Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Midweek Preview May 12 and Weekend Recap May 7th

A bit off on my dates last week and even missed Holstein Kiel catching up on COVID postponements on Monday. Nearing summer break when I can look forward to easing off the blog pedal.

Wednesday1:00 PMLee Kang InValencia@SevillaBeIN
Wednesday3:00 PMYun Il LokMontpellierPSG (Cup)BeIN Play
Thursday9:30 AMLee Jae SungHolstein KielJahn RegensburgNone
Thursday2:45 PMHwang Hee ChanLeipzigDortmund (Cup)ESPN2

Lee Kang In-- A surprise start and a win to avoid any risk of relegation was a good start in the interim manager era. LKI was only ok though playing out wide and didn't get too many touches on the ball, especially in the first half when Valencia had far less possession. When he did get touches, he showed a bit of rust and over-eagerness with his play, though it did improve as the match wore on. His defensive work was ok when he tracked back, though it was unclear if it was tactical, fatigue or lack of work rate when he didn't. Its a short week and hard to gauge what Valencia's intent is here but I'm leaning to a possible start in an attempt to either convince LKI to stay or to increase his value if he does go. And Valencia somehow keeps winning when he starts which won't hurt.

Yun Il Lok-- An unused sub and he didn't even make the squad for the midweek fixture.

Lee Jae Sung-- I guess Kiel's manager saw how tired LJS looked as he gave LJS a rest... ahead of the match that I didn't put on the schedule. LJS had a goal overturned by VAR due to handball in the buildup. Still didn't sound like LJS played great but at least Kiel are now in second with a match in hand. I think LJS starts.

Hwang Hee Chan-- HHC's cup heroics earned HHC a start in a low-risk match with short rest ahead of cup final. Though Leipzig did not play well, HHC did as he did cause problems for Dortmund's backline and Hummels in particularly who could not match HHC for pace or strength. Hwang had a chance early from exploiting just that but GK came and had a nice save. Unfortunately, Leipzig couldn't get the ball advanced enough to take advantage often, but Hwang was able to capitalize on one chance when he ran away from Hummels and found Olmo for an equalizing goal. I'd not read too much into HHC's 90 minutes ahead of a much more important cup final, but his showing has to give Nagelsmann second thoughts at least about a bigger sub role.

Hwang Ui Jo-- Back to more of the same with Bordeaux completely outplayed by a side in the relegation zone and HUJ missing in his rare chances to score or assist. At least he seemed to care which was more than can be said of his teammates who looked checked out.

Ji Dong Won-- Missed out with injury.

Jeong Woo Yeong-- An eventual big win but the match was too close until late for Jeong to come on.

Kwon Chang Hoon-- Kwon did make the squad which is an improvement but not the prep for Olympics he'd be looking for.

Choi Kyoung Rok-- Still out with injury.

Son Heung Min-- The downside to a new manager and an attacking style as Tottenham's poor defense was exposed and also struggled against Leeds' press. But Son found a way to have an impact nonetheless, with a nice give-and-go with Alli leaving Son with just the GK to beat which he did with ease. He had a few other chances but Tottenham's struggles in defense reduced Son's ability to create chances. The result was bad as Tottenham look all but out of top four chase, but at least the attacking was watchable even if the defense was groan-worthy.

Suk Hyun Jun-- Suk came on as a sub and Troyes did enough to win promotion! It will be interesting to see the summer play out between City Football Group's ownership likely spending to get Troyes competitive at higher level, Suk's contributing but secondary role, and Suk's citizenship issues.