Son Heung-Min has been in terrific form for the last couple of months and is finding the back of the net with astonishing regularity. The South Korean has stepped up in the absence of Harry Kane and Dele Alli and has kept Spurs in the title race.
While the 26-year-old is getting a lot of plaudits at the moment, he certainly didn’t have the best of starts to the season as he struggled to find his form after returning from the World Cup.
Tottenham manager Pochettino has now explained why Son has been able to drastically improve his form. The Argentine put it down to his state of mind and insisted that the forward had too many things on his mind at the start of the season, to be able to focus on football.
Speaking to Football.London ahead of the game against Burnley, Pochettino said, “When Sonny playing with freedom is one player, but when you see him in games before November, he was so obsessed with playing and performing so well, he was thinking of the national teams, this and that and it was impossible to perform in the way you want.
“It’s a good example. It’s not easy to find a way to split from the responsibility of the business and the consequences of what can be in behind your performances or mistakes or decisions. After to find freedom to run and try. Of course that is football.”
The 46-year-old also went on to explain how important it is for players to enjoy their football rather than thinking about the consequences of losing.
When asked about Son always playing with a smile, Pochettino said, “Yes. It’s not playing with a smile, it’s literally playing with energy. The energy he gives the team is fantastic.
“Football cannot be a drama. You know very well that for me football is a joy, not a drama, but you must be responsible because you’re playing with emotions. That is not a joke.
“That is why the balance is the most important thing. The balance is to be responsible but in the end it’s a game, a game that you need to have in your head some emotion to perform in the best way.
“When you’re a kid you play football and you feel the happiness of playing football. You cannot lose that when you are professional because of the pressure of winning or the business of football, or because we are talking about millions and millions.
“You feel that pressure on your shoulders and it makes you not behave naturally. That is the most important, that the player when they arrive to be professional need to be away from all those thoughts and find a way to behave on the pitch and in training sessions and in competition and to feel freedom to play football and be happy and don’t think about mistakes having consequences.”
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