Monday , July 15 2024

V. League player efficiency raises concern for national team

The game time and goal efficiency of domestic players of V. League players this season is at an alarming level, which could affect the national football team’s World Cup dream.

The goal efficiency of six Vietnamese strikers called up to the national team last month was 0.31 goals per game in the 2022 season. However, it’s just 0.14 in this season.

Phạm Tuấn Hải (giữa) ghi bàn giúp Hà Nội FC thắng 1-0 Nam Định ở vòng 11 V-League tối 4/6/2023. Ảnh: Hiếu Lương

Striker Pham Tuan Hai celebrates after scoring a goal for Hanoi FC in a V. League match on June 4, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong

Vietnam had a successful run on FIFA Days in June, with two victories in exhibition matches against Hong Kong and Syria. Those wins got them back to top 15 of Asia on the FIFA rankings.

The most important goal of the team this year is the second qualifying round of World Cup, which will start in November.

Before the players returned to their respective clubs, national team head coach Philippe Troussier said: “I hope the players get regular game time in V. League.”

Troussier’s concern is nothing new. Previous head coaches of the national team often asked V. League clubs to give more game time to domestic players, so they could improve their form. However, this season, the efficiency and game time of domestic players in V. League has significantly reduced.

The six strikers of the national team that were called up for the match against Syria were Nguyen Van Tung, Nguyen Van Toan, Nguyen Cong Phuong, Pham Tuan Hai, Nham Manh Dung and Dinh Thanh Binh. They played 70% of the possible games for their clubs last season, but this dropped to 57% this season.

Their efficiency in scoring goals also drastically decreased. Last season, they scored a total of 31 goals in 101 games. This season they only scored seven goals in 51 games. Except for Tuan Hai, none of the strikers have scored more than one goal.

Nguyen Tien Linh is a key striker of the national team in recent years. His goal ratio last season was 0.45 goals per game, but in this season, that number has been only 0.08, and the 25-year-old striker lost his place in the national team.

Not only national team players, but the goal efficiency of all domestic players also suffered a big drop in the V. League 2023.

Since the 2019 season, the league has increased the number of foreign players in each team from two to three, not to mention naturalized players. But the goal efficiency of domestic players at that time was still above 50%. In the 2020 season, this number was down to 46.5%.

However, in the first leg of this season, domestic players have only scored 92 goals out of 224, accounting for about 41%. This number included players of Vietnamese origin and excluded naturalized foreign players.

The stats show that V. League clubs are relying more on foreign players for goals. There are even clubs whose goals are 100% scored by foreign players, such as HCMC FC.

For U23 domestic players, their efficiency dropped from 7.1% last season to 5.8% this season.

The goal efficiency of domestic players in V. League is also worrying, compared to other leagues in the region.

Indonesia’s Liga 1 has the same limit of foreign players as the V. League, but last season their domestic players had a goal efficiency of 45.2%. This number in Thai League is only 36.5%, but they allow each club to use five foreign players, an Asian foreign player and unlimited Southeast Asian foreign players.

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