Ange Postecoglou first introduced himself to Son Heung-Min eight years ago as the manager of the Socceroos, when he defeated Sonny’s South Korea in a thrilling Asian Cup final. Neither of them forgot that moment, but despite Son’s disappointment it’s all water under the bridge now.
Speaking to the assembled media in a press conference today, Sonny told the press about his excitement to meet and now play under Postecoglou this season at Tottenham Hotspur, and that he’s relishing the prospects of playing exciting, progressive football under the Aussie.
“[Postecoglou] has been fantastic. We met for the first time in 2015. Obviously, [South Korea] lost against Australia so that wasn’t the best but I could see in that time they were playing fantastic.
“I’m really looking forward to playing under the gaffer. The training has been fantastic, really sharp, everyone looks really happy with what the gaffer has said. Everyone is working really hard so I’m looking forward to it.
“As soon as he was announced as manager I was really happy. We follow the Scottish league and Celtic was dominating the league. I’m really looking forward to it. It brings back 2015… but I’m just looking forward to helping the team, getting the club where it belongs. I’m looking forward to playing amazing attacking football. I hope we can make special things all together.”
Son shared the Premier League Golden Boot in 2021-22, but endured a miserable campaign last season by his standards. While he bounced back a little towards the end of the season, he tallied only 10 goals and six assists in league play, and after the season admitted that he’d been playing through an injury for much of the year. Even so, Sonny backed himself to rebound this season under a new manager, now that he’s finally healthy. He also rubbished the idea that he might chase a big money move to Saudi Arabia after rumors emerged that he was a target for several Saudi Premier League clubs earlier this summer.
“Probably if I wanted to go there I would be out there, not here! I love playing football, obviously money is also important. I dream of playing in the Premier League and [I still have] a lot of things to do.
“I’m looking forward to it this season and obviously especially [after] last season when I suffered physically. So this is not Sonny that I know. I want to prove this season that I’m the Sonny that we all know.
“I want to prove that to myself and I want to give back to the club where I belong. Saudi obviously most people are going at the moment which is really, really interesting but it’s a dream for me to play in the Premier League and I’m looking forward to this season.”
The news that Sonny was carrying an injury last season put a lot of his struggles in context, at least for me. There is every opportunity for him to get back to the player we remember from past season, the one who scored 23 league goals and looked unplayable at times. I’d love nothing better than to see that guy come back this coming season in a high-octane, high pressing Tottenham tactical system.
Spurs fans will get their first chance to see Son and the rest of the Spurs squad play tomorrow when Spurs play West Ham in Perth, Australia. Kick-off is 6 pm local time, 6 am ET, and 11 am BST. The match is televised on CBS Sports Network in the USA, and streamed on SpursPLAY, Tottenham’s in-house premium streaming service.