Thursday, February 22, 2018

Weekend Preview Feb 24th and Midweek Recap Feb 20th

Thinking of cutting the cord post Olympics. We'll see how well it all works after.

Saturday10:00 AMKi Sung YuengSwansea@BrightonNBC Gold
Saturday2:00 PMKwon Chang HoonDijonCaenNone
Saturday2:00 PMSuk Hyun JunTroyes@RennesBeIn Play
Sunday7:00 AMLee Chung YongCrystal PalaceTottenhamNBCSN
Sunday7:00 AMSon Heung MinTottenham@Crystal PalaceNBCSN
Sunday9:00 AMLee Seung WooHellas VeronaTorinoBeIn Play
Monday2:30 PMKoo Ja CheolAugsburg@DortmundFox Sports 1

Ki Sung Yueng -- He should start Saturday with the biggest question being in which role.

Kwon Chang Hoon -- I only saw a small bit but he looked a bit hyperactive and out of control. Quality at times but often undone by some inconsistent decision making. Like midweek, I'm unsure if he'll start but I'm leaning to yes.

Suk Hyun Jun -- Came on as a sub for a good 20+ minute stretch but I forgot he was fit and didn't see him play. We'll see if he's fit enough to start.

Lee Chung Yong -- Bench and maybe this is the weekend he gets to take the pitch for garbage time.

Son Heung Min -- After a poor showing last weekend and replay next week, Son could be on the bench this weekend but we'll see how Pochettino handles the multiple competitions and Lucas Moura's role.

Lee Seung Woo -- Probably bench.

Koo Ja Cheol -- Should start.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Weekend Recap Feb 16th and Midweek Recap Feb 20th

Suk Hyun Jun returns to fitness in time for a makeup match vs Kwon Chang Hoon's Dijon but will they face each other?

Tuesday -- Troyes vs Dijon - 12:30 PM ET (No TV)

Kwon Chang Hoon -- Started but was taken off after an hour. I didn't watch but commentators said that he was below his best in a poor showing. Now with short turnaround, will KCH get another chance or be forced to be a super sub? Given that Dijon imploded after his sub off, perhaps he gets another start but I feel like its a 50/50.

Suk Hyun Jun -- Although he missed the weekend with injury, he does appear to be getting healthy as he rejoined practice and made the squad for Dijon. That said, it would be surprising if he were thrown into the starting XI right away, so I'd imagine a bench spot more likely.


Ki Sung Yueng -- Really invisible to start the match, but grew into the match and soon was commanding the middle and pushing the attack... but it was all for naught as Swansea were not on their game and now has an undesired replay. It remains very interesting to see Ki's multiple roles again, moving from DM to CM and then an almost 10.

Koo Ja Cheol -- When he touched the ball, there was plenty of quality but when he didn't, was isolated and the latter happened a lot in action reminiscent of last season. When CM had passes go astray almost every attack, its kinda hard to blame Koo but one would hope that he'd find a way to have an impact. He did eventually drop deeper late in the match but by then it was too late.

Son Heung Min -- Started off very brightly and it felt just a matter of time before he'd score, having a one-on-one saved. But then the frustration of Tottenham's poor display and perhaps his own lack of scoring caused him to fall into his historic habits, including poor touches and bad decisions. A worrisome turn at the same time that Lucas Moura coming on in a good showing that makes attacking roles all the more competitive. The eventual replay is a bit embarrassing but it does mean some more minutes to spread around but if Son wants to be playing the CL matches, he's gotta execute against such low level opposition.

Lee Seung Woo -- Unused sub.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Weekend Preview Feb 17th and Midweek Recap Feb 13th

Lots on normal TV this weekend but we'll see how much people play with cups.

