Sports

Vietnamese football prepares for transition and new challenges in 2024

Coach Troussier and his players are expected to create a new cycle of success. However, above all, the entire football system needs consistency and balanced development, from the national championship to clubs and teams.

 

330726 v | FDI Việt Nam
Coach Philippe Troussier and his players are expected to create a new cycle of success. — Photo 24h.com.vn

Football

HÀ NỘI — The year 2024 promises to witness a significant transition in Vietnamese football, with the national senior team in the process of rejuvenation and the U23 team preparing to make their mark in the Asia.

Prior to coach Philippe Troussier’s guidance, Vietnamese football experienced five years of great success under coach Park Hang-seo. The team won the AFF Cup in 2018, reached the quarter-finals of the 2019 Asian Cup, advanced to the third qualifying round of the World Cup in 2022, and secured the runner-up position in the Asia U23 Championship.

These achievements were the result of Park’s talent and the dedication of the players. However, what truly fuelled Vietnamese football’s success was the solid foundation built over the years, with young players being introduced and competing in various international tournaments. When the time came, Vietnamese football truly shone.

To ensure another successful cycle, Vietnamese football needs to continue building on this foundation. The Việt Nam Football Federation (VFF) has signed a contract with French coach Troussier, who aims to change the playing philosophy from a counter-attacking defence to a proactive, attacking style. The goal is to improve the quality of competition and bring Vietnamese football closer to its World Cup dream by instilling confidence in ball possession and enhancing match control.

Coach Troussier’s challenge lies in reforming a team with rich experience in international competition, but many players who are no longer at their peak form, struggling with injuries, and accustomed to defensive play. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic prevented a young team from gaining international exposure. Troussier has spent four years observing and learning about Vietnamese football before taking on the head coach position, but perhaps even he did not anticipate the difficulty of the transition.

In his first year coaching the Vietnamese senior team, Troussier achieved four wins, eight draws, scored 11 goals and suffered 21 losses. The U23 team, on the other hand, secured a bronze medal at the SEA Games and a ticket to the AFC U23 finals. Although these achievements did not meet expectations, Vietnamese football must remain steadfast and accept failure as an opportunity to learn valuable lessons. Coach Troussier himself also needs to adjust and “reshape” his strategies to better fit the Asian football context.

Faith in the process is crucial. VFF’s contract with coach Troussier sets clear goals for 2024, which include reaching the third qualifying round of the 2026 World Cup, securing a medal at the AFF Cup 2024, and aiming for a ticket to the Paris Olympics through the 2024 AFC U-23 Asian Cup.

The 2024 AFC U-23 Asian Cup will provide Troussier’s young stars with the opportunity to showcase their abilities and gradually earn a place in the Vietnamese senior team. The AFF Cup, scheduled for later this year, will be the stage where Troussier and his team can assert their position in Southeast Asia, amid the rising strength of teams like Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Coach Troussier and his players are expected to create a new cycle of success. However, above all, the entire football system needs consistency and balanced development, from the national championship to clubs and teams. As competition in Asia becomes increasingly fierce, trust and steadfastness in the chosen direction during this transition period are the only ways for Vietnamese football to achieve its goals.

Theo Vietnamnews