Friday, February 1, 2019

Weekend Recap Feb 2 and Midweek Recap Jan 29

The big news this week is Lee Kang In's full promotion to the first team at the age of 17 and a more permanent spot in the table. It's not a move without risk given that he's now ineligible to play for reserves but he'd be in similar boat on a loan deal to another first team so better to be with his owning team who have his long term interests in mind.

Saturday7:30 AMKi Sung YuengNewcastle@TottenhamNBCSN
Saturday7:30 AMSon Heung MinTottenhamNewcastleNBCSN
Saturday12:30 PMLee Kang InValencia@BarcelonaBeIn
Saturday2:00 PMKwon Chang HoonDijon@AngersNone
Saturday2:00 PMSuk Hyun JunReimsMarseilleNone
Sunday9:30 AMJi Dong WonAugsburgMainzFox Sports 1
Sunday9:30 AMKoo Ja CheolAugsburgMainzFox Sports 1
Sunday12:30 PMPaik Seung HoGirona@EibarBeIn

Ki Sung Yueng-- Ki is still out this weekend it seems, though next week seems possible.

Son Heung Min-- Son was dropped right into the starting XI and given that they were losing much of the match, also played the full 90. In the first half, Son was the best attacker that Tottenham had, with some good dribbling, a shot just wide and a good dribble and cross along the goal line which someone probably should have scored. The fatigue of all the matches and travel was visible here and there, with Son taking most defensive work off and letting his teammates do some of the heavy running (even Vertonghen!) especially in the second half when he started to run out of gas. But he had enough in the tank to run onto Llorente's lost ball and score the equalizing goal. Now on short rest, clearly Son should be rested but with Kane and Alli still out and nobody stepping up, Poch seems likely to gamble on Son again and I'd be surprised if he doesn't start especially with Tottenham out of the midweek cup matches.

Lee Kang In-- Was on the bench as Valencia tried to turn around a first leg deficit, but the answer was with LKI the whole time as he came off the bench and had a huge hand in the two goals to turn around the tie. On the first, he was patient dribbling around defenders and launching a perfect long ball into the box which was headed back across goal and scored. Then with the next he threaded a perfect through ball in which again was crossed and scored. Its no surprise that he was given a permanent spot on the first team, a more first-team appropriate 16 on his shirt and a new buyout clause of 80M euros which already seems too low. Facing Barcelona and a cup match next weekend, I expect Valencia to try to keep the hype down and have him come off the bench but certainly the fans' expectations must already be through the roof.

Kwon Chang Hoon-- He should start barring last second illness or something.

Suk Hyun Jun-- Given his travelling last week, hopefully he's ready to take a spot on the bench.

Ji Dong Won-- Augsburg is a mess, with Caiuby being cut, Hinteregger criticizing the coach, and Baum's authority being undermined with the hiring of a legend like Lehmann (albeit inexperienced as a coach). And the meager offense is a huge problem with U19 player Cheon Seong Hoon training with first team as a possible option. As a result, one would think that Ji will have role, but only joining midweek, maybe off the bench.

Koo Ja Cheol-- With Koo being more trusted by Baum, I think Koo will be dropped in immediately in some sort of role, though it remains to be seen where.

Paik Seung Ho-- I didn't watch the match that PSH started, but on the touch videos, he showed some of his core strengths, particularly on touch and ball control on this day, but also some of the weaknesses of a young kid facing a football superpower like Real Madrid, with some errant passes and tough time balancing speed vs. risk. The window ended without a move or even a permanent move to first team so I'm unclear as to the rules and non-EU quota usage by Girona in general so we'll see if he continues having a bench spot this weekend. He wasn't the first player subbed off so baby steps in manager's thoughts maybe.