The Tavern’s October KPA Power Rankings + Weekend Roundup

Now that the month of October has gone by it’s time for another edition of the Tavern’s KPA Power Rankings! Did Ryu Seungwoo steal the spotlight again this month? Read on to find out:

Methodology Note:

Since this is our second KPA Power Rankings publication we have to figure out a way to determine how the previous week’s ratings will be factored in. To this end we decided on a very simple 80 – 20 split, since the form of KPA players tends to be incredibly volatile. Just look at Hwang Heechan or Son Heungmin, for example

Rankings:

JDW fires one past Neuer
JDW fires one past Neuer

 

1. Ji Dong Won: 7.9 / 10.0

Previous Rating: 7.5

October Rating: 8.0

ΔRanking: ↑ 1

 

 

Taking home the KPA of the month award for October is Ji Dongwon, who has enjoyed a fantastic run of form pretty much the entire month and has cemented his position as the best candidate for the KNT lone striker position (unfortunately, Stielike will probably stick JDW on the RW or something). I wish I could make you guys a really cool graphic of JDW’s stats like Whoscored does, but alas I do not have the technological know-how to do that. However, I did go through the numbers, and we have some very interesting trends:

  • In October, Ji Dongwon won an average of 7 aerial battles per game. Now, I know JDW isn’t as tall as KSW, but shouldn’t this be an even further justification of playing JDW up top over KSW?
  • JDW cannot pass to save his life – his pass accuracy this past month stood at an average of 68% (his last three BL games were 69, 68, and 67 – true consistency right there). That being said, two of those three games included Schalke and Bayern who press incredibly hard, and Augsburg isn’t what you’d call a possession based team. JDW also dribbles 2 successful dribbles per game, which isn’t stellar but still admirable.
  • JDW has played 630/630 minutes in the last 7 games for Augsburg; 711/720 if you go back 8 games.
  • He also had an average Whoscored rating of 7.07. If you could the match on the last day of October, it’s 7.42.
  • In the games against Schalke and Bayern (x2), JDW took 3 shots and scored 1 fantastic goal:

 

This goal is totally a candidate for KPA goal of the year, along with SHM’s rocket against Middlesborough perhaps?

 

2. Koo Jacheol: 7.4 / 10.0

Previous Rating: 7

October Rating: 7.5

ΔRanking: —

Always the bastion of consistency, KJC. This man always performs up to a decently high standard for Augsburg, and will probably never drop below the top three places on the power rankings thanks to his refreshing consistency (especially when you consider how everyone else’s form comes and goes). He has been steadily improving over the course of the season, and while KJC was pretty anonymous in the October WCQ matches, I am willing to bet that KJC will perform much better in the upcoming November friendlies.

I really can’t add anything new about KJC in October – it’s the same KJC you all know and love. What I I noticed more, however, is noticeably increased aggression. KJC slid into tackles more often this month than he used to, got more physical than I remember him usually being, and seemed to want to impose his presence on the game. A quick statistical skim proves my point – in October he managed 17 tackles in 3 games (and this isn’t counting the Pokal match against Bayern), wereas he only committed 4 in 5 games in September. That being said, I bet this effect can be partially explained by the quality of opposition – against Bayern Augsburg only had 25% possession (against Freiburg and Schalke they had close to 50%) and committed more fouls per game than they did in September.

Like Ji DW, KJC has also played straight 90′ for the last seven Augsburg games. In October, KJC had the higher Whoscored rating than JDW, but from our subjective opinions JDW played just as well as KJC and scored a much more entertaining goal (KJC scored a fairly routine tap-in), which explains why JDW receives an 8 and KJC receives a 7.5. Either way, God bless FC Koreaburg – Lee Jaesung or Kwon Changhoon should seriously come over to Augsburg in the case that the rumors are true and KJC ACTUALLY ends up moving to China (but let’s not go there)

** (for those who haven’t heard the rumors, it’s said that a CSL team, the team that Kim Kihee plays for iirc, will purchase a high profile Korean player from Europe. Doesn’t that just make your blood boil?)

