As much as Ulsan Hyundai fans admire Ju Min-gyu’s quick adaptation, Ju Min-gyu also admires Ulsan’s easy-to-goal environment.
Joo Min-gyu is recording 3 goals and 1 assist while participating in all matches (starting 4 games) until the 5th round of Hana 1 Q K League 1 2023. He is tied for first place in the offensive point category with Asani (Gwangju, 4 goals) and Lee Jin-hyun (Daejeon, 1 goal, 3 assists).
In particular, in two matches held before and after the national friendly match, he scored 1 goal and 1 assist against Suwon FC and 1 goal against Jeju United, fueling public opinion that he should be selected for the national team. Oh Hyun-gyu, Hwang Ui-jo, and Cho Kyu-seong were selected as strikers for the national team. As a result, there was no goal by the striker, and in particular, the recent condition of senior players Hwang Ui-jo and Cho Kyu-seong, who play in the K-League, continues to argue that Joo Min-gyu can compete well enough.
Joo Min-gyu gave a new answer when the national team was mentioned again in a phone call with ‘Footballist’. I received this question several times a week and repeated the principled answer, “It would be nice if you picked me.” This time, “The national team doesn’t care so much. Doing well in Ulsan comes first. I want to meet the expectations of the Ulsan fans right in front of me. We have to contribute to the championship by scoring in double digits for the season.”
In Ulsan, Joo Min-gyu is showing a more colorful side than he did in Jeju. He moves wide vertically and horizontally, receiving the ball and making linking plays. Joo Min-gyu’s one-touch pass reminds us of Olivier Giroud of the French national team. Originally from a defensive midfielder, he had the ability to play in the second line, but in Jeju, there were many games where he kept his position at the forefront and waited for the ball to come, so he was misunderstood that he could not play coach Paulo Bento’s soccer because he was a striker with poor abilities other than scoring. .
“It’s the first time I’ve played for a team that has this many attacking numbers. It’s not a single player who is focused on attacking, it’s football with a lot of attacking resources. It’s fun to harmonize with those players. The reason is that there are always teammates running into the gate. In Jeju, the total number of attackers was smaller, so if I fell to the side, no one was left in front of the gate. My role, which fits the team’s tactics, was to wait for the ball. For fun, now is more good night.”
The most convenient second-line resource is Lee Chung-yong. If you ask players new to Ulsan, they all mention Lee Chung-yong, and Joo Min-gyu was the same. When we weren’t playing together, it was not easy to realize Lee Chung-yong’s strengths because he was neither exceptionally fast nor a strong shot. However, his colleague Lee Cheong-yong is a grateful being who releases the attack again after guarding it even if he gives the ball at random. Lee Chung-yong is only scoring one goal, but with him, the rest of the players can score.
The wonderful finish shown against Jeju is also a new scene that came out while flexibly breathing with the second-line resources. After a wonderful linked play, Um Won-sang passed the ball to the goal, and Min-gyu Joo, who ran from behind, kicked the ball with his right foot and kicked a non-stop shot into the corner of the goal.
“It was a situation where there was no choice but to kick it like that. Even as I jumped in, I wondered if the ball would come, but Won-sang gave it away. So I focused on aiming for the corner completely like a pass without effort.”
Among the players, Lee Chung-yong arouses admiration, but coach Hong Myung-bo’s leadership is also a part that Ju Min-kyu is deeply impressed with. “The charisma is amazing, and I still can’t believe that I am being led by that famous person. However, life is more autonomous than I thought. It’s a team with a lot of things you can do as you like. At the same time, you have to keep your concentration at its peak. The harmony between autonomy and discipline is good. You learn what the atmosphere is like on a team with a lot of stars and trying to win.” 스포츠토토
The feeling of meeting Jeju again was strange. Joo Min-gyu played in Jeju for 3 years, and among them, he was in the K-League 1 for 2 years, recording the most goals in the league (scorer was 1 time) and grew into a top striker. However, his relationship with coach Nam Ki-il drew attention as he often withdrew to the bench even though his body was fine. After scoring a goal in Seogwipo, he refrained from ceremonies and was polite.
“Now I am in a position to score goals for Ulsan, but I hope things go well with Jeju. From the players in Jeju to the staff of the club, I was very indebted. But they accepted it well. I believe that Jeju will regain its strong image.”