Son Heung-min who earned the English Premier League’s highest goal record last season has been without a goal in the last four games after the EPL was launched this season. Son was one of the starters of the fourth-round match of the 2022-2023 season against Nottingham Forest, which was held at Nottingham Forest’s home, the City Ground, on Monday. But he did not make his first goal of the season.
While Son’s team Tottenham Hotspur won the match 2-0 with Harry Kane scoring two goals with its season record standing at three wins and one tie with no losses, Son couldn’t smile. Since an assist in the season-opening match against Southampton on August 6, he was replaced in the second half of the last two games after a lackluster performance and didn’t perform well on Monday either.
Nottingham Forest had one of its central midfielders focus on defending Son and the team’s central defense line closed in immediately to put pressure on the South Korean footballer. Son was pushed back and not proactive in his movement. Son couldn’t shake off the opponent’s defense players and hardly received any pass from his colleagues. When Kane had a ball near the halfway line, Son was not in a good position to receive his pass and did not quickly get into the backspace. Son also didn’t work well with Ivan Perisic on the left side.
With disappointing performance, Son’s confidence is also lowered. Son had a golden opportunity in the so-called ‘Son Heung-min’ zone, the immediate left side of the penalty box, at the 16th-minute mark of the first half of the game, the ball went over the goal post. His left-footed shoot within the penalty box 16 minutes into the second half of the game headed directly at Nottingham Forest’s goalkeeper Dean Henderson. Son was replaced by Richarlison at the 29th-minute mark of the second half, which was the third consecutive time that he was replaced. In the last three games, Son played for 79, 76, and 74 minutes, respectively.
Other teams are also putting immense pressure on Son, the last season’s top scorer. However, locals believe that Son should overcome this challenge to prove himself as a world-class player. Kane who earned the most scores three times in the EPL is also a target of tight defense but he scored four goals during the last four games. Mohamed Salah of Liverpool who tied for the goal record with Son last season also made two goals so far.
Jae-Yeong Yoo firstname.lastname@example.org