Augsburg loses 1-2 to Nurnberg / Tavern Weekend Listings

Already one game in the bag this weekend: Augsburg came out on Friday with a 1-2 loss against Nurnberg, putting a damper in their efforts to emerge out of the relegation zone. Both Koo Ja-Cheol and Ji Dong-Won had a shot each in this Bavarian derby, and despite early dominance, wasn’t able to take advantage to convert meaningful goals. Instead it was Japanese international Hiroshi Kiyotake that scored first, putting Augsburg behind 1-0 in the 21st minute on a counter attack. Augsburg’s only goal came from a Tobias Werner header that should have been saved by Nurnberg’s keeper; instead the ball slipped away from him and into the net. Ji put in an 82 minute shift before subbing out for Aristide Bance. Koo played the full 90 minutes. Augsburg has the 3rd to last place in the rel’zone, and with other games to play this weekend, tentatively has a 6 point gap between them and the last position of safety, held currently by Wolfsburg.

 

Before moving on, the Tavern is very pleased to announce another writer on board: Jae Chee joins us from the much acclaimed SKS blog. He currently helms a new blog, A Season with Busan IPark, his attempt at following the club through the new campaign. This announcement comes late (as usual from me) as Jae has already posted 3X since joining at the beginning of the week – including some excellent posts on the tactical elements the Taeguk Warriors will need to win the upcoming World Cup Qualifier against Qatar on March 26. He joins Jinseok Yang, who joined last week and the old Tavern owner in the pursuit of blogging excellence (and no pay). As the Tavern owner, I hereby promise to give props and no chops to the writers – and treat them with dignity and respect, the kind not afforded to my other staffers, including the Tavern Statistician, the Tavern Minister of Information, the Tavern Events Coordinator and the rest of the bloody lot. They know what they did to deserve this derision.

BTW, I must have been seeing double earlier on Friday when I saw that Jae just posted a tactical analysis concerning my proposed 3-5-2 formation for the Taeguk Warriors (before their disastrous 4-0 loss against Croatia) -and indicated it might be a winning formula for the team. The Tavern owner might actually have a good tactical idea?  It’s a troubling thought, much akin to a b-movie director who accidentally stumbles onto making a decent film (think The Producers). Now to qualify my last sentence, it’s a formation that hasn’t been tried very many times by the team; supposing hypothetically it were to be implemented, there’s no guarantee of success (the Tavern Attorney has nodded his head in approval and is walking away). Still, any new idea has got to be better than the shambles of a strategy put out by boss Choi Kang-Hee. Moving on…

Ok, quickly I want to bring up two bits of news that affects some of the Koreans footballin’ in Europe.

The good news: Michael Ladrup just signed a new contract extension, bringing a sigh of relief to Swansea fans and board members alike. Not long after Swansea won the League Cup, their first major trophy in their 101 year history, the rumor mills were fast churning with some (probable) inquiries to Ladrup joining Real Madrid in light of Jose Mourinho’s possible departure at the end of the season. The 1 year contract extension adds on to his current contract all the way to June of 2015. Swansea seems determined not be a jumping pad club for young prospective talent (case in point: Celtic, Ki Sung-Yeung‘s old club. Celtic’s boss Neil Lennon just made his annual warning about possibly losing players to higher profile clubs – just as even he himself is attracting interest from other clubs). Instead Swansea are making concrete steps to making the Swans a destination club, having successfully negotiating Michu only a few weeks ago to a new 4 year contract. The Spaniard initially signed for a record low of £2.2m from Rayo Vallecano, highlighting Swansea’s keen ability to find smart value players.  Ki Sung-Yeung also is a part of that history-making summer class of 2012, his transfer from Celtic valued at £5.5 -also considered by analysts as yet another smart value purchase. Swansea is riding in 8th place in the Premiership, still riding the momentum from the League Cup trophy win with a win against Newcastle last weekend. UPDATE: Angel Rangel inked a new 3 year extension on his contract.

The bad news: far worse than another empty threat by Kim Jung-Un, QPR’s further sinking into the seas of debt was widely circulated yesterday – increasing from from £56 million to £89 million (much of which was owner Tony Fernandez’ three-fold spending campaign, 1st in a promotion effort, 2nd last summer’s effort to stay up, and this last January’s transfer window). If you remember back in late January, QPR virtually bought every player in sight (an exaggeration), but the last minute transfer fee of £12.5m for Christopher Samba raised some eyebrows. Later it was remarked by Anzhi director German Tkachenko that “QPR have lost their minds,” to pay the amount to Anzhi for the center back. Yun Suk-Young‘s transfer to QPR from Chunam went for far less than Samba’s (undisclosed but possibly £1.6). Still, even if Yun and Park Ji-Sung‘s team escape relegation at the end of the season, they won’t be able to run away from their ridiculous debt (which some have hinted that Fernandez may walk from). Problems which will certainly be far worse if they do go down to the Championship; an enormous revenue producing TV deal predicates on the team staying up.

TAVERN WEEKEND on TV/Internet

All games are listed in US Eastern Standard Time. Broadcast channels are for the US. Internet streaming should be available worldwide. Apologies to everyone worldwide that other time zones are neglected– my Tavern Events Coordinator left after my last harsh word with him (oddly enough, after he read the 2nd paragraph of this post. Coincidence?)

SATURDAY

German Bundesliga, Gruether Furth vs. Hoffenheim, 9:30 am   Park Jung-Bin and Gruether Furth won’t escape relegation. But the 18 year old forward can still carve out some valuable experience until then.

