Thursday, May 25, 2017

Weekend Recap May 20th

The season is over and all the players avoid relegation. I'll have a more complete season recap in next week or so. I can't really draw too much from the scant minutes or the meaningless intensity of final match with nothing on the line, but for the sake of completion, I've put out this recap.

Ji Dong Won -- Came on as a time waster but Augsburg are safe! On the one hand, it was a scrappy draw against a good team going for automatic CL spot. On the other hand, relegation was surprisingly close when Hamburg upset Wolfsburg... a bad loss would have put them into relegation playoffs. But they're safe and Ji can look forward to earning back starting minutes.

Koo Ja Cheol -- Injured.

Park Joo Ho -- No change and I don't expect more for cup final so not posting schedule or anything.

Kwon Chang Hoon -- An unused sub but they're safe as well. He'll have all summer to learn French and better integrate himself so that he can get chances when Dijon has more margin for error.

Lee Chung Yong -- He made the bench with Townsend hurt. Surprisingly, Allardyce quit this week which means LCY may be tempted to stick around longer and earn opportunities with new manager. Even though I'd prefer that he leave, this ambiguity reduces the odds of him doing so.

Ki Sung Yueng -- Came on in final minutes as Swansea finished strongly with a win. I didn't get to watch this yet (the channel isn't on my DVR) but probably wouldn't. I think for now that Ki would be second choice behind CM trio as Fer started. I don't expect any of the CMs to leave so Ki will either have to move (unlikely given his depressed market value), or have to show more health and energy to win a starting role next season.

Son Heung Min -- He looked decent to start but Hull City looked ready for summer. Son gave up a few scoring chances early trying to make sure Kane would get golden boot. Tottenham scored 7 so hard to read too much into Son's showing here.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Midweek Recap May 18th and Weekend Preview May 20th

Season comes to an end this weekend so no more schedules until friendly season, but I'll do my best to provide a recap (spoiler: meh). But hopefully we can end on a good note. Really nothing on the line for most of these teams, but relegation is still a large risk for Dijon and Augsburg.

DayTime (ET)PlayerClubOpponentTV
Saturday9:30 AMJi Dong WonAugsburg@HoffenheimFox Soccer 2 Go
Saturday9:30 AMKoo Ja CheolAugsburg@HoffenheimFox Soccer 2 Go
Saturday9:30 AMPark Joo HoDortmundWerder BremenFox Soccer Plus
Saturday2:00 PMKwon Chang HoonDijon@ToulouseNone
Sunday10:00 AMLee Chung YongCrystal Palace@Man UtdCNBC
Sunday10:00 AMKi Sung YuengSwanseaWest BromEsquire (?)
Sunday10:00 AMSon Heung MinTottenham@Hull CityMSNBC

Ji Dong Won -- Augsburg are in decent shape but if Hamburg were to win, and Augsburg were to lose, only goal differential would keep them from relegation playoffs. Ji hasn't had a big hand in past couple weeks so I don't expect that to change but I'm sure Baum will want full effort out of everyone so Ji could come on as a sub as a defensive forward/winger.

Koo Ja Cheol -- Out injured

Park Joo Ho -- No change.

Kwon Chang Hoon -- Dijon has a smaller margin of points than Augsburg but a better GD.

Lee Chung Yong -- Nothing on the line vs United's B team but even then I don't expect LCY to play but maybe he can end the season warming the bench given some niggling injuries.

Ki Sung Yueng -- Ki usually skips out on final matches for better or for worse so we'll see if he shows better commitment this season. Even them, maybe Clement wants to see Fer in the XI instead now that there's no risk of relegation. But either way, I don't expect much drama in this meaningless match.

Son Heung Min -- Two goals and an assist vs prior season champions would be great totals, but it does hide the fact that the midweek match had all the seriousness of a preseason friendly. Son and Kane were clearly driven to boost their goal totals for Korean records and golden boot causes respectively and at least they were rewarded with goals. But on the other hand, Son wasted a glorious one on one early in the match, and was kinda wasteful overall both shooting and passing wise. Eriksen got the rest midweek, and maybe Son gets one this week, but with nothing on the line, hard to be sure who will start. Should be on bench if he gets a rest.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Weekend Recap and Midweek Preview

Safety for Crystal Palace and Swansea City as we near the final weekend of the season. Sorry for the lack of live updates on my Twitter feed...