Friday2:45 PMKwon Chang HoonDijon@MonacoBeIn
Saturday7:30 AMKi Sung YuengSwansea@Sheffield Wed (Cup)Fox Sports 1
Saturday2:00 PMSuk Hyun JunTroyesMetzNone
Sunday9:30 AMKoo Ja CheolAugsburgStuttgartFox Sports 2
Sunday11:00 AMSon Heung MinTottenham@Rochdale (Cup)Fox Sports 1
Monday2:45 PMLee Seung WooHellas Verona@LazioBeIn
Offn/aLee Chung YongCrystal Palace

Kwon Chang Hoon -- Manager seems positive about his recent showing but perhaps with Monaco, he'll go for a more defensive choice especially with Troyes midweek. ODO is quite sensitive to KCH's physical state and two matches with the latter being a more probable win have to be weighing on his mind. So in squad but not sure if on bench.

Ki Sung Yueng -- With a full week to recover next week, Ki has a decent chance of starting despite it being a cup match vs lower level opponent as I imagine Carvalho will want to beat his old team and keep the positive momentum going. Will be on bench if playing it safe with rest.

Suk Hyun Jun -- Still out injured I think.

Koo Ja Cheol -- Should start and probably in more advanced role with forwards still out injured.

Son Heung Min -- Was a surprise bench but I guess it makes sense as he started to look like the amount of minutes were taking a toll, and tactically it made more sense to have a playmaker on vs. a tough defense like Juventus. I think the latter was the biggest concern for Poch but it must be frustrating for Son to have such a small role in CL this season and to come on with only 10 minutes left. The pitch at Rochdale has been of large concern so we'll see how much risk Poch takes on but I think we'll see Son start given the amount of rest and the need to have a regular in attack even in a cup.

Lee Seung Woo -- Maybe he can hope for some garbage time.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Weekend Recap Feb 9th and Midweek Preview Feb 13th

Champions League midweek and also Hwang Hee Chan's Salzburg go to Real Sociedad on Thursday (1pm ET no TV) for Europa League. But a good weekend for Ki and KCH as they both scored to launch their teams further out of relegation danger.


Son Heung Min -- 2:45 PM ET at Juventus (Fox Sports 1) -- A powerful first half from Son where he easily attacked the soft spots in Arsenal's wide defense but had a hard time getting the last ball in against a very crowded box. In the second half, his influence started to wane as fatigue wore on... particularly when he had a chance to score on a simple volley and missed wildly. He was taken off right after, and I would have figured he'd go the 90 but perhaps Poch wanted to save him ahead of Juventus where I expect him to start.


Koo Ja Cheol -- A very difficult game for Augsburg as Leipzig's attack controlled much of the possession and game. Koo was a bit isolated as a second striker and soon was drifting down into CM and even DM areas of the pitch. Koo himself played ok but wasn't influential enough with so few touches.

Lee Chung Yong -- How embarrassing. Crystal Palace was getting destroyed and yet the bench remained unused and LCY must have been seething that he was kept from a loan for no reason except optics on the bench.

Ki Sung Yueng -- A new role for Ki under Carvahal and Ki seemed to play it a bit like Sunderland days, with some defensive responsibilities, but also pushing forward into very advanced roles on the left. And before the end, Ki's initiative was rewarded with a goal, taking a half-and-half pass and striking a hard shot into the corner. The relief on Ki's face was visible as it seemed the pressure of not scoring was weighing on him earlier in the match when he passed up a perfect shooting opportunity to pass it off. A huge goal as it helped bring a critical three points for Swansea and though results didn't really go their way this weekend, they find themselves with a small gap ahead of the relegation zone.

Kwon Chang Hoon -- KCH had to continue to wait but he made a huge impact coming on scoring a good goal by finding a wide area to run into and finishing (albeit a bit clumsily) with a shot into far corner to also give Dijon a huge win in their relegation fight.

Lee Seung Woo -- Back to sitting unused.

Suk Hyun Jun -- Out injured.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Weekend Preview Feb 9th and Midweek Recap Feb 6th

Didn't quite get around to seeing Son midweek... sitting on DVR. Sorry about the short notice but was on the road this week. Kinda annoying that NLD gets booted to CNBC for Olympics.

