Tottenham’s Son Heung-min looks set to captain South Korea in their desperate fight to stay in the World Cup. Korea has an uphill task on their hands as they need to be defending champions Germany in their final group game.
Son looks set to stand in for Korea’s regular captain Ki Sung-yueng who was injured during the game against Mexico.
Ki’s inspiration and experience will be a big loss for Korea
Ki has gathered an abundance of experience throughout his career playing for many years in the English Premier League with Swansea City, he also comes across as someone who makes a good leader.
To lose as many players as Korea have before and during the tournament has been a nightmare for them, but to also lose one of the key team leaders will come as a bigger blow as a lot of the other injuries have. It takes a lot of mental toughness to be a leader and not every player is suited to the role regardless of how much ability they possess.
Son will need to show excellent leadership qualities
For Korea to have a chance of getting anything from this game, they need their leaders to stand up and be counted, and the leaders need to help direct the younger or less experienced players through the game.
There are a lot of players in Korea’s squad who don’t have much playing experience at a competition like the World Cup, but what normally should come with that is a no fear attitude. Shin hasn’t let the team express themselves in any of the previous two matches against Mexico and Sweden, he needs to let the shackles off, and allow Korea’s attacking players to go for it some more.
Is Son stand-in captain because he has the biggest profile?
There could be an element of giving Son the captaincy because he has the biggest profile among any of the South Korean squad, but if that was the case then he would already be the captain; not Ki.
This no doubt means he is someone that the Korean players look up to, and we expect Son to lead from example against Germany.
Son needs to stop trying to do everything himself
Son needs to stop trying to do too much on his own during games, and put more trust in his teammates. This is something that Son has alluded to himself after the first match against Sweden.
Son is clearly desperate to get the goals Korea to need to progress and this is seemingly putting more pressure on him, it will be interesting to see if the captaincy alleviates this pressure or adds to it.
South Korea take on Germany tonight needing a miracle to qualify, we hope they manage to pull it off but our head tells us it will not happen.