 

3. Hwang Heechan: 7.0 / 10.0

Previous Rating: 5

October Rating: 7.5

ΔRanking: ↑ 3

Our highest climber went from 6th place to 3rd place thanks to a fantastic late-October showing where he scored 3 goals in the space of a single week (2 games). Despite this form, all the goals (and the playing time) came at the last two games of October – thus, HHC’s rating is 7.5 as opposed to Ji Dongwon, who only scored once and assisted once but played consistently well over the course of October and was rated a 8.0. Unfortunately, all of the YouTube links for the goals have been taken down, but we have some pictures that random Korean bloggers uploaded:

hhc-1
Goal 1 comes from a chip over the keeper
Goal 2 comes from a header
Goal 2 comes from a header

Unfortunately, there is no footage of goal 3 (a 1-0 winning goal against Ried), but it basically consists of HHC dribbling down the left flank and scoring off a tame but well-placed shot.

As of this past weekend, in which he played 73′, Hwang had started two consecutive games, and it is likely that he will be starting the next couple of games as well. We at the Tavern wish for HHC’s form to continue so that he could spend maybe 1 more season max at RB Salzburg in the chaotic league that is the Austrian Bundesliga and move onto the German Bundesliga.

 

4. Son Heungmin: 6.8 / 10.0

Previous Rating: 10

Current Rating: 6

ΔRanking: ↓ 3

Son Heungmin, unfortunately, could not replicate his blistering September form where he earned a deserved 10/10 from the Tavern and stayed atop the Premier League power rankings / Whoscored rankings. In fact, it was reported that he suffered a knock against Qatar. Of course, Stielike decided to play him against Iran for 90 minutes, which perhaps explains why SHM played quite poorly this month. What also explains SHM’s poor form is that Tottenham as a team decided to stop caring about chasing the title – not counting the 10/2 match against Man City in which SHM provided a Iniesta-like assist to Alli, Tottenham drew 4 games and lost a EFL cup match.

Whoscored ratings aren’t entirely indicative of a player’s performance, but the difference is drastic and was very noticeable over the course of the month.

shm-form

 

5. Ki Sungyong: 6.6 / 10.0

Previous Rating: 5

Current Rating: 7

ΔRanking: ↑ 1

As I said last week, Ki Sungyong finally started to play once again under new manager Bob Bradley. Unfortunately, Swansea still suck and have no idea what they’re doing. Just yesterday (Monday 10/31) they let Stoke City of all teams score on them three times (they even hit the woodwork three times). And when Stoke can dominate you you know you have a defensive problem.

For what it’s worth, Ki was one of the better performers for Swansea and I believe that this match could be the match that drives his dismal form back up – the Wales Online ratings ran from 4-5 for almost every player. Here’s Ki’s blurb:

KI SUNG-YUENG

Started shockingly and still not aware as needs to be when out of possession, but showed some beautiful touches and willingness to move ball forward with passes and driving runs. 6

I watched a bit of this game and this assessment is very accurate. It was the best of Ki SY and the worst of Ki SY. The passing and the dribbling was great as usual, but he really made some poor decisions in defense and he was caught out of position multiple times. By now it should be clear to KSY what his biggest weaknesses are (if it isn’t already). The optimist in me tells me this is just a case of recovering from the military service, but with international break coming up, KSY’s upturn in form could be broken.

 

6. Lee Chungyong: 5.3 / 10.0

Previous Rating: 6.5

Current Rating: 5

ΔRanking: ↓ 2

Did not play much and when he did play, barely did anything of note. I watched him in the Liverpool match and while he did get some good touches in he unfortunately didn’t contribute to the attack – it was Zaha who really shined that day, not Lee. Next!

 

6. Suk Hyunjun: 5.3 / 10.0

Previous Rating: 6.5

Current Rating: 5

ΔRanking: ↓ 2

* Same as Lee Chungyong. Next!

 

8. Choi Kyungrok: 5.2 / 10.0

Previous Rating: 6

Current Rating: 5

ΔRanking: ↓ 3

Choi did not get as many minutes as he did in September and didn’t score any crucial goals either. Next!

 

9. Park Jooho: 3.4 / 10.0

Previous Rating: 4.0

Current Rating: 1.0

ΔRanking: —

Park Jooho was called up to the November friendlies but the many questioned whether the call was truly deserved. A measly 90′ minutes the entirety of October and a rather torrid showing in his second game meant he was promptly replaced for 18 year old Felix Passlack. However, his minutes are a start right? Thus he gets a 4.0 from the Tavern.

 

Do you agree with our final ratings and rankings? Comment below!

 

3 Comments

    • lol you know Tim I was wondering about KJS as well but then again… it’s not like he played. :/
      my hope is on Hwang Hee Chan. I don’t get why LJH came back. Come on Stielike, your job as a manager is at risk here…
      if Korea loses to Uzbekistan I don’t think I’ll be happy for a day or two lol.

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