The Future of the Tavern [updated]

We’ll make this quick as there’s some significant news coming down the pike about Korean football (new coach of the KNT to be hired soon, Son Heung-Min tentatively cleared for the Asian Games, new European season and continued K-League action, and U20 Women’s World Cup updates etc), but first as Jae had mentioned in the previous post, we are in a state of transition as how we move forward, especially as it relates to financing the Tavern blog. Today I’m very excited to announce that we’ve secured private financing to allow the Tavern to maintain web hosting and stay at the current URL. So will still be a one stop place to get aggregate and original content news / analysis of the latest in Korean football.There’s still some moving parts so it’s not 100% yet, but 99% is close enough. I would like to acknowledge the people who are helping to host the costs for the Tavern in 2014-2015 for what would be the 3rd year of it’s existence, but I haven’t even asked them if they want to be publicly acknowledged or remain anonymous.  We’ll figure that part out in the next few days. One more moving part: we will no longer have a public crowdfunding campaign, but if you would like to contribute directly to keeping the Tavern operational for this year, please email me directly at (we won’t be accepting any Nigerian princes, sorry if you fall into that category and hope you recover that $ someday).

I kind of look at it like it’s a public radio or public tv contribution, helping to keep those networks operational for the public good.  At the Tavern, our network interest in Korean football is a bit different – we don’t have any equivalence of Elmo or This American Life, but it serves our thirst for news in this category.

Here’s a preview of what you should see in the Tavern for the 2014-2015 year:

Despite Korea exiting the World Cup early, there’s a lot to deconstruct as to why this happened. Did Korea underperform or in comparison to other World Cup campaigns does Korea over-perform (if so – the result might have been expected)?  I’m committed to a series of (soon to be coming) posts that will see if important lessons can be learned from the last World Cup cycle in moving forward. We’re going to look at several important facets of Korean football, from the KFA and it’s effectiveness in cultivating youth training – coaching – and refereeing -to the domestic club landscape and of course the impact of sending players abroad. We will examine other nations that are making progress, looking at what particular parts of their program work -and finally asking the question: could that be applied with the Korean football program?  This blueprint could be a manifesto for people to draw from in viewing Korean football and what the way forward could look like.

But speaking for me personally, what I look forward to with the Tavern and checking in on it is some of the simple pleasures of weekly life: like which Korean is involved in what important match – and when/what time and what channel I can tune in on. That’s been something we’ve done will continue to do – which I hope will happen both for KPA’s (Korean Players Abroad -in Europe) and for the K-League matches (as we recognize that increasing interest and excitement for the domestic leagues will be an important facet for improving Hanguk Chugu).  And I can’t lie, a great weekend is turned into an epic weekend when one of our KPA’s score or are integral to a club win – and the same could be said when a K-League club advances onward in the Asian Champions League.

and this isn’t any other year – for the U23/hybrid squad, it’s the Asian Games this fall (with the possibility of military exemption for gold medal winners) followed by the Asian Cup in January. It’s high stakes as team Korea, under new management, will have a short window of time to start their turnaround as a new 4 year World Cup cycle gets underway.

I have more to say on the upcoming year but family duties are calling me right now. I’ll be back to update soon (later today).

The things in life that are neat to witness is seeing how problems & obstacles are overcome, in beating the odds, exceeding expectations. Korea was in 2002 what Costa Rica pulled off in this year’s World Cup in Brazil: the underdog that thrilled the world in their run that upended the conventional narrative that predicted they would dutifully exit early.  Korea is still carving out their story 12 years since they shocked the world with their semifinal run in the World Cup.  What will happen in the development with Korean football – will they make the necessary steps to figure out a way to balance national security concerns and efforts to advance Korean football in regards to it’s strict military conscription rules that threatens to end Park Joo-Ho’s career in Germany – and looming down the road, Son Heung-Min’s as well?  Will Korean footballers, the steadily growing numbers joining top flight clubs in Europe, will they be able to make their mark, following in the giant footsteps of Park Ji-Sung and Cha Bum-Kun?  [and what in the world will become of Park Chu-Young?]  Will Korea improve it’s football infrastructure to develop it’s raw youth talent?  Can they find the reset button to their domestic football leagues – and get people excited and interested about it’s K-League local team of choice?  Will the Taeguk Warriors get a chance to shock the world again in the future?  And what of the Women’s program – can they join Japan to be among the elite national teams of the world?  So many questions. With the start of the new European campaign underway (already with the Bundesliga2 and English Championship) as well as a continuation of the Asian Champions League elimination stages, there’s not a shortage of excitement, anticipation and in the end -questions to be answered.  I am reading your mind and I’m right there with you – I’m looking forward to it all. Dae Han Min Guk ya’ll. It’s time for the ballers to play.

About Roy Ghim 454 Articles
The old Tavern Owner


  1. hey, can you repeat that email address? it doesn’t look like an address. i can help a little if need be. also, what does it mean in terms of the writing here with roy and jae moving on? does that you two won’t be writing anymore? or just more sporadically?

    • The main Tavern email is (hi taeguk warrior)

      I can’t speak entirely for Roy, but I will be writing more sporadically. Basically I’ll finish the two series I’ve started (K League tactics and the retrospective), and that’ll be largely it. From what he’s said, Roy might pop in for the big things, but he’ll largely stop posting.

      • Jae and Roy have been absolutely fabulous, and I’m hoping that Jinseok, Jeremy, Takeuchi and myself can provide the coverage that our readers want. It’s the beginning of a new cycle, it’s hopefully the beginning of a fresh start for the KNT, so it was perhaps the best time for writers who want to scale things down.

  2. I will also be glad to help out. Also a bunch of youth tournaments from the Spain kids as well as our U23 U20 and U17 teams are all coming up in the coming.months so stay tuned

  3. Y’know what, I actually wouldn’t mind a small ad or 2, depending on how much traffic u guys get. Ofc, the risk of doing things 4 the sake of inceasing traffic/pleasing advertisers is very real, altering what this site seems 2 b about. Slippery slope?

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