Two days after Vietnam was eliminated from the group stage, Thailand, as the host, left the U23 Asian tournament after losing to Saudi Arabia.

Thailand won the AFF Cup 5 times, SEA Games 16 times, they boldly built the Thai League according to the Premier League version, doing business according to a modern model, with a systematic youth training system.

The Japanese coach’s statement is true not only for Thailand but also for Vietnam, when our achievements are less than half of Thailand’s in U or national team tournaments.

>> Positive failure of U23 Vietnam

There are opinions that after the miracle of Changzhou, AFF Cup and especially SEA Games, the players are full of titles and are no longer confined to the image of shorts and jerseys but attack showbiz.

Like Brazil forever looking for the R quartet of 2002, Spain struggling with tiki-taka without Xavi-Iniesta, Germany after the 2014 generation is still struggling to find someone to replace Lahm’s position.

The two years 2018-2019, with many successes at the AFF Cup – SEA Games, but it can be affirmed that we have not been able to surpass Thailand.

>> It’s hard to blame Coach Park when Vietnamese players ‘refuse to grow up’

When Thailand was leading Southeast Asia, Mr. Park had not yet come to Vietnam and the previous generation of players did not have enough success factors like the generation of Quang Hai, Cong Phuong, Tuan Anh, Que Ngoc Hai…

In the past two years, we have struggled because Thailand has not found a coach suitable for the team’s philosophy.

After continuously favoring European coaches, it seems that the Thai Football Federation has found the right direction for the team: Mr. Nishino’s aggressive style, high pressing, and continuous running is so eye-catching that Mr.

In contrast to Thai, Mr. Park chose the `underdog` style of play with tight defense and quick counterattack.

>> ‘U23 Vietnam must learn how to fail’

We have also looked at Thailand’s success, and today Thailand must also look at the success of Mr. Park. Vietnam has confidence in choosing an Asian coach.

I boldly compare Thailand and Vietnam quite similar to the rival pair Pep – Mor, Barca – Chelsea, or Messi 10 – C. Ronaldo 7… each side has its own style and created its own school.

The road to reaching Asia is still very long for us, when the club model in V-league is not yet professional, the grounds are lacking, the training facilities are only 4 large ones: Hanoi, HAGL, Viettel, PVF, student awards.

This is a break on the journey to look back at what we lack compared to Thailand, and learn from each other’s successes and failures.

I’m still looking forward to the Vietnam – Thailand match in the next tournaments, supporting the team but losing is okay, because when we lose, we can see our weaknesses and there are milestones to develop.

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Xang Ca

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