After Jose Mourinho was unceremoniously sacked before the league cup final (a deserving yet ill-timed sacking), [Sky Sports] Spurs would subject their loyal supporters to 76 days of misery in a wild managerial hunt that saw them publicly rebuffed at countless opportunities by Managers in a well-documented media circus [Mirror].
We are acutely aware of the need to select someone whose values reflect those of our great Club and return to playing football with the style for which we are known – free-flowing, attacking and entertaining” [Tottenham Hotspur].
Spurs then proceeded to announce that Nuno Espirito Santo would be the new manager, a decision that baffled many and contradicted his previous statement [BBC].
It was obvious Nuno’s playstyle was not akin to anything like Spurs DNA, despite his infamous quote during his first Spurs interview: “We gonna make you proud, we gonna make you proud.” [Spurs TV]
Everything seemed to be going wrong at Tottenham, who were gearing up for a season of the new and underwhelming UEFA Conference League, with a manager who played with a philosophy that contradicted the club’s ethos, and worse of all, star striker and talisman Harry Kane failing to report to training. [Guardian]
After a disappointing season overall, Spurs had their star player speak the Overlap with Gary Neville, where he was publicly admitting that he was seemingly ready for a new challenge and was willing to make a move to win trophies [The Overlap].
Kane just came off the back of winning the golden boot and the golden playmaker award in a torrid Spurs team, despite being strangely pipped to the Player of the Year award by Reuben Dias. [Premier League]
Spurs fans can understand Kane’s desire to be with a club that matches his ambitions; however, he almost ruined his legacy that summer by missing the first day of training with reports flying out that he was ready for a transfer.
Throughout the entire summer, Spurs fans had been subjected to a long-winded manager hunt, which led to the lukewarm appointment of Nuno, Conference League football to barely look forward to, and their star player, Mr Tottenham himself, Harry Kane, rocking the boat and trying to get a move away. Nothing to smile about.
Can’t smile without you
Heung-min Son has been a fan favourite since day one. Arriving from Bayer Leverkusen in a £22 million deal, [BBC] The South Korean didn’t light up the league in his first season; instead, he was struggling to find his feet.
Son would often blow hot and cold, but his personality was shining through. His off-the-field demeanour was a breath of fresh air, and Son quickly became a popular figure in the dressing room, winning the hearts of his teammates and fans.
When Son really started to find himself at Spurs, he never looked back. Since joining Spurs, Son has had 225 goal involvements in all competitions since his debut, [Transfer Market] even firing in a Balon dor winning strike against Burnley in 2020. [Asian Football Confederation]
In 2018, as a sign of good faith from Tottenham, they offered him a 5-year contract and allowed him to compete in the Asia Games so he could try to win Gold and avoid military service. [Tottenham Hotspur]
All South Korean citizens must attend mandatory military service; however, this can vary based on circumstances. Giving Son a new contract before the Asia Games and allowing him to compete in it during the season was a massive gesture of goodwill and faith displayed by Tottenham that even if he did have to do military service, his financial future would be secure.
Son won gold in spectacular fashion, beating Japan 2-1 in the final, earning the entire squad military exemption, which meant that Son could continue his dream of being a Premier League footballer. [Slate] He would never forget the faith that Spurs had in him.
In the summer of 2021, with everything going wrong, Son gave Spurs fans something to smile about once again when he signed a new 4-year contract despite everything falling apart around him. Son said, “It was already a big honour to play here for six years, the club have shown me massive, massive respect and obviously I’m very happy to be here,” [Tottenham Hotspur]
The South Korean forward bleeds white for Tottenham, and his love is unmatched by anyone currently at the club. He’s one of the longest-serving players in the squad, and his popularity is off the charts. When I think of Mr Tottenham, I don’t think of Kane; I think of Son, the 2021/22 Golden Boot Winner.
I love Harry Kane, but that summer will always leave a bitter taste in my mouth. Yes, he deserves a club that will match his ambitions, and yes, he does deserve better than us currently.
Kane should in reality be our next captain; however, with 12 months left on his contract, what kind of message does that send if everyone knows the captain is off as soon as his contract ends?
During the first press conference of the Asia Pacific Tour 2023, Son was chosen to be interviewed by the media alongside new Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou, which for me is indicative of the relationship between Ange and Son and could potentially showcase Son’s leadership potential if he were to be made captain.
Son also solidly rebuffed any rumours there were linking him to Saudi Arabia, insisting that Spurs was and always would be his home: “I have many things to do in the Premier League. Money doesn’t matter to me now, and the pride of playing football in my favourite league is important. I want to play more for Tottenham in the Premier League. I’ll prepare well when I’m back to Spurs.” [Football.London].
I would love for Kane to match Son’s commitment to the future of Tottenham Hotspur by also dispelling rumours of a potential move.
Son’s Tottenham future, legacy, and fanfare are secure. After an underwhelming 2022/23 campaign, we owe it to Son to give him our absolute backing and for him to take up the armband that many greats have worn, such as Ledley King, Steve Perryman, Danny Blanchflower, Hugo Lloris, Gary Mabbutt and many more.
Son is Mr Tottenham; he bleeds lily-white, and unless Kane commits his future to Spurs, Son is next in line for the throne.
We can’t smile without you, Son.
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