Damage Report: only in the ‘kibun’ area. Let’s go to the roundup with some tiny rays of optimism to brighten an otherwise dismal weekend…
Player, Team, Opposition, Results, Notes
Koo Ja-Cheol, Mainz, Schalke, D0-0, 74 minutes
Park Joo-Ho, Mainz, Schalke, D0-0, not in 18/injured
Ji Dong-Won, Augsburg, @Frieburg, W2-4, 67 minutes & 2 shots
Hong Jeong-Ho, Augsburg, @Frieburg, W2-4, last 30 minutes
Kim Bo-Kyung, Cardiff City, Hull, L0-4, not in 18
Park Chu-Young, Watford, @Bolton, L0-2, 61 minutes
Lee Chung-Yong, Bolton Wanderers, Watford, W2-0, last 11 minutes
Ki Sung-Yueng, Sunderland, Arsenal, L4-1, 90 minutes
Yun Suk-Young, QPR, Charlton Athletic, L1-0, unused substitute
Son Heung-Min, Bayer Leverkusen, Wolfsburg, L3-1, last 28 minutes
Ryu Seung-Woo, Bayer Leverkusen, Wolfsburg, L3-1, not in 18
Park Ji-Sung, PSV Eindhoven, @NEC Nijmegen, W2-0, 90 minutes & 2 shots
Let’s start with the positive –Park Ji-Sung had himself a decent game – 2 shots / no goals but kept the ball moving the right way for PSV Eindhoven in their 0-2 win at NEC Nijmegan. Take a look at a summary of his touches:
Encouragingly, Koo Ja-Cheol has had back to back starts for Mainz. Their battle at Schalke was could be considered a productive draw. ESPNFC had this to say on Koo midway through: “A good combination between Koo Ja-cheol and Okazaki carved open the Schalke defence once again, but the latter was unable to supply the finish again.” Here’s Koo’s touch summary from last Friday:
Ji Dong-Won got his first start since his injury at the time of transfer to Augsburg in January. Quiet affair before he was subbed out, but a few minutes before he exited in the 67th minute, this happened: “Attempt missed. Dong-Won Ji (FC Augsburg) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Matthias Ostrzolek with a cross.” –ESPNFC. Meanwhile Augsburg centerback Hong Jeong-Ho got in on the fun after the hour mark, replacing defender Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker. Augsburg went behind 2-1 before a wild come from behind finish to end in the win column 2-4. This was Hong’s first game in …well I can’t remember the last time he featured for Augsburg…
- Perhaps one of the biggest surprise of the weekend: the re-emergence of Yun Suk-Young at QPR -at least on their bench in a match at Charlton Athletic. The left back has not featured for the Rangers since going on temporary loan for Doncaster. We were worried he had completely disappeared at Loftus Road. Then again, he was an unused sub in what was eventually a 1-0 loss for QPR. What does Harry Redknapp have in store for the ex Chunnam Dragons defender? QPR have dropped down to 4th in the English Championship…
- While Park Chu-Young got his first start for Watford since transferring in late January at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium Saturday, he produced 0 shots and quietly exited in the 62nd minute. He didn’t get to face Lee Chung-Yong, the Blue Dragon was introduced later in the 79th minute. 2 early Bolton goals was enough to stop Watford’s unbeaten streak of 5 matches. Pre-match -John Duerden reviewed Park’s career derailed by Arsene Wenger in the Mirror. Update: Bolton released an edit of a quick video summary of the game. You can see Park Chu-Young try to get in a cross -deflected for a corner, but mostly the Bolton goals (of course)
- Ki Sung-Yeung and Sunderland find themselves back in the relegation zone after a 4-0 loss to Arsenal. They are now in 18th place and 24 points – albeit with most of the bottom 12 clubs within 4 points of danger. For me it was a surprising loss – Sunderland had a habit of rising to the occasion when facing top 5 teams and disappointing results with low tablers. Well, they do have a huge fixture ahead of them, Manchester City awaiting them at Wembley for the League Cup. Here’s Ki thanking his supporters (as well as those in Korea) in this promo for the final:
- Jae jumping in here (since I actually sat down to watch half of the Arsenal-Sunderland game) to put in my 2 cents about Ki’s performance. Disappointing of course, but Ki was largely bypassed in this one. Sunderland seemed to panic after going down early, and acted like a team that was in desperate need of a goal in a short amount of time. They hoofed long balls for Altidore to chase, but it was never going to work. Ki largely became a spectator, and that was about it. As for Ki’s poorer performances of late, I suspect that Ki tends to go with the overall quality and play of the team. When Sunderland plays well, Ki plays well, largely because of how Ki plays/is used within their set up. Ki is not someone who will grab the team by the scruff and drag them up when they are doing poorly. I imagine that when we see Ki play with Korea next week we will see the Ki we are used to seeing.
- Son Heung-Min‘s team is not in danger, still 2nd in the Bundesliga, but with several high profile losses including a 3-1 loss to Wolfsburg on Saturday – pundits are wondering whether they’ve lost their moorings. BVB, Schalke and Wolfsburg are all fighting for the remaining Champion League spots. Son seemed to add some spark and pace to Bayer’s offense after falling behind 2-1, but wasn’t able to add to the scoreline. Meanwhile Bayern Munich have pulled out of orbit – an insurmountable 19 point lead over Bayer Leverkusen could see them clinch the title as early as March.
- Cardiff is closing in on the bottom again, losing spectacularly to Hull at home 0-4. No Kim Bo-Kyung in the roster – and even if he was in the lineup – with the morale sinking faster than you can say ‘Vincent Tan is a crazy f*ckingup owner’ – it could be a short stay in top flight for this proud but beleaguered Welsh team.
Not a time for hand wringing I say. Take a look at the goals scored mid February by Lee Kang-In for Valencia’s academy team:
Ok, so don’t forget about the Mailbag – if you got questions for the Tavern writers including Jinseok, Jae and yours truly -send ’em in as we are closing that bag soon.
Be on the lookout for the newest Tavern Podcast – finishing touches are being applied.
You may not have seen it, but since we have a growing international community of Tavern goers here, we’re welcoming you to check in, say hello and make yourselves known at the Who’s Who section of the Tavern. Come to think of it- I still need to check in…
And finally, if you haven’t seen it yet – call ups for the March 5th friendly with Greece were released (March 6 in Korea) – sparking a lot of conversations about Park Chu-Young and Cha Du-Ri getting the call of duty…uh oh, kids are running amok again inside the Tavern. “YA! Hah Ji-MAH!” Got to go …chal ga-yo!