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Weird Defender Joo Ji-Tae Chapter 98

98 – 1 Year Later (2)


Jo Jae-shin is a player known for his strengths on the ball.

When he has the ball, he shines more than when he doesn’t—a statement that is by no means an exaggeration, even for a specialist on and off the ball. In modern football, the importance of off-the-ball movement continues to grow. However, this does not diminish the significance of on-the-ball skills. In contemporary football, the value of a player like Jo Jaeshin, specialized in on-the-ball play, is never low; in fact, it is much higher than players specialized in off-the-ball play.

The importance of off-the-ball movement may fluctuate with changes in football rules, philosophy, or trends, but as long as football remains a sport played with one ball, the importance of on-the-ball skills will never diminish. This is a fundamental truth for team sports.

Just as in basketball, where having the ball is ultimately more crucial despite screen plays, or in baseball, where whether it’s defense shifts or infielders or outfielders, pitchers and batters remain the most important, football unfolds with 22 players revolving around one ball.

Ultimately, a player’s on-the-ball abilities are an immutable core of football, both then and now.

In this regard, Jo Jaeshin was exceptionally fortunate.

Luck, a talent specialized in on-the-ball play and scoring—qualities essential for a forward, forming the most expensive valuation. And, of course, the luck of having a friend like Joo Jitae.

“Since it’s turned out this way, how about restructuring the attack with Jaeshin at the center, Coach?”

“Hmm. A reorganization with Jaeshin at the center…”

“Jan Heinkele and Stefan Buls are already gone. It’s unfortunate that the entire attacking line is gone except for Jaeshin, but this could be an opportunity. As you know, Jaeshin has exceptional goal sense and on-the-ball skills. And these are the most valuable qualities for a forward. So, bringing in a forward who can assist Jaeshin, forming a new strategy, makes sense. Forwards who are good with off-the-ball play and active have a relatively lower market value.”

Although there were contractual conditions agreed upon with the board, the coach’s influence could not be ignored.

In a situation that could potentially invade the coach’s authority, Joo Jitae demonstrated exquisite tightrope walking.

“Well… do you think so?”

“Of course! It’s not easy to bring in a forward with on-the-ball skills and good scoring ability. It’s easier to find a supporting forward who plays a role in assisting. This is an opportunity to revamp with Jaeshin at the center, which will be tactically much more helpful.”

In this internal consideration that aligned with Willem’s tactical tendencies from the start, Willem was swayed.

Even though Joo Jitae was already implicitly the leader of the defense and the team’s playmaker, Jo Jaeshin had been subtly manipulating things with Jan Heinkele and Stefan Buls until now.

That’s why Jo Jaeshin was incredibly lucky.

Originally, he could have effortlessly concluded the tricky team internal maneuvering.

As Bayern released eight players and reinforced the squad with eleven, successfully completing the transfer market, especially by bringing in four players to fill the gap in the attacking line where three key players, including two regulars, had left. Each of them was an attacker familiar with the role of ‘supporter,’ having strengths in off-the-ball play, vigorous activity, or providing space.

In the restructured attacking line centered around himself, Jo Jaeshin could soar freely.

“Overcoming concerns, Jo Jaeshin of Munich records a multi-goal performance from the opening match!!!”

He was selected as the Man of the Match after scoring multiple goals in the opening match against Mainz.

Subsequently, competing with Joo Jitae for the Man of the Match like a duel, proving that the previous season was not a fluke, the public opinion, which was initially negative about the contract renewal, began to reverse rapidly.

However, the decisive game that reversed public opinion was the first Champions League match.

It was none other than the first group stage match against Benfica.

Jo Jaeshin vividly remembered that day’s game.

The match was played away.

In the midst of the cheers from the spectators filling the 64,000 seats at Benfica’s home stadium, Estádio da Luz, and their collective roar, he ascended to the ground, holding hands with the escort kids.

It was the moment when the grand theme of the Champions League, the ‘UEFA Champions League Anthem,’ echoed through the air. And finally, the thrill of the moment when he notched his first goal in the Champions League and secured victory.

That day, public opinion underwent a complete transformation.

[Actually, the agent was a real top-tier agent…]

—I thought he was just all hustle and bustle, but turns out he’s a genuine A-list agent, keke.

—But who knows, he might still be stuck with Bayern for a few more years, like a slave…

—Still, it’s okay; even when the contract ends, he’s still in his early twenties, kekekeke. Seriously, the guy’s age is a gangster.

The atmosphere leaned towards approval of the contract extension with Bayern.

* * *

[Ah… so this is how Bayern’s season ends.]

