Barca Kids Update and Transfer Thoughts

Hello everyone,

The past few months have been crazy busy for me but I have finally settled into college and hopefully I can get back to writing for the Tavern. I definitely won’t be posting as much as before but I’ll try to update you guys on stuff, particularly our youth player development, when I find time.

Many of you expressed concern over the fate of our youth players at Barcelona. Well there’s really nothing to worry about, and nothing of note has happened either. FIFA’s ban has not been lifted yet but nothing has really happened. Lee Seung Woo and Jang Gyeol Hee went back to Korea for break, then participated in a tournament in Korea. Nothing of note there either – LSW didn’t go Messi-mode but still performed well and assisted a JGH goal. Both will play for Cadete A next year. Paik Seung Ho was rumored to be loaned to Cornella C to find playing time due to the FIFA ban, but stayed with Juvenil B and played in a tourney early in the summer, scoring two goals in the process.

Let’s conclude this post with some quick thoughts of our Korean Players Abroad…

Ki Sung Yong (and Ji Dong Won) don’t worry me too much. Many of our fellow 한국축구 aficionados at BigSoccer are dismayed that he chose SUNDERLAND of all teams. Like the team that plays almost like Stoke but less effectively, completely opposite of the style Ki favors; the one run by the infamous PDC; the one whose fans always find scapegoats and belittle their own players all the time. Especially after PDC hit out at Ji Dong Won publicly for shirking from a header – I mean for one freaking mistake, even though he created more chances than the entire team combined – and pulled him out at the 45th minute twice in a row, I am pretty apprehensive about Sunderland as well.

But there are clear advantages on both ends for this move.

1. He needs playing time before the world cup. Sunderland desperately DESPERATELY need creativity in midfield. Good match in that sense, right? The expectation is that Ki will transform Sunderland from the Stoke-esque, super predictable football they are playing right now to a more creative, unpredictable team. High expectations, but he definitely has the skills for the job.

2. Ki is kinda rebellious, as we have known for quite a while. With a disciplinarian in PDC Ki might finally 정신차려. Perhaps he will struggle with PDC’s ban on cell phones in the training pitch, but hey hopefully he’ll get his mind straight.

3. Better for Ji Dong Won – he can’t do much with his players pumping the ball forward at his head all day. Ji Dong Won thrives with a player like Ki behind him, not with Sunderland’s current central midfield which plays a lot like a classic Choi Kang Hee midfield.

So all in all don’t be too worried about this – Ki’s loan has a pretty high chance of success if you ask me.

On the bright side there’s Kim Bo Kyung: What. A. Monster. His performance in the Olympics worried me quite a bit and I wondered if he’d find his form before Cardiff started playing in the EPL. Well he not only found form but got even better, and is consistently Cardiff’s clear standout player each EPL match. No worries for KBK – he’s going to have a great season.

Our newest 유럽파 Hong Jeong Ho should also have a great season. Augsburg defense. On par with Hamburg’s defense. Do I need to say more? Augsburg really do need a physical defender with pace, traits HJH can offer. Though I don’t expect him to walk into the side he will almost certainly find playing time there.  It’s a perfect place for him to gain exposure and shine in a better league. After all, that’s how it worked out for KJC and JDW, and Augsburg needs a Korean Jesus 3.0, right? Also, for those of you apprehensive about HJH joining a relegation threatened club, Augsburg have two wins and a loss so far performed pretty well against mid-table Bundesliga teams – not bad at all.