Tottenham Hotspur star Heung-Min Son has been criticised by pundit Frank McAvennie for playing with less intensity as a result of an eye injury.
Speaking to Football Insider, the former striker claimed that the injury was clearly bothering the South Korean attacker, and having to wear a protective mask was affecting his game.
Son’s national side made it through to the knockout rounds of the World Cup in dramatic fashion, with the 30-year-old playing a starring role, but McAvennie has claimed that there has been a change in the way he competes physically whilst carrying the injury, which kept him out of a number of Spurs games.
“It [the injury] has bothered him,” McAvennie stated.
“He is not comfortable wearing that [mask]. He has not looked his accomplished self when he gets the ball. He was always very accomplished on the ball. He looks as if he does not want anyone coming near him.
“It is as if his eye is bothering him. It is as if he does not want anyone to hit him again. That is a thing he has got to get over in his own mind. He has got to get rid of that.
“It is a shame but he has got to get rid of that. He looked as if he did not want to tackle, he did not want anyone to come near him.
“If you are not in the right frame of mind to play, you can’t play in the World Cup because you are not doing your teammates any good.”
TIF thoughts on Son…
Given his shaky form and injury issues, it is clear that Son needs an extended rest after his World Cup campaign.
He clearly did not want to miss the tournament despite his injury, but Antonio Conte should consider resting him once the Premier League resumes.
However, with Harry Kane and Richarlison also at the tournament, his hand may be forced into playing Son with his injury, which is clearly having an impact on his performances, and may prevent him from regaining his outstanding form from last season.