Thursday, February 1, 2018

Midweek Recap Jan 30th and Weekend Preview Feb 3rd

Transfer deadline day had a few surprises but of the non-movement kind, with Lee Chung Yong's loan to Bolton cancelled at the last minute due to Crystal Palace's injuries and inability to buy cover, and Ki deciding against a move to West Ham. I'll do my best to write a mid-season recap now that the window is over (I've hated historically writing a recap but then having to write a post-window one as well) but work is busy these days so we'll see. Obviously you have my historical thoughts here and on twitter.

Saturday10:00 AMKi Sung YuengSwansea@LeicesterNBC Gold
Saturday2:00 PMKwon Chang HoonDijon@TroyesNone
Saturday2:00 PMSuk Hyun JunTroyesDijonNone
Sunday6:30 AMLee Seung WooHellas VeronaAS RomaBeIn Play
Sunday9:15 AMLee Chung YongCrystal PalaceNewcastleNBCSN
Sunday9:30 AMKoo Ja CheolAugsburgEintracht FrankfurtFox Match Pass
Sunday11:30 AMSon Heung MinTottenham@LiverpoolNBCSN

Ki Sung Yueng -- Must have been a tough decision for Ki. With his contract ending in the summer, he could have moved to West Ham where he'd be in London, at a club with decent resources, and some financial security ahead of World Cup and next season at least. Ki decided to focus on the WC though, playing on a team that needs him now that Mesa is gone, and with a manager he seems to enjoy, and teammates that he knows. And perhaps a bullet dodged with some potential distractions in West Ham with DoF racist comments.

When Ki started, we could assume that the move was off, and Ki played well in a huge upset. A slight tweak from Liverpool, Ki was the single pivot ahead of a back five, with Fer and Clucas alongside. While I normally prefer Ki in a more advanced role, the deep spot worked well as he helped link defense and attack and allowed Clucas and Fer to make frequent runs into the open spaces of Arsenal's defense in a way that Ki probably doesn't have legs for. Certainly Ki should start again this weekend.

Kwon Chang Hoon -- Too bad its not a Korean derby, but it seems KCH is a bench guy anyway for now. At some point, he'll come on and maybe he'll even start.

Suk Hyun Jun -- Out injured still I think.

Lee Seung Woo -- I didn't track exactly all the movements in and out, but I'm sure at best LSW will be warming the bench and only coming on in garbage time if he's lucky.

Lee Chung Yong -- It must be very disappointing for LCY with a return loan to Bolton ruined due to injury to Sako. I think he's not as far down the depth chart as his lack of use showed in the past couple weeks: Hodgson probably refused to use the bench to signal the need for offensive players. That said, he's only an insurance plan and had CPFC bought a single attacker, perhaps he'd be back in Bolton colors. But as that insurance plan, probably just warming the bench hoping for last second cameos.

Koo Ja Cheol -- I haven't heard about him being out for the weekend, so hopefully he's stitched up and doing well rather than rushing back from a possible concussion. If he's fit, he should start I think.

Son Heung Min -- An interesting match as Tottenham showed the quality at high speed that makes them so dangerous, but some selfishness and lack of finishing could have been far more problematic were it not for a Man Utd own goal. But with a two goal cushion, Son and the gang were playing with a lot of freedom and Son's pace and quickness caused many problems. But he had a few chances to pass to a teammate such as Kane for certain goals, but that worked in reverse where Son was free and the pass never came. And on his own he wasted a few chances with a poor touch or shot. Son was the weakest of the attackers Wednesday but still a decent showing and you'd have to think he's gonna start vs Klopp.