Blackpool vs Cardiff: Forget Tom Ince, Bluebird Kim Bo-Kyung Is The Man To Watch
Sitting down to watch promotion hopefuls Blackpool and Cardiff battle it out on Saturday evening, I was looking forward to the prospect of seeing bright young prospect Tom Ince strut his stuff against the Championship's current top side. Unfortunately, despite the glimpses of quality offered by the Liverpool target, he cut a forlorn figure as he failed to take a firm grip on the game and - despite a late rally in which he began to exert some attacking threat - was largely limited in his chances by a well organised City defence. The game was not short on quality though, especially thanks to the eye catching performance of one Kim Bo-Kyung.
From the off, the 23 year old's impact was vital as he tirelessly marauded up and down the Bloomfield road pitch, providing the kind of off the ball movement and incisive passing that allowed his team to make the most of their time in possession. His work rate and desire was never clearer than for his goal, in which he recovered well from a slight miss-control before slipping a lovely through ball into the channel. He then continued his run into the box and, despite being behind two defenders and a fellow attacker as the ball struck the post, was the first to react and stab the ball home.
Throughout the game, he popped up down both wings, and appeared centrally when the space opened up. His movement was first class and his pace and trickery caused a real problem to the Blackpool defence. For the second goal, he over-ran the ball slightly on the break, but kept his composure well and played a delightful long ball into the path of Andrew Taylor in acres of space down the left channel. Taylor was fortunate to see his weak cross deflected into the path of Tommy Smith, but Smith made no mistake and struck a sublime volley into the net from the edge of the area.
After seeing a performance of the quality Kim showed on Saturday, it is of no surprise at all that former South Korea captain Park Ji-Sung handed the hallowed number 7 shirt over to a player of such promise - a decision that has paid off so far, after his superb performances during the London Olympics - who could be instrumental in driving his nation forward in the coming decade.
What the future may hold for this promising young player is yet to be clear, but regardless of Cardiff's success in gaining promotion this season, I would be not in the least bit surprised to see Kim Bo-Kyung in the Premier League come next season.
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