Friday2:30 PMKoo Ja CheolAugsburg@LeipzigFox Sports 2
Saturday7:30 AMSon Heung MinTottenhamArsenalCNBC
Saturday10:00 AMLee Chung YongCrystal Palace@EvertonNBC Gold
Saturday10:00 AMKi Sung YuengSwanseaBurnleyNBC Gold
Saturday2:00 PMKwon Chang HoonDijonNiceBeIn Play
Sunday9:00 AMLee Seung WooHellas Verona@SampdoriaBeIn Play
Sunday9:00 AMSuk Hyun JunTroyes@StrasbourgBeIn Play

Koo Ja Cheol -- Koo should start as he's finding form at a good time.

Son Heung Min -- Reportedly played very well. Was surprised to see him start but one of the standard four of Kane/Alli/Son/Eriksen were going to play, so seems Poch used the guy who's least likely to go 90 anyway this weekend (as Son usually runs out of gas). Reports were that Son created tons of danger though he didn't score, and was taken off after an hour to plan in order to rest him for Saturday where Son should start in a big NLD.

Lee Chung Yong -- Hodgson actually referenced LCY in midweek conference so maybe LCY will get a chance to do more now that Zaha is out for a month or so. I'm not sure he'll get a chance to start but minutes are minutes and hopefully he does well so that he can at least be an option off the bench at end of season.

Ki Sung Yueng -- When Ki came on at HT, things were already settled so he didn't have to do much though he had some decent drives forward. In the final bit, Ki moved to CB which was a bit interesting. At face value, the move was to give van der Hoorn a rest but maybe Carvalho was also looking to build an emergency plan (e.g. CB goes down with all subs used).

Kwon Chang Hoon -- Must be frustrating not to be starting... maybe he gets a chance to start again but he'll certainly play.

Lee Seung Woo -- We'll see if last week's sub role means anything but I don't see any major shift (e.g. just garbage time).

Suk Hyun Jun -- Missed cup with injury as they got knocked out and I think he's out this weekend too.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Weekend Recap Feb 3rd and Midweek Preview Feb 6th

Midweek cup replays. I don't expect Ki to play much if at all and hopefully Son also gets a rest. Also a goal from Ji who looked good down in BL2.

Tuesday12:30 PMKi Sung YuengSwanseaNotts County (Cup)Fox Sports 2
Wednesday12:30 PMSuk Hyun JunTroyes@Lens (Cup)None
Wednesday2:45 PMSon Heung MinTottenhamNewport County (Cup)Fox Sports 1
Offn/aKoo Ja CheolAugsburg
Offn/aLee Chung YongCrystal Palace
Offn/aKwon Chang HoonDijon
Offn/aLee Seung WooHellas Verona


Ki Sung Yueng -- A shift in tactics again, with Ki back to a DM pair with Fer. Defensively, there were a lot of gaps in Swansea's with fatigue from the Arsenal upset midweek looking to cause some slowness. But Swansea were able to battle back and do just enough to earn a nice away point. Ki provided the assist with a very good corner, and had a few other nice set pieces and passes too but was as guilty as anyone else of looking a bit tired. With DM depth strained with Sanches hurt and Fer done for season, we'll see if Ki is forced to play out of lack of warm bodies but one would think that Carvalho would protect and rest his best DM.


Son Heung Min -- Similar to midweek for both Son and Tottenham, but when the breaks seemed to go against them instead of with. Son had a great chance to score a goal but it was saved. A lot of danger but also a bit of mess as well. The offense is still going well for Tottenham but the missing bit of sharpness could haunt them as CL closes in. Perhaps Pochettino uses Son midweek


Suk Hyun Jun -- I think still out injured but their match this weekend was cancelled due to all the flooding in the region.

Kwon Chang Hoon -- Match cancelled.

Koo Ja Cheol -- Playing between a CAM and second striker who also drifted deeper, Koo had one of his best games of the season, with some great dribbles and touches leading to many opportunities and scoring a great goal, shooting against the grain into far corner. Again, more like last season, shifted into a strict DM role partially through second half and did ok there but without any real pressure. A very good showing and helps Baum deal with Finnbogason's injury so I expect more of the same going forward.