English Championship League, Bolton vs. Brighton & Hove Albion, 10 am. Lee Chung-Yong‘s been starting virtually every game for the Wanderers lately. Roughly during this same stretch, Bolton’s managed to close the gap to be within striking distance of a playoff promotion spot. Coincidence?  *Plus it’s one of Jae’s game of the week.

English Premier League, West Brom vs. Swansea City 10 a.m. Fox Deportes, foxsoccer2go.com (tape at 3 on Fox Soccer). Ki Sung-Yeung hasn’t scored a goal yet (not since his game winning penalty kick for the Taeguk Warriors against Great Britain in the quarter finals of the London Summer Olympics). Still, he will score a goal for the Swans. He’s just got to. But even if he doesn’t score in this game, he’ll still be a difference maker for the Swans, deep playmaking from the mid.

English Premier League, QPR vs. Sunderland 10 a.m. Fox Soccer Plus, foxsoccer2go.com. Will QPR win 2 in a row, something they haven’t done in over 2 years? Will we see Park Ji-Sung and Yun Suk-Young on the pitch together finally for the Rangers?  Time to put in a telephone call: “Hey, ‘arry – Yun’s been picked for the Korean national team for their World Cup Qualifier later this month. Give him some bloody playing time ‘arry!   hello? hello?  I know you’re listening, ya bloody bastard! You want out of relegation don’cha?  Yun’s your man. Defense’s been a bit leaky – Yun’s a bloody plumber- that wot he is. hello? Ya said it yaself, ya watched him play in the Olympics personally. You know he’s class. DON’T HANG UP ON ME  ‘ARRY!” —{Click}.

Hells bells, I shouldn’t have pretended to have a cockney accent. Yun’s doomed.

Portuguese Liga, Maritimo vs Braga, 1 pm. Maritimo sits just outside a Europa League qualifying spot. Braga holds just such a spot at 4th place. Time for Maritimo’s Suk Hyun-Jun to help switch places.

SUNDAY

United States MLS, Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Columbus Crew 7:30 p.m. Direct Kick, MLS Live.  Lee Young-Pyo put in the work to set up Vancouver’s game winning goal last weekend. The attack minded veteran defender may be thinking goal this time around.

South Korean K-League Classic, Daegu vs. Chunnam 6 a.m. One World Sports.  As we are based in the U.S, the Tavern of the Taeguk Warriors has finally ditched Comcast Cable and mounted a satellite receiver from DISH TV right onto the Tavern’s roof for one reason: they carry One World Sports, which showcases some K-League Classic matches. Wait…showcase? Daegu and Chunnam both lost their first games of the season last weekend. Anyway, while One World Sports website has teased 2 matches a week, it turns out that they are showing the Daegu/Chunnam match live at 6 am and rebroadcasting the same game later in the day. Time to make another call —-but after I post this….

>>> K Talk has put up some Firsts of the young K-League Classic season here. The first goal scored in the K-League Classic?  Han Seung-Yeob for Daegu FC.

Swiss Super League, FC Basel vs. Young Boys, 11am. Park Ji-Sung isn’t the only Korean to return to his team’s starting XI, left back Park Joo-Ho has done it for FC Basel, and the team is on a high after beating Zenit St Petersburg 2-0 in Europa League clash on Thursday. Park and the other defensive backs shut down Hulk and company to earn a clean sheet and now find themselves in prime position to advance further in the Europa League.

German Bundesliga, Stuttgart vs. Hamburg 12:30 p.m. GolTV.  Bit of a roller coaster for Son Heung-Min, on a zenith with a brace against Borussia Dortmund a few weeks ago – but a dismal draw and no goals for Son against bottom dwelling Gruether Furth last weekend. Still, expect the 20 year old wunderkid to knock in a few more goals before the season is out.

Spanish La Liga, Celta Vigo vs. Real Madrid 2 p.m. beIN Sport, beIN Sport Spanish. The Tavern has agonized over Park Chu-Young‘s lack of playing time for Celta. Still, if there was anything good about their 4-1 loss to Sevilla last Monday, it’s that the new manager Abel Resino may have to rethink his starting XI and reshuffle the deck to include Park into the equation. But they have to collectively overcome a surging Real Madrid first and foremost on Sunday. * another Jae Game of the week.

 

>Cardiff is off this weekend. While the Tavern is celebrating their 1st place table status in the English Championship, Kim Bo-Kyung has been getting decreased starting time. The thing is that many Cardiff fans themselves have been puzzled at Mackay’s decision to not utilize the Korean midfielder. Ok, so the Tavern is a bit biased towards Korean players -that’s a given (but to be fair, we’ve never blown a gasket about Kim sitting on their bench for part of the season). The Bluebird forums online are quite possibly a bit more objective (hint: vast majority in the forum are non-Koreans) – these posters have had high praise of ‘Kimbo’s last several performances. All the more puzzling for them as well as ourselves at this turn of events.  Just taking a glace at their last 2 matches: Cardiff lost 1-2 at Middlesbrough last Saturday and drew 1-1 at home to Derby County. Both games, Kim was on the 18 man squad, both games he did not register a single minute. Pressure is mounting – not from the Tavern but from Bluebird supporters who are adamant that the teams not produce yet another spectacular late season collapse – or as they might put it, “Doing the Cardiff.”  2nd place Watford, who are a mere 5 points behind, play at home against Blackpool on Saturday.

>>One last gasp to note: in 2nd division Bundesliga action Friday, Yun Ju-Tae played the last 17 minutes for SV Sandhausen in their 0-1 loss against TSV 1860 Munich. There are several Korean internationals playing on 2nd division leagues in Europe. We will do our best to get some coverage of these footballers, but an apology in advance if we’re not able to document all of their exploits. Tavern out.

 

 

 

 

 

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The old Tavern Owner