Football: Son has recipe for success at Spurs

Football: Son has recipe for success at Spurs
Tottenham Hotspur's South Korean striker Son Heung-Min celebrates scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace on Sep 20.
PHOTO: AFP

LONDON - Son Heung-min has discovered the recipe for success in the Premier League after winning over Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and his new team-mates with a delicious Korean feast.

Son has made a sizzling start to life in north London with three goals in three appearances following his £18 million (S$39.13 million) move from German club Bayer Leverkusen in August.

Just three days after marking his home debut with a brace in Tottenham's Europa League win over Qarabag, the South Korea forward was the key figure again as he scored his first Premier League goal to secure a 1-0 win against Crystal Palace.

Son's dynamic displays have already made him a firm favourite of Tottenham fans, who gave him a standing ovation when he was replaced late in Sunday's match, and he is equally popular with Pochettino and the rest of the Tottenham squad.

Naturally, they respect Son's tireless work rate, clever movement and eye for goal, but the 23-year-old is also a popular figure because he served up a posh Korean takeaway at the club's training ground.

"I wanted to say thank you to my colleagues and staff for welcoming me to Tottenham and I wanted to introduce Korean food and culture to the players," Son told reporters at White Hart Lane.

"It was traditional Korean food, with barbeque, seafood pancakes and various different foods.

"I ordered it from a very famous Korean restaurant in London. They organised everything.

"They all loved it, especially the coach, he had so many plates. He enjoyed it so much and the players did as well. I would like to do it again if there is a chance." After confirming he had tucked into a large helping of the Korean banquet, Pochettino said Son's generous gesture was typical of the down-to-earth attitude that has so endeared him to his new club.

"He is a very friendly, humble guy. After one week with the team he brought very good Korean food to the training ground. I had a big dish, I like it a lot!" Pochettino said.

Glowing report

With the food review out of the way, Pochettino gave an equally glowing report about Son's quick transition to the unique demands of the Premier League.

"He is a player we followed for a long time, he can play all different attacking positions, so when you sign a player like this it is big," Pochettino said.

"His character is to run a lot. I wanted to sign him because of his profile. He has energy and can press high with a high tempo.

"His performance was fantastic, the energy he showed was amazing and for that I think the supporters are very happy with him.

"I'm happy because he scored three goals now in two victories. I'm very pleased with him." Despite Pochettino's praise, Son claimed he doesn't feel completely at ease in the English top-flight just yet and he promised there is even better to come once he finds his feet.

"I haven't adapted to the Premier League yet. I want to do much better and prepare as well as I can," he said.

"I understand what the club invested in me. I'm getting a lot of help from my team-mates and coaches and that's why I want to do even better." Son's next rite of passage in his English education should come on Wednesday when Tottenham host bitter rivals Arsenal in the first north London derby of the season in the League Cup.

As a big fan of Premier League football, the Korean knows all about the animosity between the two clubs and would love to play a big role against the Gunners.

"I heard about the north London derby when I was in the Bundesliga. I want to prepare well and do well on Wednesday," he added.

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