For some weird reason, Tottenham striker Son Heung-min has come out and said that he is at fault for the defeat against Sweden in their opening World Cup match. Everyone knows Son is South Korea’s best attacking threat but for him to take all the blame is a little insane.
Son isn’t the only player in the team, there are 9 other guys who also need to help him out and score goals, Son didn’t have a good game but neither did any other Korean player standout as they seemed content to play for a draw.
The onus is on me to score the goals
Even though Shin Tae-yong has said the team need to contribute more to scoring goals, Son said that he is the main goal-getter, and has implied that if he doesn’t score he knows no one else is likely to bang them in.
This means that Son has some massive pressure to deal with, everyone in South Korea watches how he plays for Spurs in the Premier League and expect the same to happen for South Korea ignoring that he isn’t surrounded by the same quality.
Stifled by tactics
As South Korea looked like they had set up to settle for a draw this saw Son stuck out on the flank as a wide attacker, rather than the main focal point. It’s slightly more difficult to be in the ideal position to get a chance to score from this starting position.
We know he plays in this wide attack role at Spurs, but Harry Kane is the focal point of Tottenham’s attacks, not Kim Shin-wook. When Harry Kane has been injured, sometimes Son has been asked to play as the team’s main striker, South Korea should play him as the focal point and not try to utilize him the way Spurs do.
We tried to implement Tottenham’s system
Shin Tae-yong has admitted they tried to copy Tottenham’s tactical system we presume in order to maximise Son’s attacking potential in the finals. The problem is though that South Korea clearly didn’t have the players needed to implement the Spurs system.
The odd occasion they got in down the sides they were let down by the crossing, from the first minute it was clear that South Korea were playing a system that wasn’t suited to the players at their disposal. Shin needs to move Son to a central striking role where he can pose more of a threat.
I need to pass more
Son tried to run often when he got the ball, which has prompted him to come out and say I need to pass more. Is there trust issues about passing to his South Korean teammates, compared with the ones he has at Tottenham? I doubt it.
More likely than not, it’s to do with the amount of pressure he is putting himself under to do well for South Korea, this is something that has also happened to ‘key’ players from other countries. Son isn’t totally to blame for the defeat like he thinks, but this shows the pressure he has put on himself, never mind the pressure put on him by others.
The reason Korea lost was that the tactics were all wrong, they were effectively playing long ball against a team of cloggers in defence who will eat that up all day long. When you’re playing hoofball you’re bypassing your more skilful players and leaving them on the edges of the game. Son needs to try and put the pressure on one side and concentrate on playing.
South Korea’s next game is against Mexico and kicks off at 11 pm (Taiwan time)