Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Weekend Recap March 17th

International break gives me a week off of scheduling/recapping, phew. Sadly found out that I will be on the road next Saturday so there may be a lag on recaps when club play returns.

Park Joo Ho -- Signs of life are wishing Kagawa happy birthday but otherwise missing.

Ji Dong Won -- Part of a forward pair with Koo, it seemed like a reasonable option given Bobadilla's injury. But rather than accentuating his playmaking while retaining his forward capabilities, it brought out some of his bad habits especially as service was very poor from the midfield . He was caught wandering wide to look to get the ball, where he continues to struggle to beat defenders. Things got somewhat better when Bobadilla came on as it caused a cascading improvement in quality from his supporting teammates. It feels a luxury to have two forwards and we'll see if they persist or change even if it pushes Ji out of his better CF role.

Koo Ja Cheol -- Koo was pretty poor as the other forward... he was too far advanced to help in buildup/playmaking and some of his touches weren't great either. With Augsburg having such a bad day in midfield, it was a waste to have him so far up, and he did better as a DM later in the match even if its not a great position for him, as he was a lot closer to the action.

Lee Chung Yong -- Made the bench because of some injuries but no major changes to his role.

Ki Sung Yueng -- Returned to starting XI and showed flashes of his strengths but also the effects of missing so many weeks. Ki was one of the bright spots in the first half, but seemed to fade away... some felt like not enough passes his way but also it seemed he lacked some freshness to his runs as well. Positive signs but we'll see what role he has when Naughton returns to fitness (Fer slid wide to FB in his absence).

Son Heung Min -- Played up top and showed why he's not a very good lone forward. His only move as a CF is to beat the offside trap, and that worked for him at first as he got a one-on-one chance but wasnt able to beat GK who did well to save. After he showed some good first touch which hes had problems with, but struggled to have any influence anywhere. Invisible as a target man, he seemed to get a bit more success when he swapped with Alli once they got into the attacking third, looking more comfortable on the edges of the box. Will be interesting to see what Pochettino does to solve this problem, especially against teams lower in the table who are more likely to sit deep and not let Son get behind the defense.

Kwon Chang Hoon -- Good news is that he made the matchday squad. Bad news is that he was an unused sub in a loss that leaves them only out of the relegation zone by tiebreakers. He has international break to get better acclimated to French life and hopefully earn some looks from the manager.