Son Shines a Path to 4th Round
Heung-min Son was the star of Tottenham’s 3rd round F.A Cup victory over Leicester on Wednesday night. Camped on the peripheries of the first team in recent weeks, the adorably cheerful South Korean wrung every last fluid ounce from his rare start, providing two key contributions in all-action performance.
Ground Control to Major Goals
There was much to enjoy about Spurs’ opener, Son’s 5th of the season. Dashing onto Tom Carroll’s first-time pass, the forward connected so tunefully with the ball that it flat refused to spin on its way past Kasper Schmeichel. One of those physics-mocking knuckleball deals that makes the thing just hang there, as if suspended in a vacuum, propelling toward its intended target.
It also made that satisfying CLACK! sound as it pounded the net. Schmeichel had the grand total of zero chances.
Then, just after the hour, Son offered a hand in Nacer Chadli’s first goal since August. A throughball loaded with smarts which the Belgian had no trouble sliding home for Spurs’ second. We’re going to bloody Wembley!
Chadli later told the official site that it wasn’t the most beautiful goal he’d ever scored, but in his eyes, it didn’t matter a jot. You’re too modest, Nacer. It was a thing of pure, teamworked artistry.
It wasn’t all sun loungers and afternoon cocktails for Spurs, of course. There were moments when the calm waters began to stir.
With the score primed at 1-0 and Leicester feeling their way back into the game, Michael Vorm was forced into a neat two-handed save from the Fox’s new young starlet, Demarai Gray, who attempt to shape one in the top corner with his instep on 53 minutes.
The Cadbury Atheltic graduate, of Daniel Sturridge and Creme Egg fame, was one of The West Midlands club’s winners from the tie. Despite very much being on the losing side. He looks a real talent.
Questions were asked when Spurs were knocked out the League Cup in September, whether their supposed squad depth was in fact a carefully constructed illusion. Probably Daniel Levy’s doing. From a distance it might look like we had each position covered with international-grade quality, but when you’re watching a game in which Federico Fazio is ‘the guy’ then, well, it’s natural to be suspicious.
Wednesday night showed that for the most part, the depth and variation in Spurs’ squad is abundant. While the players coming in mightn’t be elite level replacements, they possess that all-important trait: hunger.
They want to play. They want to show that they’re worthy of place in the first team and will do their darndest to force the manger into making a decision. No sulking, bib throwing or altercations with fitness coaches; they’re focused on the job at hand.
Heung-min Son epitomised that.