Son Heung Min -- 2 PM @Leicester on NBCSN - Son was ok enough Sunday but will probably be remembered for his one on one when a fortunate bounce landed at his feet with GK but blasting right at de Gea. To be fair, it was on his left foot and a quick reaction chance, so I don't fault him toooo much. He had a hard time getting involved... he was given a fair amount of room, but his teammates couldn't get him the ball, and when he did get the ball, he couldn't find the penetrating move or pass. With nothing to play for, we will see what Poch does with the XI. Son will want to start in his quest to best Cha Bum Kun's total. Poch on the other hand has to balance carry momentum for next season, and experimentation to figure out depth and squad ideas. I think he starts but less certain than recently.


Ji Dong Won -- A huge win but Ji only came on as a time-wasting sub. At this point, Augsburg's survival more important than his minutes even if his declining role a bit frustrating.

Koo Ja Cheol -- Out for season.

Park Joo Ho -- He posted himself training so he lives but nothing close to the team.

Ki Sung Yueng -- Played just shy of 70 minutes. At times we saw the strengths of Ki, with some great passes including one to Olsen and the assist to Knaughton, and some good runs in behind the defense, and decent defense when he was in position. But too much still he moved with a measured effort where he didn't look 100% at best, or at worst with limited enthusiasm for defense. I have to think for Clement to keep starting Ki despite the limited effort that Ki must be managing some health issue or somehow think that the handful of great moments are worth the risk. But now with safety assured we will see if Clement tests out some changes ahead of the transfer window.

Lee Chung Yong -- Lack of defensive effort on an Allardyce team plus improving health means that LCY got cut from squad. His future at Crystal Palace looks pretty dim, but I don't see where he can go.

Kwon Chang Hoon -- Last week's performance meant that KCH only came on as a late sub but like Ji, at least they got an important three points and have a good chance of survival and with it many more chances for Ligue 1 minutes next season.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Weekend Preview May 12th

Season coming to a close but we could see assured safety given some good breaks this weekend.

DayTime (ET)PlayerClubOpponentTV
Saturday9:30 AMJi Dong WonAugsburgDortmundFox Sports 1
Saturday9:30 AMKoo Ja CheolAugsburgDortmundFox Sports 1
Saturday9:30 AMPark Joo HoDortmund@AugsburgFox Sports 1
Saturday10:00 AMKi Sung YuengSwansea@SunderlandNBCSN
Sunday7:00 AMLee Chung YongCrystal PalaceHull CityCNBC
Sunday12:30 PMSon Heung MinTottenhamMan UtdNBCSN
Sunday3:00 PMKwon Chang HoonDijonAS Nancy LorraineNone

Ji Dong Won -- He's been used but not as a starter... having not watched last week still, not sure if he starts but suspect he will come off the bench.

Koo Ja Cheol -- Out for season.

Park Joo Ho -- Doubt it.

Ki Sung Yueng -- We will see if Clement sticks with what works as Fer looked lively last weekend. 50/50 imo as to start/bench.

Lee Chung Yong -- With Townsend a question mark, he should be on the bench but I figure Allardyce will have to be desperate or have given up for LCY to come on.

Son Heung Min -- We will see if Poch experiments over last matches. I suspect Son will start to score some goals.

Kwon Chang Hoon -- Don't know. I don't think he has manager's confidence regardless of quality.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Weekend Recap May 5th

Apologies as I've not watched as much as usual with kids' spring tournament. I had hoped to catch up by now but illness making staying up to watch replays very difficult and what I did get to watch was while working.

Son Heung Min -- Son started and played the whole 90 but it was a messy loss with nobody playing particularly well, and problems in the middle with Dier and Wanyama being too defensive together only compounded that. Had a few good chances and wasn't particularly bad but just very ineffective performance that sealed Chelsea's title run. At the end of the day, little lost given that Chelsea were going to win the title anyway, but disappointing to see a winnable match go awry.

Lee Chung Yong -- Surprise! He played! He came on around 60 minutes as cannon fodder, but he barely saw the ball as Man City had all the possession. It was a bit disappointing to see LCY not fight more defensively when he came on but I doubt that was Allardyce's expectations for his role when he got put on. Painful situation to come on in.

Ji Dong Won -- Came on with 30 minutes to go in a disappointing draw as Augsburg again let in a last minute goal to give away two points. The last two matches will be hard against two teams battling for 3rd in the table but even if they drop into relegation zone, they should have a chance at escape via playoffs. Didn't get to see yet.

Koo Ja Cheol -- Done for season.

Park Joo Ho -- Still not in squad and only news has been his minor involvement in Tuchel and Watzke feud.

