Today’s post begins with the news that Park Chu Young has been included in the Olympic squad for South Korea in spite of the ongoing controversy surrounding the delay of his military service. Chu Young was the captain of the national team, but was recently dropped for South Korea’s World Cup 2014 qualifiers after deferring military service by claiming residency based on a “long-term overseas residence permit” in Monaco.
Park then went some way to being forgiven by issuing a public apology in a press conference at the end of the season, and has now been selected as one of the three over-age players in the Olympic squad. Speaking at a press conference, South Korea Olympic coach Hong Myung-bo said:
“Physically, he’s much better than I’d expected him to be. He brings a lot of international experience and he will play a significant role on this team.
“As a head coach, I’d like for him to do a lot of things, but he’s just one of 18 players we have.
“I am actually worried that he might be trying to do too much for the team. I don’t want that to affect his performance.”
In other news, Yossi Benayoun has confirmed on his personal Twitter account his exit from the club and thanked Arsenal fans for their continued support during the season. Yossi returns to Chelsea tomorrow having exceded expectations by scoring 6 goals in 25 appearances for Arsenal, but is unlikely to be loaned out to us again next season. There are many Arsenal supporters (me included) who suggest that maybe we should buy him and offer him a 2-year contract, but as he is nearing the end of his career it is much more likely that he will be sold by Chelsea to a club where he would get more game-time.
The last topic for discussion today is that Sao Paulo have confirmed that they are hopeful of extending Denilson’s loan, even though Arsenal want him back in North London next season. The Brazilian club do not have enough money to buy him outright, but are optimistic of reaching some sort of agreement that would allow Neves to stay in South America for the time being.
Sao Paulo vice-president Joao Paulo de Jesus Lopes (what a ridiculously long name!) told to Globo Esporte:
“Arsenal’s staff want him to return but we are waiting for [director of football] Adalberto Baptista to have talks with them.
“Maybe we will manage to extend the loan for six more months or even another year. They liked his performances, they liked Denilson’s development. That’s why they want him to return.”
A few good performances in the Brazilian league are not enough to convince me that Denilson is suddenly a much better player than when he left Arsenal a year ago; maybe somebody in Brazil taught him that he doesn’t always have to pass horizontally? I think that it’s time for Wenger to call it quits and replace him with a world-class central midfielder.
Please leave any comments below. I want to know 1) If Arsenal fans would take Benayoun next season and 2) if we want Denilson back at the club. I have already made my opinions very clear.