“It is a shame” – Pundit accuses Son Heung-min of playing with less intensity after South Korea’s FIFA World Cup exit as key problem identified
Former West Ham United striker Frank McAvennie has accused Son Heung-min of playing with less intensity following South Korea's exit from the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Son picked up a facial injury in Tottenham Hotspur's 2-1 UEFA Champions League win against Olympique de Marseille last month. Spurs needed to avoid defeat to progress to the last 16 of the competition.
But they lost Son to an injury early in the first half after a clattering challenge from Chancel Mbemba fractured his left eye socket. He has not played a single minute for manager Antonio Conte's side since then.
Despite the early scare surrounding his 2022 FIFA World Cup participation, Son played for his nation in their opening game against Uruguay. Son cut a frustrating figure in a game that finished 0-0.
He was equally disappointed in his team's 3-2 loss against Ghana but assisted their most important goal in Qatar. South Korea needed to beat the European nation to qualify for the last 16, which they did with a 2-1 scoreline.
He set up the 91st-minute goal from Hwang Hee-chan, which confirmed all three points for his team. But an uninspiring performance from the Tottenham winger against Brazil meant his team lost by a 4-1 scoreline on December 5.
After the game, McAvennie told Football Insider (h/t ThisIsFutbol):
“It [the injury] has bothered him. He is not comfortable wearing that [mask]. He has not looked his accomplished self when he gets the ball. He was always very accomplished on the ball. He looks as if he does not want anyone coming near him."
“It is as if his eye is bothering him. It is as if he does not want anyone to hit him again. That is a thing he has got to get over in his own mind. He has got to get rid of that."
"It is a shame but he has got to get rid of that. He looked as if he did not want to tackle, he did not want anyone to come near him.”
Richarlison sends message of support to South Korea star Son Heung-min after 2022 FIFA World Cup exit
Richarlison, who joined Tottenham from Everton this summer, sent a heartfelt message to South Korea's Son Heung-min after his team's exit from the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The Brazil striker posted a photo of himself embracing the former Bayer Leverkusen winger and tweeted:
"I know how hard you fought to be here and that's why you're a hero to your people @Sonny7 ![Brazil flag]🤝[South Korea flag]"
Richarlison scored his team's third goal against the South Koreans. His tally at the 2022 FIFA World Cup is now up to three goals from as many games.