[33/34 Bundesliga, 34th round. The final match against Dortmund ends in a 1-1 draw.]

The casters and analysts sighed with regret.

It was a more disappointing draw because it was a game they could have won with the performance they had. But what was even more regrettable was,

[With this result, Dortmund secures the 2nd place, and TSV 1860 Munich confirms the 3rd place.]

Finishing the season in 3rd place after a game that could have been a victory but ended in a draw. The point difference was just one.

[It’s a season that leaves a sense of pride but also regret.]

[Exactly. 3rd place in the league… it’s certainly a good result. Munich, evaluated as a mid-tier team, recorded 3rd place. Moreover, they secured a spot in the next Champions League.]

[But considering the performance Munich showed in the first half of the season, it’s somewhat disappointing.]

[Right. Munich was formidable when they were in perfect shape, both physically and squad-wise.]

The 33/34 season started with many concerns and worries, but Munich showcased strong performance from the beginning.

However, the squad was as thin as a piece of paper, considering the matches in the league, cup competitions, and the Champions League.

[Jae-shin Cho played 26 league matches, scored 20 goals, and provided 5 assists. In the Champions League, he scored 4 goals and had 1 assist in 5 matches. A remarkable record of 33 matches, 26 goals, and 7 assists. But he missed quite a few games due to injuries, right?]

[But that’s unavoidable. Especially in the Champions League, being grouped with Arsenal from England, SL Benfica from Portugal, and Trabzonspor from Turkey meant long-distance away matches. Moreover, during the A-match period, didn’t they have to travel to the opposite side of the globe? It was a schedule that could be burdensome for a young player.]

Unfortunately, Bayern found themselves grouped with Arsenal from England, SL Benfica from Portugal, and Trabzonspor from Turkey in the Champions League.

While Arsenal, located in London, was manageable, Portugal and Turkey meant quite a long-distance journey. On top of that, the team’s key players, Ju Ji-tae and Jae-shin Cho, had to travel around the world during the A-match period, adding to the physical strain.

As a result, Jae-shin Cho, who had been performing excellently for both Bayern and the national team in the first half of the season, saw a rapid decline in his goal-scoring ability in the second half and even suffered an injury.

Fortunately, it wasn’t a major injury, but the problem was that the period he needed for recovery coincided with the Champions League Round of 16 schedule.

Unfortunately, they advanced to the Round of 16 as Group 1 winners, only to face Barcelona, the team they least wanted to encounter among the Group 2 runners-up.

In the first leg, played away at Barcelona as per Jo Jaeshin’s decision, Ju Jitae displayed remarkable performance, leading the team to a 1-1 draw. However, in the subsequent second leg, despite Jo Jaeshin’s second-half entry, they had to accept a 0-1 defeat after an intense battle that extended to extra time.

[It’s even more regrettable considering that they gave up the cup competition to focus on the Champions League for the Round of 8. Ju Jitae also showed signs of physical fatigue in the final moments of the second half of the season.]

[Still, Ju Jitae had an impressive performance this season, didn’t he?]

[Playing a total of 30 league matches, 8 Champions League matches, and 3 cup matches – a staggering 41 games, he achieved a remarkable record of 10 goals, 11 assists, and won the MOM award 17 times. Truly… impressive.]

TSV 1860 Munich’s 33/34 season ended with a mix of praise and disappointment.

The final results were 3rd place in the Bundesliga, Round of 16 in the Champions League, and quarter-finals in the cup.

Considering Munich’s strength and the thin squad, it wasn’t a bad… rather commendable result. However,

[So, it’s disappointing. Just in today’s match, you could see how Munich’s build-up stuttered when Ju Jitae’s activity range narrowed in the second half. Truly… it was a season that made us realize how influential these two players are.]

From Noble mtl dot com

If Ju Jitae and Jo Jaeshin had managed their condition better… the regret wouldn’t be there.

That’s how the fans of Munich, while satisfied with the season’s results, were also swallowing their regrets. Ironically, the two who were the source of the regret had no time to look back on the season.

“Hey, Jooji. Take good care of yourself. We need at least the quarter-finals in this World Cup.”


“Why? Too high?”

“Not high enough. If it’s not the final, then.”

“… It sounds crazy, but strangely, I’m scared because these crazy things you say lately seem like they might come true.”

Weird Defender Joo Ji-Tae

Weird Defender Joo Ji-Tae

이상한 수비수 주지태
Score 9.0
Status: Ongoing Type: Author: Released: 2023 Native Language: Korean
“This is a defender…?”


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not work with dark mode