South Korea have already qualified for the 2015 Asian Cup. They performed poorly in Brazil last summer, and the entire nation would like to prove that they are closer to the 2002 semi-finalists than the group that went out of the 2014 World Cup at the group stage. Winning their regional championship would certainly be a step in that direction.
One of the lowlights for South Korea last summer was the performance of Chung-Yong Lee. He played in central midfield, and looked lost. His club career seemed stalled, with young wingers Rob Hall and Zach Clough poised to claim more playing time, and his international career in shambles, with his inclusion in the squad being openly questioned for the first time ever. That has all changed with the arrival of Neil Lennon.
When Lennon first put Lee in the middle of the pitch, I was skeptical. I had watched his World Cup performances very closely, and I just didn't think he had it in him. I was wrong though, and very happy to be so. Chungy has been a revelation. And to prove it, he has just won the club's Player of the Month award for October.
South Korea will play against Jordan tonight and Iran on Tuesday, both matches are in the middle east. Those countries have already qualified for the Asian Cup as well, and I suspect that suffering no injuries will be the number one goal. All Bolton Wanderers supporters share that ambition.