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.