Original title: Li Xiaopeng’s “firmness” and “helplessness” to take over the national football
Under the pressure of the outside world, Li Xiaopeng was finally dismissed by officials yesterday. It is Shandong famous star Li Xiaopeng who will take over the position of head coach of the Chinese men’s football team. As the best local coach in the country, his appointment was helpless and seems inevitable.
Being able to take over the role of coach in the almost hopeless despair of qualifying for the Chinese men’s football team is enough to prove Li Xiaopeng’s courage. But if he walks with the sword, can he become the light in the dark and illuminate the way of Chinese football in the future? I can only send one sentence: The road ahead is bumpy, and do it and cherish it.
Late to take office
As Li Tie’s “predecessor”, 46-year-old Li Xiaopeng has much more experience in coaching. In the player era, he is also considered to be a famous Chinese football player. As a banner figure of Shandong Luneng, he has won many championships with the team; after being selected to the national team in 2001, he has been the main right forward of the national football team and participated in 2002. Korea-Japan World Cup.
After retiring, Li Xiaopeng was once elected as the coach of the Chinese women’s national team in 2010, but he did not perform well in coaching the women’s football team for more than a year, and even has the lowest winning rate among all previous women’s football coaches. Later, Li Xiaopeng also served in Qingdao Zhongneng, Shijiazhuang Yongchang and other clubs. It was not until December 2017 that he succeeded German coach Magath to become the head coach of Shandong Luneng, and he opened the upward path of his coaching career. In the 2018 and 2019 seasons, Li Xiaopeng led Luneng to the league third and fifth results. He also won the title of the best head coach of the Super League for two consecutive years, and led his team to the FA Cup finals twice.
In fact, Li Xiaopeng’s appointment as the coach of the national football team was a late hand in hand. At the end of 2019, after the resignation of the famous Italian coach Lippi, the Chinese Football Association organized an open competition for the head coach of the national team. The three participating in the competition were Li Xiaopeng, Li Tie and Wang Baoshan.
Among them, Wang Baoshan is considered to be a cutscene, Li Tie’s willingness is the strongest, but Li Xiaopeng’s voice is the loudest, because the latter has led Shandong Luneng to the FA Cup final for two consecutive years and was elected the best coach of the 2019 Super League. The results are far ahead of other local coaches.
However, the 0-3 defeat in the second round of the 2019 FA Cup final in Shanghai Shenhua coached by South Korean coach Cui Kangxi made Li Xiaopeng lose a lot of points in the hearts of decision makers at the time. And he himself was not keen on the coaching position of the national team, which led to Li Xiaopeng’s loss of the title of head coach of the national team, and Li Tie succeeded in taking the position.
High emotional quotient
When Li Tie was almost one-sidedly condemned by outside public opinion, there was not much suspense about his leaving get out of class. But who will take over the “mess” of the Chinese men’s football team, there are different opinions. In such a juncture, why did the relevant senior executives choose Li Xiaopeng?
Li Xiaopeng was favored, partly because of Li Tie’s shortcomings. From character to style, they are completely opposite. Regardless of the performance of the team, the main reason Li Tie was called to dismiss get out of class was because of his behavior, including emotional intelligence. This is precisely where Li Xiaopeng’s advantage lies. Li Xiaopeng is good at dealing with the relationship with the fans and the media, and never complains, but is good at self-deprecating.
For example, at the 2019 Super League awards ceremony, after losing to Shenhua 0-3 in the FA Cup final the previous night, Li Xiaopeng, who was named the best coach, said humorously when he came to the stage to accept the award. I’m sorry, I just suffered three sap last night, and I’m coming to receive this award tonight. It’s actually a bit unreasonable.” After the 2019 season double play Guangzhou R&F, when faced with reporters asking questions about their feelings about beating idol Stojkovic four times, Li Xiaopeng once again showed his high emotional intelligence. He bluntly said: “I think Stojkovic is Maradona from the former Yugoslavia and our idol. It cannot be said that challenging the idol is successful, but very unsuccessful. If he leaves R&F , You can find a job all over the world. If I leave Luneng, I may be unemployed.”
In private, Li Xiaopeng is very low-key, seldom post on Weibo or Moments. It is worth mentioning that his last Weibo was published when he coached the Chinese women’s football team 10 years ago. He never advertises, sells goods, or actively “provokes” the media and fans. At the same time, Li Xiaopeng is also very knowledgeable in handling player relations and training young players. I believe that after he takes office, there should be no controversy similar to Li Tie in the use of naturalized players.
