‘Pride of Korean football’ Son Heung-min challenges the first two consecutive goals this season. Son Heung-min’s Tottenham will play the 22nd round of the English Premier League (EPL) in the 2022-2023 season with Manchester City at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England at 1:30 am (hereinafter Korean time) on February 6. 메이저놀이터

Son Heung-min scored multiple goals in the FA Cup match against Preston on January 29, leading the team to a 3-0 victory. It was his first goal in five games since the EPL match against Crystal Palace on January 5th. Including helping Harry Kane’s winning goal in the 21st round of the EPL against Fulham on the 24th of last month (1-0 Tottenham win), he has achieved attack points in two consecutive games and is on the rise.

Son Heung-min is recording a total of 8 goals and 3 assists in the official game this season. He scored 4 goals and 3 assists in the EPL and 2 goals each in the European Champions League (UCL) and FA Cup. Now that the season is over halfway through, he has already achieved double-digit offensive points, and the number of goals with only two goals left in double-digits doesn’t seem too bad.

However, looking at the contents leaves much to be desired. So far this season, Son Heung-min has played 27 official games for Tottenham, but only scored in 4 of them. Among them, it was thanks to the EPL Leicester City match (hat trick), UCL Frankfurt match, and FA Cup Preston match (more than 2 goals), scoring 7 goals in a total of 3 matches.

There was a game that left a strong impression by scoring multiple goals once in each competition, but the problem was that it was not steady. Son Heung-min’s first goal since the opening came only in the 8th round of the league against Leicester City, well over a month after the opening.

Also, after being silent again after the Leicester game, he scored a goal against Frankfurt in October, and in the league, he was silent for 110 days in 8 matches until he scored a goal against Palace on January 4 in the new year. During this period, Son Heung-min also set a new dishonorable record of being scoreless for the longest period in the league. Son Heung-min has not yet scored two consecutive goals this season.

Even considering that there were several variables that were difficult to attribute to Son Heung-min’s responsibility, such as Antonio Conte’s monotonous and rigid tactics, tactical coexistence with Ivan Perisic on the left flank, orbital fracture injury and World Cup forced march, Son Heung-min’s form also fell significantly. The fact could not be denied.

Since joining Tottenham in August 2015, Son Heung-min has scored 139 points and assisted 77 in a total of 352 official matches, and has played an average of 69 minutes in total, recording an attack point per 90 minutes of 0.80. However, looking at the 2022-2023 season alone, despite his average playing time of 81 minutes, his attack point is only 0.45, far below his career average. It is a disappointing record even considering that he became the first Asian player to become the first EPL scorer with 23 goals last season, and his expectations have risen significantly.

The British media’s gaze on Son Heung-min also increased critically. In some media outlets, the saying, “Excluding Heung-Min Son, who has fallen out of form, and placing Richarlison and Klusepski more seriously,” has been consistently raised so far. In addition, it was evaluated that Arnaut Danjuma, newly reinforced in the winter transfer market, could also become a competitor to threaten Son Heung-min’s position.

Fortunately, the suspicion towards Son Heung-min has subsided for a while with his multi-goal performance against Preston, but it is still difficult to see that the distrust has completely cleared. Immediately after the match against Leicester City and Frankfurt, which succeeded in scoring, it was evaluated that “Son Heung-min came back to life”, but as a result, Son Heung-min could not continue his upward trend in the game immediately after that.

To make matters worse, Tottenham faced a challenge in a difficult situation. Tottenham, who are aiming to enter the top 4, have only 2 wins and 3 losses in their recent 5 Premier League matches, and with 11 wins, 3 draws and 7 losses, 36 points, they are in 5th place behind Newcastle United in 3rd and Manchester United in 4th.

To make matters worse, Man City, the opponent, is a strong player competing for the league title. Tottenham lost 2-4 to Manchester City just 17 days ago, on January 20, in a league matchup. The shock was even greater because Tottenham scored two goals first and then lost.

Even this time, we have to deal with Man City in the absence of manager Conte. Coach Conte is known to need at least two weeks of rest as he recently underwent cholecystitis surgery due to deteriorating health. Starting with Manchester City, it is expected that it will be difficult for Conte to direct the 23rd round away with Leicester City on the 12th, and the first leg of the round of 16 away against AC Milan (Italy) in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 on the 15th. British media are predicting that Tottenham is likely to lose again to Man City, and that it could face the biggest hurdle this season during Conte’s hiatus.

What Tottenham can hope for is the presence of Son Heung-min, who was exceptionally strong against Man City. Son Heung-min scored 7 goals and 3 assists in 16 matches against Manchester City. In particular, since the opening of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in April 2019, he has won thanks to the performance of Son Heung-min, who scored goals in all four matches against Manchester City at home. 

Son Heung-min, of course, is certain to start with Harry Kane in this Manchester City match and aim for Man City’s goal. If Son Heung-min succeeds in scoring goals in the first 2 consecutive games and 3 consecutive offensive points against the strong team Man City, it is expected that he will be able to regain his confidence and prove that he has escaped from the slump.

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