Ki Sung Yueng -- Clement didn't want to change what works and Ki started and played 75 minutes in a huge win vs. a tough team to extract themselves from relegation zone. They now are in control of their destiny and have some winnable matches ahead. As for Ki, there were some spectacular passes but they were pretty rare. He did hustle well on defense though he didn't get too combative and had little impact offensively.

Kwon Chang Hoon -- He got the start but wow that was an ugly score line. Not sure what to make of it having not watched it.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Weekend Preview May 5th

Friday match warning!  Also kid tourney this weekend so not sure how much if any I will watch live so sorry in advance for those of you following on Twitter.

DayTime (ET)PlayerClubOpponentTV
Friday3:00 PMSon Heung MinTottenham@West HamNCBSN
Saturday7:30 AMLee Chung YongCrystal Palace@Man CityNCBSN
Saturday9:30 AMJi Dong WonAugsburg@GladbachFox Soccer 2 Go
Saturday9:30 AMKoo Ja CheolAugsburg@GladbachFox Soccer 2 Go
Saturday9:30 AMPark Joo HoDortmundHoffenheimFox Soccer Plus
Saturday12:30 PMKi Sung YuengSwanseaEvertonNBC
Saturday2:00 PMKwon Chang HoonDijon@GuincampNone

Son Heung Min -- I have to think that Pochettino will continue the shape that has worked well recently, and so Son should start on the left and certainly will be first offensive choice off bench if needed.

Lee Chung Yong -- Maybe a bench spot... not keeping close tabs on Crystal Palace's roster health.

Ji Dong Won -- I don't think Baum will change what worked but I'm sure Ji is one of Baum's favored options on the bench. It may not be this match, but the final three matches are very difficult so Ji will have to be ready to contribute in any role.

Koo Ja Cheol -- Out injured.

Park Joo Ho -- Unlikely to make squad but I think Schmelzer and Durm both injured.

Ki Sung Yueng -- I think Clement showed his hand taking Ki off for Fer last weekend so if Fer can go 90, I think Ki will be on the bench.

Kwon Chang Hoon -- Hopefully his good showing last weekend means that KCH gets a start. Perhaps if he had started, the draw would have been two more points away from relegation.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Weekend Recap April 29th

Glimmers of hope for relegation threatened teams but lots of danger remains.

Park Joo Ho -- No change.

Lee Chung Yong -- Made the bench but didn't come on.

Ki Sung Yueng -- Ki's poor movement is starting to get worrisome. Ki has never been the most motivated runner but you would think that with relegation so close and a showcase event like Sunday vs Manchester United that Ki would be hustling all match. Instead Ki looked selective in his effort, albeit turning on the effort more than last weekend. When he did move, he looked pretty good with some good runs and touches but that made the flat moments all the more visible. He was subbed off as he fatigued but it says something when the older Britton who has virtually no tread left on his tires was taken off after Ki. He was ok, even good for much of the match, but not sure that was enough to be a regular starter in final matches. But a valuable point, and some confidence for the club especially knowing that things would be quite different if certain things played out differently (Southampton missing last second penalty, Rashford's dive earning PK).

Ji Dong Won -- Came on as a late sub but it was a huge win for Augsburg who finally scored some goals and more amazingly kept a clean sheet, albeit against inept Hamburg. The bad news is that Augsburg looked good without Ji so he may have to sit on the bench a bit, but the good news is that Augsburg are two points clear of playoff spot and while far from safety, at least can see some hope on the horizon.

Koo Ja Cheol -- Out for season.

Kwon Chang Hoon -- I only watched touch videos but KCH looked good when he came on as a sub a bit past the hour mark. It may be frustrating for him and for Dijon fans to sit on the bench but if he keeps causing danger as he did Sunday, more chances and a bigger role have to come soon. He had some nice touches that coulda/shoulda been assists and had a chance to score the winner late after some good work. Hopefully he gets to start soon and similarly, hopefully I get to watch him live soon too.

Son Heung Min -- A match without a goal or an assist, and yet maybe the strongest sign yet that Son may be finally maturing as a player. Taking chances at the right time, pitching in on the defensive end, and moving with confidence are all things that we saw on Sunday but previously seemed reserved for only after he had scored. Last season, Son looked out of sync with his teammates' rehearsed moves, and even on his hot streak in the fall felt like a function of independent brilliance. But Sunday he contributed strongly to the team despite not being at the top of his game and it feels like a positive step forward in his mental maturity. It's too bad his hard work wasn't rewarded when he kicked a ball against Alexis Sanchez' elbow in the box and yet a penalty wasn't called.