Fashionably late but I blame Halloween and getting kids ready around the Tavern for spooky activities involving the grab n’ go amounts of diabetes-inducing sugary treats. Back to the football world, lets go to Korean Footballers Abroad for their take on KPA ballers this past weekend and looking towards Spurs v Real Madrid Champions League clash today:
MIdweek Preview Oct 31st and Weekend Recap Oct 28th
Happy Halloween! I’m still pretty far behind on catching up. I’ve watched like 30 minutes of some and touch videos on others. So I’m only putting out partial notes and I may not catch up as I am on travel this week.
Also reminder of Daylight Savings Time… it seems Europe has already started so we will have some strange kickoff times.
Son Heung Min — Tottenham host Real Madrid (CL) TODAY Wednesday Nov 1 at 3:45 PM ET on Fox Sports 1. Son looked lively to start the match in something of a unique tactical play where Son would be up top for his pace but settle down into a CAM type role when the attack slowed down. At least for the 30 minutes or so I saw. I don’t expect him to start after going three matches in a row.
Lee Chung Yong — Out injured.
Ki Sung Yueng — Looked actually good in what I saw, moving more freely than prior. He was the deepest of the midfield 3 but still pushed forward a bit when he had chances. Similar to his Sunderland role than any Swansea role he’s had. Reports were positive on him despite the loss so things are headed in the right way for him.
Ji Dong Won — Made his first appearance so is that a sign that he may be working his way into shape after an injury riddled start to season or is he just on the margins to kill time?
Koo Ja Cheol — Koo was on the bench and Augsburg were running well, albeit against a weak Werder Bremen side that sacked their manager shortly after. When Koo did come on, he was brilliant to be honest. Three amazing through balls in a row, and a great exchange with Caiuby. He was positioned somewhere between 8 and 10. That said he didn’t have much defensive duties and the game was over so he may have to stay patient.
Kwon Chang Hoon — Played 90 in a win but seemed less amazing than midweek. But good to see him play so many minutes.
Suk Hyun Jun — Came on with 20 minutes but don’t really know much past that.
Lee Seung Woo — Came on for 10 minutes. Seemed energetic and athletic but the accuracy and precision do not look there just yet. Don’t expect a role change for him until he scores even if that is a ridiculous hurdle.
Tavern Owner back, Got a few highlight videos – Lee Seung-Woo’s sub minutes looked really good actually:
This is from last week for Swansea’s cup match, but despite the loss, Ki looked like Swansea’s most dangerous man against Man U:
and let’s quickly go to K-League before we look at Shin Tae-Yong’s call ups for the November friendlies.
With the season coming rapidly to a close, the title race all came down to Sunday as Jeonbuk faced Jeju, a pivotal #1 vs #2 must win game for either side. Lee Jae-Sung opened up the scoring and after Jeju’s Park Jin-po was sent off with his 2nd yellow, the islanders could not catch up, conceding goals to Lee Seung-gi and Lee Dong-Guk. Matt Bins wrote up a recap of the game for K League United, catch that here. This is Jeonbuk’s 5th title as they are looking more and more like the Bayern Munich of the K-League these last few seasons.
The race for survival is still on, here’s the relegation half table in the K-League Classic:
|Last 5 matches
11th Relegation Play-off
12th Automatic Relegation
Daegu and Pohang are now safe from relegation, but it’s a tight 5 point difference between bottom dwelling Gwangju and 9th place Sangju Sangmu with 2 rounds left before the end. Gwanju will rue a scoreless draw with Incheon last Sunday, but they are still on a 6 game unbeaten streak with 2 wins in the last 3 games. Can they engineer perhaps the most dramatic of escapes before the last game at home against Pohang on November 18th?
Meanwhile the K League Challenge season has wrapped up, which means the promotion/relegation playoff schedule has been released. Eventually the 11th place K League Classic team will play the winner of the playoffs between the 2nd through 4th place K League Challenge teams (2nd Busan, 3rd Asan, 4th Seongnam). K League United has you covered there:
— K League United (@KLeagueUnited) November 1, 2017
Onto KNT news, the 23 man roster for the Nov friendlies vs Colombia and Serbia has been released:
South Korea Squad (vs Colombia and Serbia) pic.twitter.com/uhHGHqOVgv
— Korea Football News (@KORFootballNews) October 30, 2017
The biggest gasp/surprise: Lee Jeong-Hyup being called back up. The last time he was called up, Uli Stielike was still in charge. Since then, he’s scored 9 goals for Busan ….in the 2nd division of Korean football. Other players who haven’t impressed for the KNT: Jang Hyun-Su and Jong Woo-Young again called up. Those selections will certainly make it harder to keep defending Shin Tae-Yong. Lee Seung-Woo wasn’t called up, he’s been getting sub minutes for Hellas Verona… so if he was given a chance for team Korea at the World Cup, one has to wait until the March friendlies -not much time to evaluate.
There are some call ups that make obvious sense (Koo, Ki, Son, Kwon, Lee Jae-Sung, Kim Jin-Su, Kim Young-Gwon) while 23 year old CB Jeong Seung-hyun from Sagan Tosu is getting what I think is his first call up – interesting, I’ll have to do some research on how he’s done in the J League. FC Seoul’s Yun Il-Lok winds up on the reserve call up list.
Nov 10 Korea v Colombia
Nov 14 Korea v Serbia