August 1Defeated, last place again…’Pahwe’ begins, Kazuki utilization, new challenges for Suwon

Last place again. Suwon Samsung has a new challenge.

Suwon finished July with two straight wins and five matches without a loss (W2 D3 L). Back-to-back wins over leaders Ulsan Hyundai (3-1) and relegation rival Gangwon FC (2-1) boosted their momentum. They went into the break having escaped the bottom of the table. However, they drew 1-1 in two games in August. After Gangwon beat Ulsan 2-0 in round 26, Suwon fell back to the bottom of the table.

The relegation zone remains tight. 10th-place Suwon FC (23 points), 11th-place Gangwon (20 points), and last-place Suwon (19 points) are in contention. The new challenge for Suwon is how to deal with the fact that opponents have started to shut down midfielder Kazuki.

Kazuki joined Suwon in the summer transfer window. Upon his arrival, he quickly became a key resource for Suwon. Kazuki doesn’t have a lot of speed, but what he does have is excellent ball-keeping and creative passing. He is especially good at reading his teammates’ movements in the second line.

He also orchestrated the game with a certain ease that awakened the entire Suwon squad. Most importantly, Kazuki’s involvement in ball distribution helped revitalize his teammate Go Seung-bum. The more active and attack-minded Go Seung-bum was able to get involved in more offensive positions.

In August, however, opponents began to lock down Kazuki. Kazuki was locked down against Suwon FC in Round 25. Lee Seung-woo, playing as a midfielder instead of a striker, actively countered Kazuki. Lee engaged in a nervous battle with Kazuki early in the first half, shaking Kazuki’s mentality, and Suwon suffered a 0-2 defeat in the Suwon Derby.

Against Jeonbuk, Kazuki’s presence was less pronounced than in previous matches. While he did record an assist with an accurate corner kick, he only had one key pass and nine attempts in the offensive zone. It could be that Suwon dropped a defensive line against Jeonbuk, but regardless, Kazuki’s strengths were not being utilized. 안전놀이터

Going forward, the pressure on Kazuki will only increase. Kazuki is an integral part of Suwon’s buildup and offense. It is also necessary to distract him. Against Jeonbuk, Kim Byung-soo used a midfield trio of Kazuki, Go Seung-beom, and Bassani. It can be assumed that he is thinking of a ‘solution’ when Kazuki is blocked. Maximizing Kazuki’s strengths has become a new concern for Suwon.

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