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Player Review: Joo Ho Park - Was He Ever There?

Year in Review 2015/16

Borussia Dortmund v Sparta Prague  - Friendly Match Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images

Borussia Dortmund defender Joo Ho Park came in during the summer window with little aplomb and rightfully so. He was supposed to be the back up left back and only then because Erik Durm was out with injury. Unfortunately, he failed to fill even that humble role. Nevertheless, there are some positive aspects.


The debut. Oh what a debut. In his first game in the black and yellow Park went a full 90 minutes, making runs down the left hand side and delivering dangerous crosses. Arguably the man of the match, he provided the assist to Matthias Ginter to get Dortmund level. Then in stoppage time, Ginter repaid the favor crossing to Park who headed in a last minute winner. Rest assured, this was just FC Krasnodar. Even Adnan Januzaj looked promising in this match.


A Dortmund Bench.....Without Park
Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images

Pretty much everything else. Even the bench above is an over-representation of Park's season as he more often than not didn't make the bench. No one expected Park to be a regular starter in the league for BVB but he barely even played or made the bench in secondary competitions like the Pokal or the Europa League. In fact he didn't make an appearance for Dortmund in the DFB Pokal.

Aside from the Krasnodar match, Park also did little to distinguish himself in the Europa League. Ultimately, Tuchel only trusted the former Mainz man to play against teams like PAOK and Qabala where BVB were expected to win handily.

In the Bundesliga, Park made 5 appearances, 4 of them starts. None of his games were very noteworthy as he rarely took players on or did anything more than quickly pass the ball back to Weigl and Hummels in the middle. He never made up for his lack of technicality with lung busting Schmelzer-esque runs up and down the pitch. He never charged forward and ran at defenders on the overlap like Durm has so often done.

All in all, he showed why Tuchel left him out of big games. For example, against Bayern during the Hinrunde, even with Schmelzer and Durm both out and five in the back, Die Schwarzgelben opted for Sokratis out of position on the right and Piszczek out of position on the left.

Onward and Upward

I would be very surprised to see Park with the team next year after he was so clearly surplus to requirements down the stretch with Durm back in the fold. Even with Hummels and likely Subotic leaving, Dortmund will probably sign an outside player and promote Fritsch to fill out their defense. Simply put, Joo Ho Park showed he doesn't have the quality for a side of BVB's stature. Don't be surprised if you see him as a familiar face when we play against a mid table team next season. In a summer of transition for Borussia, I'm confident Zorc will find the right combination of youth, quality, and experience at left back and across the pitch.