Hey hey, I did it again. Vanished before you knew it. School, university apps, life in general. Tavern got buried under all of that. Still have a lot of projects I want to get up and work on – but I’m not good at commitment, so let’s not make any promises. Sorry folks. I’ll try and put up a more informative post later on, but for now, here’s the Weekend Listings courtesy of Korean Footballers Abroad:
|Saturday||9:30 AM||Koo Ja Cheol||Augsburg||@Hannover||Fox Match Pass|
|Saturday||10:00 AM||Ki Sung Yueng||Swansea||@Huddersfield Town||NBC Gold|
|Saturday||12:30 PM||Lee Chung Yong||Crystal Palace||@Chelsea||NBCSN|
|Saturday||2:00 PM||Kwon Chang Hoon||Dijon||Amiens||None|
|Saturday||2:00 PM||Suk Hyun Jun||Troyes||@Nantes||BeIn Play|
|Saturday||2:45 PM||Lee Seung Woo||Hellas Verona||Chievo Verona||BeIn Play|
|Sunday||12:00 PM||Son Heung Min||Tottenham||Bournemouth||NBCSN|
Koo Ja Cheol — He should start… not sure if Finnbogason is fit enough to play but for now I think Koo will be second striker/10. A chance for Augsburg to get things going.
Ki Sung Yueng — He seems to be coming up a lot in press conferences but for now both Ki and Carvahal are saying the right things about focusing on relegation fight rather than contract. Of course the latter had a crazy metaphor about fires and water lol.
Lee Chung Yong — The K league clubs are still interested (not sure when their window closes) so we’ll see what happens but for now I expect bench warming.
Kwon Chang Hoon — I think he will start but of course he’s not an automatic teamsheet guy.
Suk Hyun Jun — Suk has been starting despite not producing post-injury. Nobody else is really stepping up so I don’t expect a change.
Lee Seung Woo — Like LCY, expecting bench warming.
Son Heung Min — Son caused danger all match and yet was really a bit wasteful in the final touch and Tottenham paid the price. Far from Son’s fault given he was one of the best out there and scored their only goal, but even that goal reflected his inaccuracy where he mishit a volley onto his plant foot which fortuitously landed in goal. He’ll have to think of the times when he mishit volleys or shot just wide in light of their elimination. To be honest, I don’t think this team was going to win the CL, so perhaps for the best that they can focus on FA cup and finishing top 4.
The big headline from midweek of course was Son Heung-min’s performance against Juventus, where at times he seemed to be one of the only Spurs players playing. Though his final third decision making was, as always, underwhelming, his work rate, directness and motivation were not lacking from Son. Frustrating to see his UCL journey end there, but as mentioned above, Spurs were never going to go all the way in any case.
Son, as always, plays with his heart on his sleeve, and took the result rather hard, being found in tears at the end of the match:
“We played well but sometimes football is like this. We have to accept the result but still for me, it hurts a lot.
“What was the difference? Nothing. At the start we played well, we created lots of chances, got to 1-0 and made the perfect start I think.
“This game we can learn something from, but this is sad news. The dressing room was a bit quiet.”
Though many out there are probably bemoaning Son’s tears (not again), you can’t deny that this guy plays with passion. Football means something to him, and though he’s an imperfect player, he never plays halfway. At least some credit should be attributed to him for that at the very least.
Korean media and netizens were quite furious at this particular incident after the match – Andrea Barzagli clearly stamping on Son’s calf on two consecutive occasions, before kicking back after Son angrily flailed a leg. Barzagli wasn’t booked for the occasion, and though in fairness it looked like a bit of accidental roughhousing that happens during a challenge, there’s no doubt that the second stamp was something that should have gone punished. Other players have certainly gotten much worse for much less. You’re responsible for your feet in soccer just as much as you’re responsible for your stick in hockey – doesn’t have to be on purpose, just has to be uncontrolled.
Barzagli stamps on Son twice (one may have been unintentional) and then Son kicks out at him so he kicks back, no cards for either. pic.twitter.com/f3qqqZiwtq
— amadí (@amadoit__) March 7, 2018
We’ll see if Barzagli faces any retrospective disciplinary action for the incident, though whatever comes out of it will be little consolation for Son.
There’s more news on the U-23 team, and their new manager, former Seongnam FC boss and ex-long shot candidate for the Korean National Team job – Kim Hak-bum. I’ll post on that in the morning, and maybe try to give an insight into Kim’s crazy training methods that are a by-product of his old-school coaching style. We’ll also look at how he’s handling the Son Heung-min situation ahead of the 2018 Asian Games, with the Tottenham star yet to clinch military exemption.
Until then, GGMU, f*ck Liverpool!