Arsenal Transfer News: 8 Things You Must Know About Park Chu-Young
For all the Arsenal supporters reading; I know, what is manager Arsène Wenger thinking?
When are you buying a centre back?
If you're not familiar with Asian or French football, fear not, for I am about to enlighten you with eight things you need to know about Park.
Park Chu-Young Transfer Disgrace
Park Chu-Young's behaviour has been deplorable.
He had agreed terms with Lille and was scheduled to undertake a medical having traveled to Lille.
Instead, he walked out of the deal after Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger tapped him up.
Lille president Michel Seydoux complained about Park's behaviour to L'Equipe stating, "We are stunned by this unacceptable behaviour in terms of human qualities."
Park has damaged to his honour and he has lost face; and I ask Park: What happened to your kibun?
I guarantee you that this would not have happened in South Korea.
Although, Seydoux should direct his anger towards Wenger.
From forcing Lille's hand in selling Gervinho at a fair rather then an inflated transfer fee, to then stealing Lille's replacement for Gervinho; has Wenger contemplated that Lille may just refuse to sell Eden Hazard to spite Arsenal?
Forget about Barcelona tapping up Cesc Fàbregas; to steal a player who was set to sign for another club is deplorable.
Shame on you, Wenger.
Park Chu-Young as a Footballer
When I watched Park Chu-Young play for Seoul, I caught him during his last year, a period in which his mind was already in Europe.
As a result, manager Şenol Güneş benched Park; and when he did play, he looked disconsolate as a left winger.
My first impressions were overrated and over-hyped.
However, I've since changed this opinion as Park's performances improved in leaps and bounds.
When you're fast, tricky, composed in the box, a good finisher and know where to move, you become a nightmare for opposing defenders.
Don't look at his below-par goal-scoring ratio. Factor in his work ethic and interplay.
Keep in mind this season he scored 12 goals in 35 games for a Monaco side that struggled throughout the Ligue I season and were eventually relegated.
To give you a clearer picture, he scored 33 percent of Monaco's goals.
Set Piece Specialist?
I think the phrase "set piece specialist" is used too frequently, and it often inaccurately describes a player's actual competency in taking set pieces.
I wouldn't go as far as saying Park Chu-Young is a set piece specialist; he's no where near the level that Yasuhito Endō is at.
Though, Park is pretty good when it comes to set pieces.
He scores off free kicks from time to time, and his penalty record for Monaco is good—five out of six.
I guess it's irrelevant, because if Robin van Persie is on the field, Park won't take most of the set pieces.
Also even if van Persie isn't on the field, another Arsenal player may take seniority over Park in taking a set piece.
Where Do You Play Park Chu-Young
With Monaco, his first manager, Ricardo Gomes, played Park mainly as a forward in a 4-4-2; though there were the few occasions he was played as a right winger.
Park's second manager, Guy Lacombe, played him as the lone forward in a 4-2-3-1. He scored 9 goals in 33 games.
When Laurent Banide replaced Lacombe in January of this year, he played Park as a withdrawn forward in several games.
In the must-win game against Lyon, Park played as a withdrawn forward and had no impact whatsoever.
For the South Korean national team, early on Park did his dues as winger, but has now solidified his position as the first choice forward.
In the recent games I've seen, Park has played as the lone forward in manager Cho Kwang-Rae's 4-1-4-1. This is interesting given Cho played seven games with a 4-2-3-1 earlier on in the year.
The 4-2-3-1 is the same formation that manager Arsène Wenger uses.
But where will Park play?
My guess is off the bench.
Park Chu-Young as a Human Being
Park Chu-Young is a shy, humble, unassuming human being.
Which is why I can easily envision Park being nonplus to speak out when Arsène Wenger tapped him up.
Surely Park knew what he was doing would bring shame to his name, damage his kibun and ultimately disgrace South Korea.
Let's move on, though.
I thought this was an interesting anecdote.
For a while the French press assumed Park did not understand French let alone speak the language, as he'd consistently reply, "I only speak Korean," when pressed for a comment.
Yet the press later found out that Park had no problems speaking English let alone French.
Afterall, he does have an IQ of 150.
When asked if his IQ score was true, typically his response was humble, "Yes, it is, although the test was a long time ago! I did it when I was around 16 or 17, in junior high school."
Mandatory Military Service
There's always a big brouhaha when prominent South Korean male celebrities somehow bypass their two-year mandatory military service.
During the 2002 FIFA World Cup, amid the adulation and joyful celebration of the team's shock success, the South Korean government exempted the entire 23-member squad from military service.
In past years, the South Korean government have passed half-baked measures like a four-week long limited basic military training course for "exceptional" males.
It defeats the purpose of being conscripted doesn't it.
Park Chu-Young has to serve two years of military service by the age of 30; so at the latest he'd have to begin at 28. He's currently 26.
Though he can avoid military service by winning a major tournament, and the Olympics next year is the only tournament on the horizon that would mean something to his nation.
If Park receives a flimsy waiver exempting him from military service for being an Arsenal squad player; he may as well become a naturalised Englishmen.
That's no hyperbole because Yoo Seung-Jun, now Westernised to Steve Yoo, bypassed mandatory military service by becoming a naturalised American citizen.
I want to remind people that when Monaco signed Park Chu-Young, he was coming off a dismal season and was struggling for form.
By signing Park, Ligue I sold their TV rights to South Korea.
Little did Monaco know that not only were they making a bit of cash, they also signed a forward who ended up being their go-to man in seasons to come.
Arsenal's signing of Park just doesn't sit well with me.
Aside from being a squad member and a useful player off the bench, Park will not change Arsenal's season for good or bad.
So the signing is primarily motivated on a marketing ploy to create stronghold in the South Korean market.
Well at least Park's signing isn't as cynical as Manchester United signing Dong Fangzhuo, who hadn't impressed in the Chinese Super League.
In fact, when Dong returned to the CSL, he went on a 27-game goalless streak, which just gives you an idea of how much pedigree he has.
Those Manchester United scouts must have seen something in Dong—dollar signs.
Arsenal see dollar signs in Park.
My Opinion on Park Chu-Young
I'm pleasantly surprised that Arsenal have signed Park Chu-Young. I'm proud that fellow Asian is making it big.
But has Arsène Wenger lost his mind?
Money over results?
Forget about the marketing ploy. From a footballing perspective, I don't understand what he sees in Park.
Wenger could have bought left back José Enrique, or a centre back.
Rather he bought a forward from a relegated side and in the process alienated Lille forever, which certainly means au revoir Eden Hazard.
To Arsenal fans, be open to the possibility of Park failing.
It's not because of a lack of ability, rather his mentality will hinder him from surviving in the cut throat environment of the Premier League.
As former Monaco assistant manager Jean Petit said, "He [Park] doesn't have enough of a killer instinct."
You've read my opinion, comment below with your opinion.
Arsenal fans, what do you think of you guys signing Park Chu-Young?
Do you think manager Arsène Wenger will sign a centre back? If not, will you be disappointed?
Also, if you're Asian or understand Asian culture, are you disgusted with Park Chu-Young's behaviour?
Will Park fail at Arsenal?