May’s mailbag is in. Questions this time around are a bit more varied, with transfers, league comparisons, and player performance in mind.
If Park Ji-Sung were to move to a better club (because qpr will probably let him go) where would he go?
Roy: Cardiff would be a nice destination for Ji Sung, if rumors are to be believed that the Blue Birds are interested. I have mixed feelings about Toronto FC’s interest in Park, but that might be a better alternative than for him to play in the English Championship with QPR.
Jinseok: MLS or Cardiff seem very likely right now, but i personally hope not Cardiff.
Jae: I suppose that depends on what you mean by a better club. There is the Cardiff rumor, and that would be a step up in terms of club performance, but I’m not convinced he would play much for them. MLS is probably a step down in terms of club performance, but he would possibly play a lot, and even be a star player. Personally, I hope he returns to the K League Classic.
hanguk49 (for Roy)
Bolton failing to get a spot into the playoffs, what are the most probable outcome of Lee Chung-Yong future?
Roy: Good question. He has 2 more years on his contract with the Wanderers (officially at the end of the 2014-2015 season). Owen Coyle, Bolton’s previous manager, really was keen on the Blue Dragon’s abilities (otherwise he wouldn’t sought a contract extension despite Lee missing most of the 2011-2012 season due to a leg break injury in pre-season.). The same initially couldn’t been said for Dougie Freeman, who came on as a steward manager. However, with the season looking bleak early in 2013, Dougie saw the light and relied on Lee as a dependable wingman of choice. His recovery from leg injury past 85% complete (by Lee’s own statements made several months ago), he started nearly every single match from mid-season onward. As a result, Bolton’s form really came together and they lifted themselves from 17th in the table all the way to 6th, a remarkable accomplishment given their terrible start. Last weekend they just missed out on a chance for a playoff promotion spot by a hair. That leaves us with the possibility that Bolton will either hang on to the Blue Dragon OR behind the scenes they may let Premiership clubs compete for his services. That brings us back to the contract extension – as he’s not a free agent yet, that could complicate matters. However, Bolton – like many clubs in England, has quite a debt to tackle. Hey Swansea City, when you’re shopping around in the summer, look no further than Lee Chung-Yong. Lee could be a player to complement your current stalwart midfielder Ki Sung-Yeung. Both Ki and Lee weren’t just teammates on FC Seoul back in the day, they formed an effective duo that terrorized opposition teams in the K-League. In fact, their partnership was dubbed, ‘Double Dragon.’
Jinseok: LCY is uncertain, unfortunately… no concrete interest yet
K League or MLS? Are they of the same caliber?
Apples and Oranges. In terms of level of play, both have their strong suites and areas in need of improvement. I think one of the K-League teams beat LA Galaxy in a friendly pre-season match earlier in 2013, if that is any small indication to go by.
In the Plus column for MLS: their decision to build soccer specific stadiums a decade ago was, in hindsight, absolutely brilliant. It’s going a long way to advancing the gospel of soccer in the US (sold out stadiums in the northwest are making lots of noise, the good boisterous kind).There are only 2 clubs left in the US that still have massive stadiums to play in – much like K-League teams that struggle to fill the cavernous World Cup stadiums; these teams are floundering with sparse attendance – case in point, DC United numbers less than 10,000 regularly in a 63,000 seat stadium. Having a full stadium of cheering enthusiastic supporters rocking a stadium can – in a psychological sense – help players on the field get more intense about their game at hand.
In the Plus column for K-League Classic: they instituted relegation last season – painful for the clubs relegated, joy for the clubs that survived. Instituting relegation is something the MLS is afraid to implement – but vital in staying respectable with professional football leagues the world over. The world already looks mockingly at the MLS as the place for has-been European stars who refuse to retire – using the MLS as their personal U-40 league. Whether that perception is fair or not, the fact the MLS is one of the few pro soccer leagues that doesn’t institute relegation adds to the sense of the MLS as a less-than-serious football venture.
Jinseok: K league is WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY better. That’s not even a question. think of the talent produced…
Jae: Talent-wise, the K League is better, but as Roy said, it’s apples and oranges. The K League is a more technical league while MLS is more physical, athleticism based. It’s kind of a La Liga versus Premier League debate. I think if the top teams from MLS and the K League Classic met up for a tournament, the K League teams would probably do a bit better.
Robert (for Jae)
How is Kim SHin wook? I have not watched his matches and i am hearing that he is moving to Europe next season.
Jinseok: I’ve watched a couple Ulsan matches on him. Europe is not certain. rumors, but we don’t really know yet
Jae: Yeah, there is the rumor that Kim Shin-Wook will move to Europe. My understanding is that the Ulsan president said he would leave for Europe, but I haven’t heard of any concrete interest or offer for him.
Personally, I don’t rate Kim Shin-Wook that highly. He’s tall . . . and, that’s about it. He’s capable of being a handful in the air, but he’s slow as . . . something slow moving and dark brown. Also, he’s not that technically skilled, his first touch isn’t great, his finishing is average at best. He’s capable of moments of brilliance, but is usually just average.
Which is what made the fact that he started (and lasted for so long) against Qatar so baffling. There was nothing, on paper or on the pitch, that would suggest that he should start ahead of the other strikers on the roster. But back to the question. While I hope I’m wrong, I can’t see Kim Shin-Wook being a successful European player. The age of the standard 9 who just knocks balls down, and wins headers is gone. And that’s what Kim Shin-Wook is. Maybe he could play in the Championship or some second division somewhere, but he doesn’t have the ability (right now) to cut it at the top level.