When Li Tie’s inappropriate remarks at the press conference caused the management to feel overwhelmed time and time again, a Li Xiaopeng whose style was diametrically opposed to Li Tie was obviously the best choice for “fire fighting.”
An uncertain future
Li Tie can’t, can Li Xiaopeng? To be honest, the Chinese Football Association’s hasty coaching change is not optimistic about the outside world. Before Li Xiaopeng officially took office, he suffered a collective “badge”.
Maybe even Li Xiaopeng himself did not expect that when he led the Wuhan team in the Super League this season, it was difficult to win a victory, but he sat down as the head coach of the national team. This is rare in world football. Most national team coaches are seen when the club is proud.
Overall, when Li Xiaopeng coached the Chinese women’s football team, his results were dismal, and the Chinese Super League also had mixed reputations. During Shandong Luneng’s coaching period, although he won the title of best Chinese Super coach twice and reached the FA Cup final twice, he failed to win the championship. After taking office in Wuhan this year, the team has become the most popular relegation. Because the coaching style is too conservative, even “not enterprising”, Li Xiaopeng was also dubbed “Li Taishou” by Shandong fans. It is a bit difficult to expect him to lead the national football team out of the trough.
Judging from the current situation of the national football team, it is almost impossible for Li Xiaopeng to turn the tide. Li Tie led the team in the first 6 rounds of the World Preliminary 12, with a record of 1 win, 2 draws, 3 losses and 5 points, ranking second in the group. With only 4 rounds left, Australia, which is third in the group, is 6 points behind. The qualifying situation is very passive. Some professional organizations even stated that there is only a “0.1% chance”. Even if Li Xiaopeng leads the team to a full victory in the last four games, it depends on the face of the Australian team.
There is less than two months to go to the next round of 12, and the Chinese Super League will not end until early January next year. Li Xiaopeng only has about three weeks to prepare before coaching the first round of 12. However, due to the current difficulties of the Guangzhou team, whether or not they can play for the national team is still a big question. In view of this, the expectations for Li Xiaopeng cannot be too high, as long as he can bring new changes to the national football team, or the team is not so difficult to get out of the top 12 games, it will be acceptable.
Therefore, Li Xiaopeng’s coaching prospects can be summed up in these eight words: a bumpy road ahead and a long way to go. Presumably, the Football Association has no idea about such a coaching change. In the official announcement yesterday, it neither stated the length of office nor gave him any goals. I can only say that one step counts as one step.
Off-court 丨 atypical coaching change
Replacing Li Tie with Li Xiaopeng is another “atypical coaching change” in Chinese football. In a nutshell, it means that if you have a headache, you can heal your head and your feet can heal your feet. This problem cannot be corrected for decades.
Li Tie couldn’t do it, and his team performance was a little bit worse. This was a secondary reason. The main reason is that he is paranoid, self-willed, arrogant, and poor in popularity. He always flaunts himself and attacks public opinion. It is obvious that he is not a suitable national team coach.
Where is Li Xiaopeng? If you want to compare coaching ability, at least not much better than Li Tie. Li Tie somehow brought a Wuhan team that was recognized as a relegation team to sixth in the league; and Li Xiaopeng also led the Wuhan team, but made it a relegation favorite. Two people, at most half a catty.
In contrast, Li Xiaopeng’s biggest advantage is his ability to speak, good popularity, and high emotional intelligence, which is much better than Li Tie. By this time, whether it can bring out good results, it becomes secondary. Busy with the current post to fill in the pit of the predecessor, extinguish the fire of the predecessor, that’s it.
There is no doubt that Chinese football belongs to the third-rate in the world. What lags behind is not only the personal skills and abilities of local players, but also the philosophy and level of local coaches, and the gap is huge. So I always think that the Chinese national team should still hire high-level foreigners. Of course, it is best to add an attributive in front: it is suitable for China’s national conditions.
It’s a pity that the managers of Chinese football have never had a scientific, reasonable, unified, and continuous standard when it comes to the selection of coaches. No direction.
It is always a hammer to the east and a stick to the west. Perhaps it is the greatest tragedy of Chinese football.
Written by: Guan Yin, Xinmin Evening News reporter
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