Park Chu Young ( Ju Young )
Park Chu Young, or Ju Young as he prefers to be called as, is a striker from Arsenal and also the South Korean national squad captain.
The Korean was hugely successful as a youngster, earning rave reviews in competitions like the 2004 AFC Youth Championship.
Park first joined Seoul FC in the K-league in 2005. His first season would turn out to be his most prolific during his time in the K-league, scoring 12 goals in 19 games. The subsequent seasons saw Park scoring lesser goals, as injury disrupted his playing time. The Korean would only go on to manage 11 goals in 49 games over the next 3 seasons, a goal less than what he accomplished in his first season.
However, lady luck was shining on Park, as he was still selected for the 2007 Olympics, and impressed scouts from around the world. Monaco FC came calling and signed the striker. Park would have leave Seoul FC with a total of 23 goals from 68 games. That is a ratio a goal every 3 games. Not prolific by all standards, but a decent return nonetheless.
The Korean’s strike rate in his first season at Monaco was even less impressive. He managed only a meager 5 goals from 31 appearances. However, it may a case of Park still adapting to the French league, as the following season saw Park improve, and go on to notch 8 goals in 27 games. His last season, the 2010/11 season, at Monaco showed further improvement, with 12 goals in 33 games. However, despite his improvement and goals, Monaco FC were relegated.
By then, Park had done enough to convince top teams to pay for him. Before Arsenal had even made a bid for Park, Lille, the reigning French champions first made their move, and already had agreed upon a fee for the striker. All was left but a second medical and some paper works before Park Ju Young was a Lille player.
However, after it was known that Bendtner was leaving, and that Joel Campbell would not be given a work permit, Arsene made his move. He called his old club Monaco, and arranged for Park to join Arsenal. Park needed no second invitation, and joined Arsenal on the 30th of August, a day before the transfer window closes, for a fee in the region of 3m.
Park has good movement off the ball, loving to run around the pitch. This aids in tiring out opposition, as they have to keep track of him all the time, leaving spaces for Park’s team mates to exploit. The Korean has also shown his ability to strike the ball, notching 4 goals in 2 games for Korea since joining Arsenal.
Park Ju Young strike-rates are not prolific at all in any sense. He averaged a goal only every 3-4 games prior to coming to Arsenal. Perhaps it was his previous team’s lack of ability to provide Park with the services need to score goals. Given that all of his previous clubs were not blessed with quality players, it may be that Park would actually be more effective playing for Arsenal.
The striker’s weaknesses may also be the language barrier, as he speaks only Korean, and a little French having spend 3 years in France. However, football is universal. You just shout SHOOT or f*** you and players would most probably understand you. There is a high chance that language would be a problem easily solved by Park, with time, as the Korean has a IQ of 150, probably more than either you or me.
Another flaw in Park is his availability. The Korean was only signed on a two year contract, as he is obliged to return to South Korea to perform military duty, as required of all South Korean male citizens. There are a few ways he could escape conscription, and one is to adopt a UK passport and forsake his Korean nationality, or to win the Olympics next year. A tall order, either way.
Park is also facing an obstruction which is intangible. That is, the curse of the no.9 shirt. Just to put things into perspective, the no.9 shirt was previously Reyes, Jeffers, Aliadiere, Baptista and Eduraro. Not exactly auspicious but oh well, may be Park would dispel this silly notion.
Having only 2 years to prove himself, the Korean may put himself under undue pressure. Furthermore his records shows that he needs time to climatise to a new environment, before being able to flourish. However, should Park show as much energy and work as his name sake over at Manchester, he may turn out to be an important part of the squad. He may play for only 2 years without playing to his full potential, but as long as he works and tries hard, the fans and supporters would surely be there to give him a rousing roar whenever he plays.
Carl Jenkinson, born in the year 1992. God he makes me feel old. His mother is of Finish descent, and he was born in England, making him eligible to represent either country. He joined Charlton at age of 8 and stayed there till Arsenal made a move for him.
After 10 years of youth team football, then manager Phil Parkinson felt that Jenkinson needed first team games to improve and sent Jenkinson out on loan to the non-league clubs to gain experience and games. Carl Jenkinson did not disappoint, and performed well in the lower leagues, leading to his recall back to Charlton,
Having made an impression, Parkinson gave the youngster his first ever start in the team at right back against Brentford in December 2010. He impressed then and made the right back his own at Charlton for the remainder for the season, making 8 starts and 1 substitution, a grand total of 9 appearances for Charlton,
His performance soon caught the eye, and Arsenal, ever alert to emerging talents, moved quickly to try and seal a deal. Jenkinson, having known of Arsenal’s interest, refused to extend his contract with Charlton. A compensation package was then negotiated between Arsenal and Charlton FC, and Jenkinson made his over over to North London for a fee reported to be £1 million.
Jenkinson joined Arsenal on June 08, 2011. The youngster was supposedly one for the future. However, his debut for Arsenal against Malaysia showed that he had the talent to go far. In that game, Jenkinson showed that he had a good cross in him, had pace and was willing to overlap to provide some form of attack, a role which Sagna has performed to near perfection in recent seasons. It was enough to persuade Arsene to sell Eboue to Galatasaray, which made Jenkinson effectively our back up right back. However, Jenkinson follow that up by scoring an incredible own goal in the match against Koln. Perhaps it was a signs of things to come in the following weeks.
Injuries and suspension soon meant that the young right back had to play some parts in our games. Djourou injury in Udinese meant that the youngster could not wait to be slowly assimilated to live in the top league, and forced to cope with the intensity of high level football.
Yet, the performance he gave was decent and confident. As the team became inflicted with injuries, Arsene confidence in the youngster grew and made Jenkinson start in the following 3 games.
When we won the return leg at Udinese, my fears that the youngster was not ready was partly allayed. Yet, I had this niggling fear that he was not fully prepared for the rigours of the league. Sadly, the young Fin made my worst fear came true. Though the loss to Liverpool was in no way his fault, however, the fixture against Manchester United ruthlessly exposed his shortcomings.
Jenkinson was blown away by the seamless passing of Manchester United, and his positioning so poor that Ashley Young was running riot down the left wing. This is through no fault of his own, as he had barely played League One football a season ago. However, it was painful lesson for the youngster, and his performance culminated in his sending off.
Despite his jerky performances so far, Jenkinson has shown promising signs. He has pace, and is a good crosser of the ball He has also shown his awareness of players in his assist to Van Persie in the match against Manchester United. Arshavin released a pass from the Arsenal half, and Jenkinson raced down the right channel, showing his pace. His cross was deflected but he showed great awareness in heading the ball back to Van Persie to score our second consolation goal.
The season may has just started, as did Jenkinson Arsenal’s career. The youngster may have his weaknesses right now, but time is on his side to overcome them. Arsene needs to allow the youngster to slowly develop and gradually integrate him into the the playing style of Arsenal. With Sagna to guide him, and provided he puts in the effort, there is no reason why Carl Jenkinson cannot improve and grow to be an important player for Arsenal over the next few years.