English Premier League (EPL) Tottenham’s new “captain,” Son Heung-min, 31, had a dizzying season opener. Son conceded a penalty for a first-half foul in the team’s disappointing draw and was subbed off in the second half without an offensive point.
Tottenham drew 2-2 with Brentford in the first round of the 2023-2024 EPL on Sept. 13 at the G-Tech Community Stadium in Brentford, England.
Son wore the captain’s armband for the first time and started on the left flank for the first time since the departure of Hugo Llorez, the team’s captain since 2015, and the departure of Harry Kane, the team’s symbol and mainstay, to Bayern Munich (Germany). Kane’s place was filled by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, while Dejan Kulusebski started at right-back.
The captain’s armband felt unusually heavy on Son Heung-min’s shoulders as he moved into a key position. In Ange Postecoglou’s “attacking football,” Son didn’t move to the center and attack from the flanks, but he didn’t make his presence felt. In fact, it was his foul on Brentford midfielder Mathias Jensen in defense in the 26th minute of the first half, when the score was 1-1, that led to the penalty kick.
They couldn’t make up for their mistakes in attack either. A left-footed volley in the closing minutes of the first half went wide of the post, and a shot from inside the penalty area in the 15th minute was saved by the keeper. Postecoglou eventually pulled captain Son Heung-min off in the 30th minute and brought on Ivan Perisic. The decision to take the striker off in the opening minutes of the game, when the teams were tied, was a reflection of his lack of form on the day.
After the game, European soccer statistics site Fúscore.com gave Son a 사설토토 rating of 6.1. Of the 11 players who started on the day, it was the second lowest after midfielder Oliver Skipp (5.9).
After finishing the first half 2-2, both teams pushed hard for a second half winner, but the game ended in a draw with no further goals scored. James Maddison, who joined Tottenham from Leicester City this summer, was the focal point of the team’s attack with two assists. “Center back prospect” Kim Ji-Soo, 18, who joined Brentford this summer, was left off the roster.