Before we get to the headline, the big result is in and…it’s a 2-0 KNT home loss to Brazil… if there is such thing as a respectable loss, perhaps this is it. Especially if you compare the 3-0 beatings inflicted by Brazil on Japan and an even greater 6-0 result handed to the Socceroos of Australia recently. How Modern Seoul briefly put it:
Full Time Result: South Korea 0 – 2 Brazil A close and interesting game, with a fair result at the end of the day.
— Modern Seoul (@ModernSeoul) October 12, 2013
Jae will be getting a post match analysis of this international friendly as humanly as possible. KNT players that impressed: quite a few liked Han Kook-Young‘s game on Saturday, but I thought Kim Bo-Kyung rocked it in Seoul. The best chance Korea had to break the deadlock in the first half came when ‘Kimbo’ picked Marcelo’s pockets clean in defense, then drove towards Brazil’s half, deftly maneuvering around several Brazilian defenders before passing the ball off to Ji Dong-Won – his pass back to Kim gave Korea it’s first chance at a goal. Take a look:
Which segues to the headline – if you’ve been following the Tavern twitter feed, you know there is massive trouble afoot in Wales. Kim Bo-Kyung’s club, Cardiff City, has been reeling with owner Vincent Tan again causing havoc and dissension at Cardiff. Bluebird supporters are in an uproar – and that might be putting it mildly.
Here’s what is known: Iain Moody, the head of scouting for Mackay since 2011 has been instrumental in several successful signings (in particular as far as the Tavern is concerned – steering Kim Bo-Kyung away from Borussia Dortmund to sign instead with CC in 2012). He’s been placed on leave -and last Friday has walked away entirely from the club. In his place is a 23 year old Kazahk, Alisher Apsalyamov who has such footballing credentials as… assistant painter tasked with maintanence outside Cardiff City stadium walls. Apparently he is a friend of Vincent Tan’s son. This kid is supposed to have the responsibility of bringing in talent in the highly charged January transfer window to help keep City afloat in the Premiership.
I talked to our man on the ground in Cardiff, CJay, aka Chris Harris, whose contributions in the Tavern kept readers in the loop with Kim and the club’s efforts to gain promotion to the Premiership last season – he was given a list of questions surrounding this. Troubling additions to Moody’s departure – the possibility that manager Malky Mackay is on the outs with the owner.
CJay: I have always been grateful of the role Tan has had in the club. He has saved us from extinction. However, I think Mr Tan needs to have some perspective on the Premier League. As far as I can see, there is no one of Moody’s caliber and experience who can replace him, especially someone who Malky can trust as well as Moody. Tan needs to resolve this situation in the best possible way,
by bringing back Moody (too late) but making sure there are some fail-safes before a transfer can be completed so as to not cause the same incident we have today.
This could well be the final straw for many fans, or it could be a turning point for a more financially rigid club. I think that £9-11m on Medel is one of the best buys in the world. Xavi said Barcelona should have bought him. £9m on Caulker is another steal, future England Captain in the making. £2m on Odemwingie is very reasonable, a experienced Premier League striker. The only problem may be that striker Andreas Cornelius who was bought for £8.5m and has yet to play in the EPL may have upsetted Tan because of lack of return and wasted money. And yes, I can see this point of view. I would hate it if that happened to me, however transfer prices in the EPL are overinflated at the best of times and we have been very very lucky to buy who we have bought in the last two seasons. Like I have said, I think it’s very unrealistic to think after spending £30m on players, to expect to be 4th now.
(If Mackay resigns) I can honestly say without a doubt, Cardiff would be relegated and the future we have, would disappear in an instant.
Chilling words. Our thanks to CJay for this impromtu interview and the perspective from Cardiff. Going back to my Michael Brown analogy, Tan’s Hurricane Katrina moment could very well be just around the January transfer window corner…
UPDATE: Wales online is reporting that Malky Mackay is having a meeting with Cardiff administrators on Monday Oct 14th. Mackay is not a happy camper going into this – and who can blame him? I’ve been told the meeting is going on as I type…
The Guardian’s Barry Glendening had speculated this move by Tan may also be retaliatory to Tan’s banishment from the player’s locker room (by nixing the end of the season bonuses that traditional for clubs that perform well, the players acted in unison, barring Tan from their premises as a sign of displeasure). Tan’s anger zeroed in on Mackay -so to get at him – remove Moody for a maintanence boy. Glendening theorized that Tan was incorporating a strategy illustrated to humorous effect in a Seinfeld episode where George Costanza’s employers were trying to flush him out of his office barricade; Tan was similarly trying to make life so uncomfortable for Mackay, that he would simply resign.
