The European club season is underway, and now seems as good a time as any to bring back the ‘Watching This Weekend’ series. Our opening act is in the Bundesliga where we will check in on Koo Ja-Cheol and Wolfsburg as they take on Park Joo-Ho’s Mainz.
It seems an eternity ago that Wolfsburg won the Bundesliga behind the strike duo of Dzeko and Grafite. Wolfsburg dropped perilously close to the relegation zone, but has since bounced back to a more comfortable mid-table status. These days they are headlined by the Brazilian playmaker Diego, back in Germany after a disappointing stint in Italy with Juventus and then a loan spell with Atletico Madrid in Spain. The presence of Diego, who is a classic playmaker, has forced Koo Ja-Cheol, back with club after two seasons with Augsburg into a deeper midfield role. With two friendlies coming up for the national team, it will be interesting to see how Koo has re-adjusted to a deeper role (one that he played for Jeju United), and if Hong Myeong-Bo will keep him there or put him back in the attacking midfield role.
Mainz isn’t a team that many Koreans followed prior to this summer, when left back Park Joo-Ho transferred there from Swiss outfit FC Basel. Mainz has gotten off to a good start, earning max points from their first two matches with a 3-2 with over Stuttgart and a 2-1 win over Freiburg. Park Joo-Ho has started both matches and should feature again.