Midweek recap Dec 13: Son gets an unusual goal + Weekend Listing (and transfer news)

Despite dark clouds looming with the trump admin gutting net neutrality rules, the Tavern has a few bright moments to share midweek. But before you get started here, there’s the Korea v Japan haniljeon showdown tomorrow in the E1 regional tournament, starring domestic / Asia based players (since it’s not FIFA sanctioned) – check out Tim’s preview here:


Firstly: Son Heung-Min continues his red hot scoring form, now scoring 6 out of his last 7 starts for Spurs in all competitions, scoring 4 out of his last 4 Premier League matches. It’s actually getting difficult to keep up with, 3 Champions League goals (including a superb goal last week against APOEL and one apiece against BVB), and his 5th league goal last night at Wembley against Brighton & Hove Albion. The game itself was a bit of a slog for Spurs as they found it difficult to break down the uber defensive newly promoted club, but a lucky cross that wound up into the upper left of the net from Serge Aurier was the break Spurs needed. From then on, it was all Spurs as it forced Brighton to open up.  Son nearly got onto the scoring sheet several times before getting his head onto a late set piece, deflecting the ball off Davy Pröpper and on into the net. The header was quite excellent: recognizing the incoming ball was dipping fast, he come forward and bent down at a difficult angle to graze the back of his head – whizzing off Pröpper before he knew what had happened – the trajectory continued onward an on into the net.  Son was elated, as you can well imagine and pointed to his head in the post goal celebration before jumping up with fist pumping into the Wembley air. That illustrated just how unusual it was – not that he got the ball in the back of the net, but that the goal didn’t come from his feet. He has scored with his head a number, but not often. A diving header to get onto a quick Kim Jin-Su cross in the semi-final of the Asian Cup against Uzbekistan comes to mind -as well as a header against BVB during his Hamburg days. I believe that’s pretty much it, his feet has done the talking for him ever since. Game over, but Son was punched in the solar plexus by Brighton’s Bong, possibly as a bit of revenge for the goal. Son was doubled over in pain for a minute and when play resumed, he had been substituted and grimaced in spite of a Wembley standing ovation.  Son complained bitterly to the 4th official about the punch before Pochettino congratulated Son and settled his nerves with a few positive words.

Afterwards, Son and Spurs got word that with Arsenal and Liverpool dropping points, the north London club leaped into 4th place.  Son wins Man of the Match for the 3rd game in a row and wound up on several teams of the week again.  Not a bad day at the office.



and now my kids are starting to monopolize my time  – so game over for me. I’ll let Korean Footballers Abroad take over the rest of midweek recap:

Lee Chung Yong — I guess it reflects poorly on his situation that it wasn’t mentioned in pre-match press conference that he’d be available, but he did make the squad. With a fair number of injuries, he should warm bench again but doubt he’ll do much.

Ji Dong Won — Left off the squad and perhaps will be again this weekend. Not sure how his role has been determined but Ji has to be looking ahead to winter window at this point.

Koo Ja Cheol — Before I watched off DVR, I saw the poor rating he got from local paper and was worried but it turns out he played decently with the negative score reflective of some bad misses. Playing a 10-ish role ahead of Baier and a back five, he started off with some rough touches as well. But he also setup his teammates with some great passes, showed some classy touches and got those chances with good work. Not a great showing, but had a few of those chances gone in, coulda been a very good day.

Son Heung Min — Once again, Son has been the brightest spot in the offense and was rewarded with a late fortunate goal, with a half-diving header off the back of his head deflected in. His confidence seems high and the quality of his decision-making has improved. While fatigue showed at times, particularly in the second half, some of his passes were excellent and most importantly, felt like he balanced shooting, passing and dribbling intelligently. He’s always flashed all these skills but rarely has it felt as complete as Wednesday even at 80% quality.

Kwon Chang Hoon — With so much rest (sigh) KCH should start and be fresh.

Suk Hyun Jun — I imagine Suk should start, especially after being the pre-match interview.

Lee Seung Woo — I forgot to put cup match in. Reports are that he showed his inexperience.

Ki Sung Yueng — A step back in the right direction after a mixed showing on the weekend. While Swansea didn’t see too much of the ball, Ki looked good when he did get on it and his defensive positioning was more solid than it had been. Obviously these comments are relative to Swansea’s rolling over to Man City in general but there was some decent signs even if their defense imploded.

Weekend Listing

Day Time Player Club Opponent TV
Saturday 7:30 AM Lee Chung Yong Crystal Palace @Leicester NBCSN
Saturday 9:30 AM Ji Dong Won Augsburg Freiburg Fox Match Pass
Saturday 9:30 AM Koo Ja Cheol Augsburg Freiburg Fox Match Pass
Saturday 12:30 PM Son Heung Min Tottenham @Man City NBC
Saturday 2:00 PM Kwon Chang Hoon Dijon Lille None
Saturday 2:00 PM Suk Hyun Jun Troyes Amiens BeIn Play
Sunday 6:30 AM Lee Seung Woo Hellas Verona AC Milan BeIn Play
Monday 3:00 PM Ki Sung Yueng Swansea @Everton NBCSN

Tavern Owner back, a few more items on Son, Football.London interviewed Son and he touted the secret to his better form: better diet and …hard work in training. “I improve every day, whether it’s the training session or my eating – everything. I train every day, work hard and I’m a really lucky person to have something I’m getting better at.”    – Not very spectacular is it – but there is no doubt – Son has really improved a number of aspects to his game and making big impact.  That translates into the virtual world where Son makes this prestigious list:






Transfer news:



An update this morning from the Women’s side of the E1 Tournament

Last but not least, an interesting expose on what is happening on the ground in North Korean football

About Roy Ghim 454 Articles
The old Tavern Owner

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