While we in North America shake our heads jealously at Korea’s long weekend (Childrens’ Day and Buddha’s Birthday), Korean Soccer/Football/Chukgu players abroad were called to action for their European club teams. With the season winding down, there were a lot of tense battles, as Son fights for Champions League position, Kimbo and Cardiff try to stave off relegation (with Sunderland’s Ki looking on), and our Championship players make their presence known with two more tallies to the weekend’s total.
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Quick points, like I said, I might drop in later to add a little more meat to the bone (REALLY not sure that’s an expression in English. This is what living in a French city can do to you. Forgive me.)
- Cardiff go down. I’m positive that Bluebirds agree that this season has been just a total failure, but a
chunknearly all of the blame must go to Vincent Tan and his peculiar, distracting, havoc-creating actions. As if refusing to change the team colors was enough, he fired Iain Moody, chief of recruitment, hired an utterly inexperienced 23-year-old from Kazakhstan to do his job. Afterwards, Malky Mackay was fired just months after leading the team to the top tier in one of the most prestigious football leagues in the world. Ole Gunnar Solksjaer offered something different, but the end result was the same – horrendous away form, inability to create chances and finish them, and an often leaky defense. Kim Bo-Kyung was subbed off at the half and his contributions were admittedly very limited in a lackluster 3-0 defeat to Newcastle. I’m doing the ayatollah and saying, without hesitation, Fuck Tan. I’ll stop there before I get really angry.
- Cardiff were relegated right after Sunderland won 1-0 at Old Trafford. Ki was out of the 18 with tendonitis. Another win against United for the Black Cats. Norwich drew Chelsea, meaning that Sunderland just need a win to complete their Houdini-like escape. (Read on to find out if there’s another twist in the plot – and it concerns Ji Dong Won.)
- Also, as previously mentioned at the Tavern, Ki Sung Yueng has asked to leave the club to recover in Europe. Gus Poyet has already said Ki will likely not feature in the remaining fixtures – he is ineligible this weekend against Swansea, leaving only the Midweek game.
This post will be updated – stay tuned – but before I depart –here’s video of not one but TWO goals from our KPA’s in the Championship. Wait, two, I say? Yun Suk Young got his first tally as a Queens’ Park Ranger with this stellar run and finish. Very timely as Hong will announce his 30-man roster for the World Cup THIS THURSDAY.
- And Lee Chung Yong made it two-in-two with this spectacular half volley. Two cracking goals from our Championship players! Bolton surrendered two late goals once more, this time against Birmingham City, who, with the point, ensured another year in the second-tier. Regardless, a fantastic goal. Wouldn’t mind if he did that at the World Cup! Match highlights’ (LCY’s goal is the first highlight.)
- So that concludes this years Championship and our two players go out in style. Hang on! Is that a playoff I hear? Of course, Yun Suk Young’s QPR finished 4th in the Championship which has earned them a playoff tie with Wigan. The away leg will be played on May 9th, 2:45pm Eastern Time. The return leg is staged on May 12th, 2:45pm Eastern Time. If they get through on aggregate, either Derby County or Brighton and Hove Albion await them at Wembley Stadium, 10am Eastern Time on the 24th of May. Hopefully Redknapp comes to his senses (a little biased, sorry) and plays Yun. Just throwing it out there in the extremely unlikely event that ‘Arry is reading this 😉
Fear not! Your Tavern contributor will be back to update this post with mini-recaps of the action in Germany! Until then, jalgayo.
As promised, here’s a quick recap of the action in Germany.
- While Ji Dong Won seemed to have a ‘meh’ substitute appearance, he did get couple good chances away. Roy had highlighted in the Listings that he might stay on loan for Augsburg next season. It’s safe to say he’s underperformed since making the move from Sunderland to Augsburg.
- While we’re talking about Ji Dong Won, lawyers from Norwich, Fulham and Cardiff are assembling to ask the PL for a point deduction to Sunderland, according to The Guardian. The reason? Ji Dong Won was ineligible for the three appearances he made for the Black Cats, and thus, the team should be docked points as well as the fine previously handed to them. Other rumors indicate the League will not penalize Sunderland further, which might result in a messy legal fight mid-summer. The standard punishment, if one is handed out, is 3 points. One would imagine the Black Cats would like to have a 3 point cushion above the drop zone when the season finishes next weekend, if they are staying up. Keep in mind though – Sunderland earned the grand total of one point when Ji was playing. Perhaps that will factor in Sunderland’s defense? Only time can tell.
- Son Heung Min and Bayer Leverkusen, needing to hang on to the Final Champions League spot, gained three essential points. They head into the final matchday with a 1 point cushion over Wolfsburg. Stay tuned…
- I mentioned in a previous post that Mainz were assured a Europa League spot and to be fair, I don’t know what I was getting at. That’s FALSE! I do sincerely apologize. Mianhaeyo! Augsburg can still grab the final spot, as they trail Koo’s side by just a single point. Again, is there more drama in the mix in Germany?
Another reminder – there will be a Tavern Hangout on May 9 at 6pm US EST / May 10 at 7am in Korea, so keep your eyes peeled for that. Tavern Studios Busan, Connecticut, Quebec/Canada (whatever floats your boat), and of course, the actual factual Tavern itself will come together to discuss Hong’s World Cup team!
Until then – from Tavern Studio Quebec – jalgayo!