Lee Chung Yong -- He must be furious about warming bench and not being used despite only one sub used all match by Hodgson. If hes' not going to be used, why not use an academy kid or something? Or just a warm blanket?

Lee Seung Woo -- He went on with 20 minutes to go. I was so not expecting this that I didn't check to see if he was playing even though I was awake. He looked ok in touch video, even if a bit of a boy among men physically and lacking any chemistry with his teammates who stopped every potential give-n-go.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Midweek Recap Jan 30th and Weekend Preview Feb 3rd

Transfer deadline day had a few surprises but of the non-movement kind, with Lee Chung Yong's loan to Bolton cancelled at the last minute due to Crystal Palace's injuries and inability to buy cover, and Ki deciding against a move to West Ham. I'll do my best to write a mid-season recap now that the window is over (I've hated historically writing a recap but then having to write a post-window one as well) but work is busy these days so we'll see. Obviously you have my historical thoughts here and on twitter.

Saturday10:00 AMKi Sung YuengSwansea@LeicesterNBC Gold
Saturday2:00 PMKwon Chang HoonDijon@TroyesNone
Saturday2:00 PMSuk Hyun JunTroyesDijonNone
Sunday6:30 AMLee Seung WooHellas VeronaAS RomaBeIn Play
Sunday9:15 AMLee Chung YongCrystal PalaceNewcastleNBCSN
Sunday9:30 AMKoo Ja CheolAugsburgEintracht FrankfurtFox Match Pass
Sunday11:30 AMSon Heung MinTottenham@LiverpoolNBCSN

Ki Sung Yueng -- Must have been a tough decision for Ki. With his contract ending in the summer, he could have moved to West Ham where he'd be in London, at a club with decent resources, and some financial security ahead of World Cup and next season at least. Ki decided to focus on the WC though, playing on a team that needs him now that Mesa is gone, and with a manager he seems to enjoy, and teammates that he knows. And perhaps a bullet dodged with some potential distractions in West Ham with DoF racist comments.

When Ki started, we could assume that the move was off, and Ki played well in a huge upset. A slight tweak from Liverpool, Ki was the single pivot ahead of a back five, with Fer and Clucas alongside. While I normally prefer Ki in a more advanced role, the deep spot worked well as he helped link defense and attack and allowed Clucas and Fer to make frequent runs into the open spaces of Arsenal's defense in a way that Ki probably doesn't have legs for. Certainly Ki should start again this weekend.

Kwon Chang Hoon -- Too bad its not a Korean derby, but it seems KCH is a bench guy anyway for now. At some point, he'll come on and maybe he'll even start.

Suk Hyun Jun -- Out injured still I think.

Lee Seung Woo -- I didn't track exactly all the movements in and out, but I'm sure at best LSW will be warming the bench and only coming on in garbage time if he's lucky.

Lee Chung Yong -- It must be very disappointing for LCY with a return loan to Bolton ruined due to injury to Sako. I think he's not as far down the depth chart as his lack of use showed in the past couple weeks: Hodgson probably refused to use the bench to signal the need for offensive players. That said, he's only an insurance plan and had CPFC bought a single attacker, perhaps he'd be back in Bolton colors. But as that insurance plan, probably just warming the bench hoping for last second cameos.

Koo Ja Cheol -- I haven't heard about him being out for the weekend, so hopefully he's stitched up and doing well rather than rushing back from a possible concussion. If he's fit, he should start I think.

Son Heung Min -- An interesting match as Tottenham showed the quality at high speed that makes them so dangerous, but some selfishness and lack of finishing could have been far more problematic were it not for a Man Utd own goal. But with a two goal cushion, Son and the gang were playing with a lot of freedom and Son's pace and quickness caused many problems. But he had a few chances to pass to a teammate such as Kane for certain goals, but that worked in reverse where Son was free and the pass never came. And on his own he wasted a few chances with a poor touch or shot. Son was the weakest of the attackers Wednesday but still a decent showing and you'd have to think he's gonna start vs Klopp.