Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Weekend Recap Oct 29th and Midweek Preview Nov 2nd

Champions League midweek and a fair amount of action to recap.  Was a bit busy so my notes are bit more scattered as I snuck in replays mid-flight and between kids' games.


Son Heung Min -- Tottenham host Leverkusen at 3:45 PM ET on Fox Sports 1.  With Tottenham struggling to generate consistent offense, Son's performances go under greater scrutiny after his superb form before international break.  So while his showing would have been a decent showing last season, it felt lacking against a tough Leicester side which gave all the attacking midfielders little room to attack.  As is his habit when facing compact defenses, Son turns into too much of a playmaker vs. the occasionally reckless attacker he was during his good streak.  Fortunately, he still seems confident with the ball so it is up to Son to take his good touches and be more risky in attack and assert himself even when things look tough.

He should start midweek but perhaps Pochettino might change things up with Tottenham continuing to run a bit flat.


Ji Dong Won -- Was a lonely man in attack and some really nice moves were usually faced by more than enough additional Bayern defenders to stifle his second step.  He fared better when Augsburg pushed up some more and it was great to see him continuing to run hard and play well despite playing 90 yet again.  Schuster really needs to give him some help.

Koo Ja Cheol -- Schuster came out way more defensively than midweek, anticipating perhaps the more full strength attack of Lewandowski and Robben.  As a result, Koo started off the match as a sixth (!) man in defense, on the rightmost side of the deepest line.  This approach really didn't help as Bayern quickly pulled ahead and soon Koo was back to a more normal RM role and gave Augsburg a glimpse of hope, latching onto a nice Baier pass and scoring a pretty easy goal.  Perhaps this goal and the improved showings over past few weeks push him back to his form of last season.  At the end of the match, Koo was put as a second forward and this seemed to click a bit more for everyone and provides a possibility for next weekend.

Lee Chung Yong -- He got the start but he looked too slow to play wide in a high tempo match.  He wasn't bad and his passes were good but he was too passive with the ball at his feet vs. say Zaha on the other side who found room on the dribble.  He seems to be slowing by the day and it has appeared to rob him of much of the spark of LCY of seasons past.  In this setup, LCY needs to get more aggressive to have a spot on the starting XI and I suspect a return to the bench is pending.

Park Joo Ho -- His exile continues.

Kim Jin Su -- Nothing.  Hoffenheim's excellent form isn't helping his situation.

Ki Sung Yueng -- Ki continued to show a lot of the class that seemed gone a while ago, with some really good dribbles, touches and passes.  But such a terrible defensive performance from Swansea and Ki was a guilty party in that.  Perhaps spoiled by having a Cork beside or Williams behind, but Ki too easily let his guy go free into the box.  He seemed to find a bit more fight later in the match, such as chasing down a long counter well, but Ki and Fer was too soft a combo.  Ki will need to step up on the defensive side if he wants to continue playing in a rough relegation fight.