Son coming good … At last

During his first season for Tottenham, South Korean international Son Heung-min merely showed glimpses of his quality. Struggling to cement a position in the team being reduced to mainly substitute appearances, its safe to say that his debut season could have gone better. Furthermore with the acquisitions of Georges-Kévin N’Koudou and Moussa Sissoko, who occupy similar positions to Son, there was talk that he could be on his way out of North-London. However, based on recent performances, he could be a frequent fixture in the Spurs first team.

After already equalling his tally of 4 league goals from last season in 25 fewer games, its clear that Son has stepped it up this season. His performance against Sunderland was particularly impressive two weeks ago. Without doubt the best player on the pitch, the South Korean ran the Sunderland back line ragged for the full 90 minutes. Direct in his play with a fine shoot on him, Son has the attributes of a fine winger. Of course all that was missing from his performance was a goal which he truly deserved. On this occasion he didn’t manage it but he certainly rectified this the following week up at Middlesbrough. It was the complete performance taking both his goals with ease,the second especially which was a fine curling effort. Getting his second brace of the season and picking up the man of the match award once again, Son continued his fine form.


Son celebrating his second brace in 3 weeks over Middlesbrough on Saturday

So why has it taken so long for us to see the best of Son Heung-min ? The likely answer is that he needed time to adapt. Moving from German football where he has spent the entirety of his career to England isn’t easy and he isn’t the first player who has needed time to adjust to his new environment. Pochettino himself said he believes Son is ‘ more mature’  and ‘ he knows the league’ better. This certainly seems the case judging by his fine start to the season.

Son is now one of many Spurs midfielders who are finding their feet at the club. Lamela has started to show us his true potential over the last year or so after a slow start and Eriksen is now consistently putting in decent performances each week. The most impressive for Pochettino perhaps is that his array of attacking midfielders certainly chip in when it comes to scoring goals and with Kane’s injury, it is imperative they continue to do that.

The future certainly looks bright for Spurs under Pochettino, despite the loss of Kane for a while, and Son is surely going to be part of that future. If he and those around him continue to perform consistently then Spurs will be right up there this season.

Townsend finally to fulfil Potential ?

Many believed that when Andros Townsend broke into the Spur’s side following the departure of Gareth Bale back in 2013, he would be there for the long haul. However, for whatever reason, the last couple of year’s haven’t gone to plan. Due to lengthy injuries and falling out of favour under Pochettino, Townsend Spurs career came to an abrupt end early on. It didn’t really go much better at Newcastle either being part of the dismal team that fell through the trap door into the championship. At times it wasn’t his fault as he often put in fine performances and scored some brilliant goals but ultimately it was in vain. Now Townsend has returned to London and despite a slow start for Palace, there are signs he could be rediscovering the form he once showed for Tottenham not too long ago.

Alan Pardew knew that last season Palace struggled  for goals, hence the acquisition of Christian Benteke from Liverpool. For Benteke to score the required goals, he needs service, balls into the box. With the loss of key winger Bolasie to Everton there have been questions over whether they can get the big Belgian the ammunition he requires. Zaha of course is a similar player but he has struggled to find any real consistency since his return to Palace back in 2014. However, in Townsend they may have found a like for like replacement for the Congo international.

This was certainly the case during Palace’s dismantlement of Stoke on Sunday. Despite not scoring Benteke must have been delighted with the quality of crosses coming into the box especially those from the left which was the area occupied by Townsend. At every opportunity he took on his man, usually beating him, and whipped in some of the best crosses you’ll see. It’s not just the assist’s that Townsend brings to the team but it’s also that goal threat. That was often the criticism of Bolasie during his Palace career that he failed to score the goals that matched his ability as a whole. Townsend on the other hand is never afraid to shoot, as we saw against Stoke with his goal, and he possess’s one of the deadliest right foot’s in the league.


Townsend (centre) scored his first goal for Palace against Stoke on Sunday

Townsend’s return to form is a welcome one not just for Palace, but also for England. Perhaps unlucky not to go to the Euro’s in the summer, if Townsend continues his current form surely he will be in Big Sam’s plans. Of course its early days yet and Townsend’s renaissance could be a short one. However, at least he knows at Palace he is guaranteed first team football and if you asked the lad, I’m pretty sure that is all he has ever wanted.