ivory Coast and Didier Drogba and they can waive bye bye.  Put just about any team in this bracket and they would likely fail.  Well except for Spain of course.

Final War Movie Rank:

If Korea DPR wants to pull off the impossible and be the first Asian zone champs then they deserve a name that signifies their beautiful brand of team football.  Many of their players live together and train with one another year round, so perhaps Band of Brothers suits the cause for the family oriented team.  But more than likely their team will experience a bitter taste in their mouths when all is said and done.  The Bitter Tea of General Yen seems to be a more realistic choice for the team intensely overlooked by Kim Jong Il.  The dude is bound to be disappointed this summer.

Creative Commons License photo credit: yeowatzup