Paco Herrera sacked at Celta Vigo / Lee Seung-Woo ruled ineligible by FIFA

Lee Seung-Woo & Messi & Braima Fati
Lee Seung-Woo alongside Leo Messi and Cadete B teammate Braima Fati

February 18, 2013

…and if there was enough room in the headlines, it would’ve also included the Koreans abroad weekend roundup.

Quickly, let’s go to Spain where Celta Vigo has just fired Paco Herrera after a loss to Getafe that’s kept Celta in the relegation zone for the 2nd straight week. Looking at today’s Marca, the club wrapped up negotiations with Abel Resino to take the helm until June. Resino has previously coached several clubs including Athletico Madrid, seeing them through qualification for the Champions League in 2009. He is known as a ‘catastrophe management’ specialist, having turned things around at Grenada by the end of last season. What this means for Park Chu-Young who didn’t feature in Saturday’s match (despite scoring against Getafe in September for the game winner) is anyone’s guess.  Resino, who is expected to begin training with the team on Tuesday, will assess the roster and possibly utilize Park, given the paucity of scoring without the Korean forward on the pitch in recent matches. For his part, Paco Herrera complained that despite his 3 years of service, he wasn’t even notified of his dismissal -only hearing of it from the media.  Quite remarkable, in light of the club’s rude dismissal of a coach who did manage Celta to promotion last season. He becomes the 5th manager to be sacked in La Liga this year.

We’ll stay with Spain and go to the Catalan regions where FIFA has ruled that Barcelona’s academy player, Lee Sung-Woo was ruled ineligible to play for their Cadete B squad. The highly rated Korean forward has been a scoring machine at La Masia this season (the Tavern statistician is on vacation, but before he left, he was shouting expletives about how he couldn’t keep track of his goal scoring output). So what’s the problem?  According to FIFA Article 19 of the “Regulations for the Status and Transfer of Players,” international transfers of players are only permitted when the player reaches the age of 18. There are 3 exceptions to the rule, but in La Masia there are several players who don’t meet those exceptions. Lee has been singled out – but wait a tic, how did FIFA find out about Lee to begin with? Speculation points to Real Madrid as the snitch -but there’s no conclusive proof (as of yet) of their culpability in the matter.  Barcelona will undoubtedly appeal the ruling and will explore other options to get around this technicality. In the meantime, Lee did not play in last weekend’s academy matches and will be sidelined until the matter can get resolved. Stay tuned for updates.

From time to time, we’ve been lucky to have Tavern goers pass on timely news articles of interest. Concerning Son Heung-Min, several media sources including the Chosun Ilbo reports that Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson and Chelsea have joined Tottenham and Liverpool in trying to ascertain the talents of the Hamburg player. Since the original source of the news came originally from the Daily Mirror, the Tavern is suspicious of it’s veracity. But supposing it’s true and that scouts from all these premier club are lurking at every Hamburg match, analysts (including our own Tavern analyst) wonder out loud the wisdom of such a move. At age 20, Son is not only a regular starter, he’s a star player for an up and coming team that just might slip into the Champions League next season. Why upend all that?  Hamburg’s dire financial situation just might be the impetus for Son to start taking english language lessons. Let’s just hope Son finishes contract negotiations with Hamburg soon, before the scouts start circling ever closer.

A blog I had not been aware of came into sharp focus recently: London Korean Links, covering all things Korean in foggy London town had an exclusive interview with Lee Chung-Yong right before the Korean national team’s friendly with Croatia 2 weeks ago. And they live tweeted from Craven Cottage!  Why have I not been made aware of this excellent blog before? [Tavern MInister of Awareness? Where the bloody hell are you? I’m summoning you for an explanation, chop chop].  Today they posted about QPR’s new twitter account directed straight at Korean fans of the struggling Rangers. Will Yun Suk-Young and Park Ji-Sung be able to right this sinking ship? [not bloody likely, but miracles do happen…]


Before we get to the Koreans in Europe roundup from last weekend, there’s just a handful of games to be aware of in midweek:

Tuesday February 19

English Championship, Cardiff City vs. Brighton & Hove Albion, 2:45 pm Eastern Standard Time. Exciting prospect of seeing Kim Bo-Kyung in the Premier League next season. Not sure if he’ll start, but should see some minutes as he’s recovering from a minor injury.

English Championship, Derby County vs Bolton, 2:45 pm.  Lee Chung-Yong‘s side may not get promoted, but at least he’s getting back to his usual quality form from a horrific leg breaking injury in July 2011. 

Thursday February 21

Europa League, Dnipro vs FC Basel, 1:00 pm. Park Joo-Ho has been getting some starts recently. The Korean left back was representing in last week’s 2-0 win in the first leg with Dnipro.


And at last…Weekend of February 16-17 / Koreans in Europe roundup


German Bundesliga

Gruether Furth F  Park Jung-Bin: not in 18 man roster in 0-1 loss at Fortuna Dusseldorf

FC Augsburg MF Ji Dong-Won; 90 min in 1-2 loss at Bayer Leverkusen

FC Augsburg MF Koo Ja-Cheol; 90 min in 1-2 loss at Bayer Leverkusen

Hamburg F Son Heung-Min; 75 min in 1-0 win at home versus M’Gladbach

* Rafael Van der Vaart with the goal helped Hamburg reach 6th place in the Bundesliga table. That’s good enough for automatic qualification to the Europa League if they hold onto that position. Hamburg is within 3 points of Eintracht Frankfurt, who holds the possible 4th and last Champions League spot.

English Championship Division

Cardiff City MF Kim Bo-Kyung; 6 min in 2-1 win at home versus Bristol City.

*Cardiff is 8 points clear at the top of the table and nearing automatic qualification for the Premier League next season.

Bolton  MF  Lee Chung-Yong; 65 min in 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest

Spanish La Liga

Celta Vigo  F  Park Chu-Young; 18 man roster, no minutes in 1-3 loss at Getafe


Swiss Super League

FC Basel  D  Park Joo-Ho; no minutes in a 1-2 win at Lausanne

English Premier League

Swansea City  MF  Ki Sung-Yeung; not in 18 man roster in a 0-5 loss at Liverpool. He was out sick.

* While it may seem like a disastrous score, Ladrup selected his Swansea 2nd squad for rotational purposes, and ultimately to try to grab some silverware. Swansea will be at Wembley Stadium for the League Cup final, set for Sunday February 24th.  What can we say, Swansea squad B is not as good as Liverpool squad A.

Portuguese Liga 

Maritimo  F  Suk Hyun-Jun; 55 min (second yellow card dismissal) in a 2-1 win over Estoril





About Roy Ghim 454 Articles
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