The continental leagues are now on break, so our only sources of football for the next couple weeks will be the English leagues. But, what happened last weekend? Any good news?
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Not much in the headlines right now. But we’ll cover a few final points.
- Late last week, word came out that the KFA was being charged with tax evasion. In question was an 11 billion won payment (about $10 million) the KFA received from FIFA for the 2010 World Cup. The KFA says that their accountants told them that it was not taxable income, the National Tax Service disagrees. What the final outcome is, remains to be seen. The NTS has not fully revealed what they will do yet.
- Word on the transfer market is that Ji Dong-Won will finally get his move back to Germany in the winter market, and that it will be Borussia Dortmund that makes the move. A surprise perhaps given Dortmund’s stature and Ji’s lack of playing time at rock-bottom Sunderland, but Dortmund has struggled lately and are thin up top. Robert Lewandowski will certainly leave in the summer (likely for Bayern Munich) so Jurgen Klopp and the hierarchy at Dortmund are looking for good, cheap options.
- [Tavern Owner interrupting] Ki, the League Cup hero for Sunderland last week against Chelsea, almost had another game winner for the Blackcats. To the 82nd minute we go at the Stadium of Light as Sunderland and Norwich were scoreless and desperate for points. After Mannone blocked Van Wolfswinkel, a quick counter caught Norwich’s keeper John Ruddy out of the box. Borini beat Ruddy to the ball near the corner – then managed to find Ki center from 20 yards out. Ki initially had to settle the pass, then fired off a chip quickly as defenders were boring down on him -but the ball went over the crossbar, missing by a foot. To be fair, it was a difficult shot to get off, and even if the chipped shot made it under the bar, there was Norwich defender Micheal Turner positioned right underneath to head it away. Sunderland are 3 points from safety with Fulham and Crystal Palace both losing, but still are at the bottom. Statistics are not in Sunderland’s favor. From the Guardian: “Sunderland are guaranteed to be bottom of the Premier League at Christmas – so are almost guaranteed to go down. Only West Brom, in 2004-05, bucked the trend.”
- Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan seems have gotten the word that boss Malky Mackay is quite popular, and has backed off his “quit or be fired” stance. Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman told the media following the 3-1 loss to Liverpool that Tan has withdrawn his ‘threat’ and that Mackay will be the boss for the “foreseeable future”.
- >Tavern Owner interrupting: before the Liverpool match, former Swansea manager and current Liverpool boss Brenden Rodgers issued a statement of astonishment at Malky Mackay’s treatment by the Malaysian owner and essentially blasted Vincent Tan for “knowing nothing about football.” After the match, Malky stood stoically on the pitch, supporters from both sides applauding a manager going through an extraordinary wringer. The man refused to resign and was waiting on word whether he would be sacked following the game. An emotional Mackaye applauded the traveling support. He then left the pitch doing the “Ayatollah,” the pat on his head acknowledging Cardiff football culture – and a not too subtle double entendre, signaling the obvious signs of trouble ahead for the club.
- A moment of hilarity for the Tavern’s last Vincent Tan piece today: he was sighted at Anfield Stadium and roundly booed by Cardiff’s support. We go again to the Guardian:
VILLAIN OF THE DAY
All leather-gloved Vincent Tan was missing was a white cat on his lap.
- Lee Chung-Yong can usually be counted on by Bolton to supply 110%, but of late, his finishing ‘ain’t what it used to be’. Cue last Saturday’s game:
— Official BWFC (@OfficialBWFC) December 21, 2013
Skied over the bar! Great chance for Lee when unmarked on the edge of the area! All power, no placement! (36) 0-1 #BOLvCHA
— Official BWFC (@OfficialBWFC) December 21, 2013
Bolton eventually drew with Charlton Athletic 1-1. Not to anguish over this, but undoubtedly the Double Dragon will be spending some time over the holidays working it.
Some Site News
- Obviously the winter holidays are here, so everyone, including us at the Tavern are traveling and celebrating with family and friends. Expect things to slow down a bit, in terms of posts and such, for the next few weeks.
- If you haven’t yet, don’t forget to vote in the Tavern’s 1st annual ‘Year End Awards’. Voting ends on December 31st!
- Hong Myong-Bo trying to set up a friendly with Greece, March 5? We’re awaiting confirmation.
- Finally, next month is of course, the U.S. tour. If you are going to any of the games and would like to contribute something to the site, please do! Send us pictures, match reports, anything at all. I think personal thoughts and stories would be ideal, but if you have tactical thoughts or match observations that’s fine as well. More details and information about this will be out when the time is a bit closer. We can do this for you -here’s a link from the US Soccer website on purchasing tickets for the Feb 1 US vs Korea friendly at the StubHub Center near L.A. Prices range from $28-250.