Thursday, August 8, 2019

Weekend/Season Preview August 10th

Another season. Still haven't resolved how this is going to work this year, where I'm trying to ease up the blogging burden a bit, but a season preview would have been unavoidable anyway so no changes this week. Due to my procrastination of starting this post eating into writing time, I'll stick to first tier guys today while I see if I can brush up on my recollection of what's going on down below next week.

Also for those looking for live updates, I did volunteer to coach this weekend which limits my watching, and it seems kid's match schedule not going to be super-amenable all season either. But then again, I did spend far too much on streaming subscriptions so we'll see...

On the footballing front, we say farewell to Koo Ja Cheol (I'll embed my thread at the end) and it remains to be seen if/where Lee Kang In and Lee Seung Woo will move, but Jeong Woo Yeong and Hwang Ui Jo get added which offset the loss(es). To be honest, not keen on the number of rows in the tables from a blogging perspective lol.

As usual, it is always a bit tricky with transfers, new managers and so on to have a strong feeling on starting/subbing so take that bit with some salt.

Saturday9:30 AMJeong Woo YeongFreiburg@Magdeburg (Cup)None
Saturday9:30 AMKwon Chang HoonFreiburg@Magdeburg (Cup)None
Saturday9:30 AMJi Dong WonMainz@Kaiserslautern (Cup)None
Saturday11:30 AMSuk Hyun JunReims@MarseilleBeIn
Saturday12:30 PMSon Heung MinTottenhamAston VillaNBC
Saturday2:00 PMHwang Ui JoBordeaux@AngersNone
Sunday9:00 AMKi Sung YuengNewcastleArsenalNBCSN
Summer BreakLee Kang InValencia
Summer BreakLee Seung WooVerona

Jeong Woo Yeong-- Moving from Bayern's reserve team to Freiburg, he'll be looking forward to working with Streich who has a strong reputation on developing younger players. He's been starting a lot of the friendlies so it seems he's on a good track for having a big role in his first full-time season at top tier. Given a cup match vs. lower level opposition, it seems likely that he will start if healthy, though he did have to come out early out of a friendly with a knock.

Kwon Chang Hoon-- Helped in Dijon's fight against relegation with a critical goal, but he paid the price with a small neck fracture on his goal, colliding with GK. I thought it might have been enough to deter any move, but Freiburg, who wanted his services previous season only to be stopped by Achilles injury, couldn't resist a second summer in a row at a moderate price. While KCH was able to participate in summer training, he had limited match time as he waited for neck to heal. Hard to tell if that played a part in him picking up a calf strain which rules him out for another week or two, and he looked a bit rusty in what I did watch of him in preseason, but as of now he's out and will have a bit of catching up to do to earn his role.

Ji Dong Won-- Probably an omen of Koo's departure to Qatar in retrospect, Ji leaves the comforts of Augsburg and moves to Mainz. He started off with a good goal in friendlies... only to damage his knee and it looks like he'll miss most of the fall. I'll probably remove him from the schedule for the time being, but a disappointing start from the injury prone forward.

Suk Hyun Jun-- He looks like a player in limbo, where Reims doesn't look like they want Suk but also don't have anyone to put in the backup forward role. He's had a few knocks so hard to say for sure how much of his not participating has been a function of favor vs. health... it seems for now that he's a bench option at best and with a couple weeks still remaining in the French window, uncertain future at Reims.

Son Heung Min-- A disappointing loss to end the CL where a break in Tottenham's favor might have changed the story altogether. I recall Son doing kinda meh, but it was a bit of a mess in attack with Kane not looking like an instant fit after a long layoff and of course, a bit panicked for the whole side after the early PK goal. Son looked to have paid the price at the end for a long WC /AC cycle season and little rotation but his successes shouldn't be forgotten. Despite missing several weeks due to Asian Cup, Son brought home the player of the season award, which is quite an accomplishment, let alone for a CL finalist side. Unfortunately, his preseason seems like its starting a bit slowly as we know he thrives on goals which haven't come yet, and he will miss two more matches from red card in penultimate PL match last season so some time to get back going.

Hwang Ui Jo-- A bit of a surprise move, HUJ moved to Bordeaux, but a bit less so when you consider that the manager, Sousa, spent time in AFC and also personally scouted the Asian Cup. So far the vibes are good with HUJ playing a lot in first XI and scoring a nice first goal. As a result, my guess is that he starts this weekend.

Ki Sung Yueng-- Ki's quiet end to the season appears to have continued into this season, where he's not been starting any of the friendlies despite an Asian leg to preseason. With a lot of competition in CM, Ki seems locked into a backup role even if he's possibly the first CM off the bench and especially with Bruce taking over for Benitez. Not sure Ki is asking for a bigger role though and can't see a move elsewhere in Europe/Mideast as it seems his family is adapting to English life. So bench for the weekend and we'll see how his role evolves over season.

Lee Kang In-- LKI has been the focus of a lot of media attention after winning the Golden Ball award after a wonderful semi-final run at the U20 World Cup. That said, it feels more drama than reality as they evaluate how LKI fits in a non-preferred role and how injuries/transfers might impact the squad. Given CL and cup, I think there's a fair number of minutes in the fall, so I'm less stressed than some, but how can he impress when he's playing in a position where he has a number of shortcomings? I still think that a loan is possible, though right now all signals are toward him staying.

Lee Seung Woo-- Good news is that they're promoted back to Serie A but he still seems to be a square peg for a round hole, and rumors about Belgian interest make some sense from that perspective. But I don't see LSW wanting to turn down the challenge of Serie A and he should be used frequently when they need attack so a move doesn't make sense, at least to Belgium. Still a ways to see what happens with LSW as well.

And here's a Twitter thread summarizing my view on Koo (click through to see rest of thread... my embedding skills have reached their limit here). Could he have eked out another couple years at moderate income in Europe in a relegation fodder side? Possibly but with concussions and injury, seems a good chance to cash in having accomplished what he was going to do at Augsburg.