Son opens up on how Gian Piero Ventrone helped him during goal drought

Heung-min Son
(Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

Son Heung-min has admitted that Tottenham’s fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone helped him through his difficult spell by making him feel ‘comfortable and really grateful.’

Son cannot have had any complaints about being left on the bench by Antonio Conte for the clash against Leicester on Saturday, with Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski getting deserved starts alongside Harry Kane.

The South Korean certainly looked like he had a point to prove when he came on for Richarlison after 59 minutes, and he did so in spectacular fashion, scoring a quickfire hat-trick to help Spurs to a 6-2 win.

After the final whistle, Son shared a touching moment with Ventrone, with the forward seen embracing the 62-year-old for a long time.

When asked about the moment, Tottenham’s hat-trick hero told Football.London about the fitness coach: “Yeah, he is a killer.

“He is a killer but I have a really, really good relationship with Gian Piero. So obviously his English is not perfect, sometimes he is coming with his phone and translating into English from Italian.

“It means a lot. Not as football-wise, I think life-wise he gives me so much advice, which I am really grateful. He has been so helpful, giving me always a big hug in tough times and even in great times he has always been next to me and every staff.

“Even today before we left the training ground, the hotel, we had a couple of minutes of having a nice conversation which made me really comfortable and really grateful.”

Son’s frustration so far this season was certainly apparent in his goal celebration, with the forward simply standing there unmoved after his first goal and seemingly shushing the critics after his second.

When asked about his celebrations, the 30-year-old said: “Look I couldn’t move. It has been emotional for myself and I didn’t know what to do. I just stand still, look at the sky, look at the crowd.

“Just in my head, all the family came to my mind, all the staff, my teammates and all the supporters. That is why I just stood there and had a think.”

Son admitted that he had been frustrated and disappointed with his performances up until Sunday and that getting those goals against the Foxes felt like a huge weight off his shoulders.

He added: “Look, I am born loving football, fell in love, still loving football and taking it home thinking about so many things.

“I am an attacking player and if I am not scoring, how can I be happy if I had an unbelievable opportunity to score the goal or make the chances. If I don’t score and then I am happy, probably I am not here.

“Sometimes I am going home, even if we won the game, I am still sad because of my performance and where I can do better, what I can do better and how do I change the mistake where I missed the chances.

“I am always thinking about the football because this is how I made it here, this is why I am here. Yeah, I think I still love football even in the tough moments and this is why I am here.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Son is an emotional man and he would have been affected by his lack of goals. It was apparent that it was playing on his mind as the 30-year-old was quite hesitant to take people on or get shots away over the last few weeks.

His goals on Saturday will certainly free his mind, and based on past precedent, we can now expect the floodgates to open for the South Korean over the coming weeks.

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