Speaking of clubs, drama, etc., Sunderland has a new manager, the ex-Argentinian international Gus Poyet – who quietly took the job during the international break. Last season at the helm of Brighton & Hove Albion, he nearly took them to promotion to the Premiership, only falling to Crystal Palace in last season’s playoff. He left on controversial terms, but clearly was considered an effective manager – having led Brighton up out of the lower League 1 division. Not having managed in the Premiership, can the ex-Chelsea man deliver the Blackcats out of relegation danger? With only a point from a draw and several losses, Sunderland finds themselves 7 points deep at the bottom of the table. We’re not sure how Gus will assess Ji Dong-Won, but given caretaker Kevin Ball’s willingness to use Ji in the last outing with Manchester United, he may get to see more playing time under new management. Ki Sung-Yeung (on loan from Swansea) will continue to be a needed asset in central midfield -but Swansea may require his services and absorb him back in January when his loan will be reassessed.
Meanwhile, Park Chu-Young remains a strong candidate to go on an emergency loan to Wigan. It’s not been finalized -there’s still details to be worked out financially. Nevertheless it is (at this juncture) widely expected that Arsenal will release Park to go to Wigan, possibly until January. Despite being relegated, Wigan strangely enough are in the Europa League. Wigan earned that distinction having won the FA Cup trophy against Manchester City last season, right before losing their relegation battle. If the loan goes through, Park may or may not qualify to join the roster for the Europa league ties -there’s some questions as to the rules and exceptions to it regarding new players on the roster.
Lee Keun-Ho‘s outing as a sub yesterday for the Brazil match left a bit to be desired. Less than a year ago he was awarded the AFC Asian Player of the Year along with Shinji Kagawa. Due to military conscription rules, Lee has to serve close to 2 years in the military – but can still play football -but the twist: it’s a lower tiered 2nd division K-League Sangju Sammu, an army team made up of other conscripted footballers who have to serve time. Consequently he isn’t playing top flight football – and with the 2nd division K-League only in it’s inaugural year, Lee’ form isn’t where it could be or should be.
Before Jae gets in his post match analysis -who was there in the flesh at Seoul World Cup Stadium (very jealous!), I had some brief thoughts -and no I’m not contemplating wearing the tidy whiteys -it’s about yesterday’s game, thank you. Hong Myong-Bo’s team is showing form VASTLY improved from the Choi Kang-Hee era. The best moments from the KNT, they looked (for lack of a better term) ‘Brazilian-esque’ – including counters where they moved the ball with swagger. Of course not throughout the entire match, but enough to give the Brazilians a decent amount of trouble. Some of the counter attacks from the Taeguk Warriors looked solid and fluid -but they just couldn’t figure out how to get past David Luiz and company. Thus, there were few shots generated. So they didn’t win the match, but could they have drawn with Brazil? The goals conceded looked preventable. Neymar no doubt had a stellar free kick – but Jung Sung-ryong could have been done better to block it. The second conceded was a backline error, but give credit where credit due, Oscar did brilliantly to maneuver around Jung for the goal. And yet, overall the back four did relatively well to contain Brazil’s scoring machine to just 2 goals – better than Spain in last summer’s Confederates tourney – a 3-0 result, and as we mentioned before, better than the 3-0 shutout against Japan, and 6-0 against Australia. Defensive improvements – check. Forward goal scoring improvements- to be determined. Park Chu-Young time?
Extra observations via twitter:
Guus Hiddink at Seoul WC Stadium. Not saying if he’s en route to Australia!
— John Duerden (@JohnnyDuerden) October 12, 2013
Some fans booed Ki Sung-yeung when his name was announced but more cheered him loudly.
— John Duerden (@JohnnyDuerden) October 12, 2013
Rumor mill has it Guus might be taking over the Socceroos? Let’s hope that isn’t true. And some are still angry at Ki over his Facebook dissing of Choi Kang-hee? Please. Consider Ki Sung-Yeung not in the KNT squad at the World Cup for a moment. Can’t even go there, can you? The man apologized already – what more do they want? The few who had a problem with Ki can express their love of Choi by re-watching the epic failures of the KNT during his tenure. Tavern out.
UPDATE: A Facebook Tavern reader alerted me to the fact that the spam filter was catching EVERYTHING and no one’s comments have been going up the past several days. I just manually corrected that and threw all comments public just now. Not sure what’s going on – I’ll be doing some web maintanence.