This is the reason why Son Heung-min is sluggish this season. Director Antonio Conte is using Son Heung-min as ‘Mezzala’.
Tottenham Hotspur lost 0-1 to AC Milan in the first leg of the round of 16 of the 2022-23 season European Football Association (UEFA) Champions League (UCL) held at San Siro in Milan, Italy at 5:00 am (Korean time) on the 15th. .
It was a tough away road for Tottenham. Recently, in the English Premier League (EPL), they lost 1-4 to Leicester City and lost their pride. In addition, Pierre-Emil Hoivier received a cumulative warning against AC Milan, and Rodrigo Bentancur was excluded from the entry due to a cruciate ligament rupture injury.
As expected, Tottenham struggled against AC Milan. From the 7th minute of the first half, Brahim Dias’ header scored a goal, and in the remaining time Tottenham could not equalize and lost. At home in the second leg, we were put in a situation where we had to create a platform for reversal.
On this day, Son Heung-min also did not perform well. Likewise, Son Heung-min, who played as a left wing forward in the 3-4-3 formation, only touched 42 times, completed 1 dribble, 3 accurate crosses, and 1 shot.
Son Heung-min’s sluggishness continued. He recorded 8 goals and 3 assists in 30 games, including all games this season, as he failed to record an offensive point even against AC Milan this season. When he won the EPL top scorer last season, his firepower is long gone. 안전놀이터
Why? Son Heung-min’s role was clearly revealed in this AC Milan match. On this day, Son Heung-min was named as a left wing forward, but he was actually appointed as the left ‘Mezzala’. Mezzala refers to the role of an attacking midfielder that affects the flanks through dribbling and playmaking, including the center. In a word, you can see that he is half winger and half midfielder.
The influence of Ivan Perisic is great. In the meantime, Perisic has been evaluated as not matching with Son Heung-min as a left wingback. Considering Perisic’s aggressive instincts and the fact that he mainly uses straight crosses, I felt that the performance Son Heung-min showed last season was not being displayed.
The method developed by coach Conte was the use of Mezzala by Son Heung-min. If you look at the heat map of ‘DatoBHJ’, a soccer statistics media, you can see the location of Son Heung-min’s last match against AC Milan. On this day, Son Heung-min appeared in a small circle between Perisic, Papesar and Keri Kane.
It looks like you’re wearing clothes that definitely don’t fit. Due to Mezzala’s role, Son Heung-min’s advantage has disappeared. In a counterattack situation where Son Heung-min is confident, he is unable to utilize his quick acceleration and accurate shooting ability. He rather sees the game with the ball touch and dribble, which are disadvantages.
Coach Conte is looking forward to Son Heung-min’s performances like Neymar and Eden Hazard during his time at Chelsea.