Electric Son Turbocharges Spurs’ Angeball Revolution

Tottenham Hotspur’s captain, Son Heung-min, has embraced his new role as a central striker under manager Ange Postecoglou and is thriving in the position. Despite the departure of star player Harry Kane to Bayern Munich, Son has the opportunity to become Tottenham’s talisman and achieve even greater status.

Filling the void left by Harry Kane is a daunting task for any manager. With Kane’s central role and significance to the team’s identity, new manager Ange Postecoglou faced an even more challenging job. Kane had become a talismanic figure at Tottenham, and the team had grown increasingly reliant on him. In the previous season, Kane scored 43% of the side’s Premier League goals and played a crucial role as one of the best playmaking strikers in the world.

Kane’s move to Bayern Munich in pursuit of his first major trophy meant that Tottenham was unable to call upon their star player for a crucial North London league derby against Arsenal last month. Kane, who is the club’s all-time top scorer and holds the record for the most goals in the derby with an impressive 14, left a significant void to be filled.

However, Son Heung-min rose to the occasion and delivered an impressive performance in the derby match. He scored two silky finishes, one in each half, ensuring that the rivalry ended with a draw. Son has gained a reputation as a lethal finisher and proved that he can deliver in the absence of his former strike partner, Kane. This performance solidified Postecoglou’s decision to trust Son and name him as the team’s captain on the day of Kane’s departure.

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Instead of replicating Kane’s all-around style, Son embraced his role as a central striker and excelled in it. He executed the manager’s instructions with precision, leading the press, pinning the center-backs, and making intelligent runs behind the defense. Son’s impact was further highlighted in the team’s controversial 2-1 win over Liverpool, where he found the back of the net, taking his tally to six Premier League goals this season, second only to Erling Haaland’s eight.

Postecoglou had initially started Son on the wing in the season’s first three games but recognized his potential as a central striker. Son’s breakthrough came in a match against Burnley, where he scored a hat-trick in a 5-2 victory. Since then, he has solidified his position as the team’s number nine, impressing both the manager and his teammates. Postecoglou praised Son’s work ethic, leadership, and quality as a player. Son’s selflessness and commitment to the team’s success have not gone unnoticed.

In addition to his goal-scoring prowess, Son has also proven himself as a leader on the pitch. In the match against Burnley, he demonstrated his ability to lead Tottenham’s high press, an essential aspect of their possession-based style of play. Son recorded the most sprints, the third-most intensive runs, and the most pressures among the team’s players. His relentless efforts led to several turnovers, showcasing his commitment to defensive work as well.

While Kane was known for his ball-dominant playing style, Son has been instructed to play a low-touch role. His main responsibility is to push the opposition’s defense back with his positioning, dynamism, and goal-threat, creating space and time for his midfielders. Son’s intelligent and incisive runs are his trademark, and he explodes into action whenever an opportunity presents itself.

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Postecoglou has effectively replaced Kane’s output by combining Son’s elite movement with new signing James Maddison’s creative passing. The partnership between Son and Maddison is still developing, but it is evident that they have a strong bond on and off the pitch. Maddison, who plays as a number eight or ten, highlighted the importance of having a good relationship with the striker. He praised Son’s qualities and expressed his excitement about working together.

Under Postecoglou’s leadership, Tottenham currently sits second in the Premier League table and has remained unbeaten in their first seven games. The manager’s impact on the club has been remarkable, bringing a sense of positivity and optimism after the troubled reign of his predecessor. The team is playing attractive and eye-catching football, earning the nickname “Angeball” and posing a real threat to their opponents. The players, including Son, appear to enjoy playing under Postecoglou’s guidance.

Son’s journey this season is a stark contrast to the previous one, where he struggled physically. Despite winning the Premier League Golden Boot in 2021-22 with 23 goals, he only scored 10 times in the following season, and Tottenham finished eighth. Son played through pain, dealing with a hernia and multiple fractures around his left eye. Despite these challenges, he became the first Asian player to score 100 goals in the Premier League, demonstrating his determination and resilience.

Instead of opting for a lucrative offer from Saudi Arabia in the summer, Son made a vow to give back to the club where he feels he belongs. Since joining Tottenham in 2015 from Bayer Leverkusen for a bargain price of £22 million, Son has become a cult hero and has consistently delivered remarkable performances. With his recent form and contributions to the team, he has the potential to attain an even higher status as Tottenham’s talisman.

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The way Son has embraced his role as a central striker and led the Angeball revolution suggests that he is well on his way towards achieving that honor. Postecoglou’s trust in Son, combined with his own determination and commitment to the team’s success, have made him a key figure in Tottenham’s pursuit of glory this season. Son’s impact on the team, both on and off the pitch, cannot be overstated, and his performances have sparked excitement among fans and teammates alike. As Tottenham moves forward under Postecoglou’s guidance, Son’s role as the team’s talisman will undoubtedly continue to grow.

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