Monday, May 9, 2016

Weekend Recap May 6th

Strong signs as we enter the end of the season.  The German clubs have all escaped relegation, and Ki and Son showing their quality for once.  Sadly, an injury to Koo was a sour note on an otherwise good weekend.

As we near the final weekend, it's a reminder that soon after I'll have a season recap of every player that I've been monitoring and a preview of their summer transfer activity.

Hong Jeong Ho -- With Klavan dropping out at final seconds of warmup, HJH was thrown into a shift from an intended back four, into a back five, with HJH returning to the center of the three CHs.  And he was doing ok, if not great, until he inexplicably didn't battle Huntelaar for a cross which resulted in the lone goal.  Fortunately, for HJH, results elsewhere meant that Augsburg are safe.  These mental lapses though are so frustrating especially in comparison to some great play, such as a wonderfully threaded through pass earlier in the match and some valiant shot blocks.

Ji Dong Won -- He came on late but couldn't do all that much to change things.

Koo Ja Cheol -- A great season probably came to an abrupt close as Koo clutched his foot after a tangle of legs.  He immediately called for a trainer and took off his boot and his day was done after 30 minutes.  With the team off for three days to celebrate survival, we may not know how severe his injury is for a while, but initial reports are a broken toe.

Park Joo Ho -- Still injured and not preferred.

Kim Jin Su -- Also not selected.

Lee Chung Yong -- With Bolasie healthy, Pardew didn't have to retrieve LCY from the dog house.  The good news is that Crystal Palace also confirmed their spot in the PL next season, where a relegation would add a ton of uncertainty to what looks fairly clear right now that LCY will be on his way to a new club this summer.

Ki Sung Yueng -- By being such a force Saturday in a dominating win over a quality West Ham, Ki showed how his poor form was a huge variable in Swansea's poor season.  Finally showing his full suite of skills this season, Ki was spectacular, continuously pushing the tempo up with great passing and then contributing with a great goal of his own, volleying in a cross and making a difficult shot look easy.  He still struggled on the defensive side a bit, particular in first few minutes as West Ham controlled the match, but his role was the most advanced it has been in a long time.  Ki more than offset any defensive problems by being so controlling in offense, causing danger nearly every time he touched the ball.  A great performance and this summer will be very interesting for him.

Suk Hyun Jun -- Left off the squad and he left a picture of him at the airport (I think taken from KNT duty) which seems to be an acknowledgement of his accepting his lack of role for the rest of the season.  After all the controversy midweek, it's a bit sad that he doesn't even get a chance to impress.

Son Heung Min -- I haven't seen the second half yet, but Son was great in the first half, scoring for the second time in two matches.  He started that attack with a good ball out of the middle, then raced onto a through ball and beat the GK to the ball.  With a bit of work, Son worked around it, through some traffic and tapped in the ball into net for a great goal.  And he looked calm outside of the goal as well, showing less of the impatience that had been his shortcoming this season.  He got taken off after an hour, so a bit disappointing both in the lack of continuous impact and also the result (Tottenham lost despite a chance to finalize 2nd in the table).  But very positive signs with one more match to go.