While Tottenham’s 2-1 victory over Brighton may not have been the most convincing way for the club to bounce back after a run of three straight defeats, there were many reasons for Spurs fans to be positive after the match.
Harry Kane scored after a mini-drought and Erik Lamela impressed after scoring the winner but while the Argentinian had come off the bench to replace a subdued Son Heung-min, the South Korean’s first Premier League start of the season should provide a further reason for cautious optimism.
Rival supporters are quick to dismiss Spurs as a one-man team but while Harry Kane does the bulk of the scoring, he gets plenty of support from his attacking midfielders. In the 2016/17 season, when Kane won the Golden Boot as the EPL’s highest scorer, Dele Alli fired in 22 goals in all competitions while Christian Eriksen added 12 strikes and Son Heung-min provided a further 21.
While it’s true that Tottenham have failed to provide an adequate backup striker to Kane with both Vincent Janssen and Fernando Llorente unable to make their mark, there is enough scoring support from further down the pitch and Son’s return from international duty might just kick-start Spurs’ campaign.
"Inter-Milan-PSP-wallpaper" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by dieckmann.kevin
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino would have been hoping for a boost in the Champions League after two straight league defeats but after taking the lead against Inter Milan in their opening match, the Italian side came back to snatch it at the death. Tottenham started as favourites to win that match but are now out at 11/2 third favourites to qualify from Group B.
Inter are now available at 4/1 while Barcelona are favourites at a general 4/11 while PSV Eindhoven are the rank outsiders and are as long as 100/1 in places. This group has seen plenty of attention from the bookmakers with promotions and Champions League free bets and that’s largely due to the presence of Barcelona. However, the key battle looks to be between Inter and Spurs with Tottenham now needing to pick up points.
"New Landmark for London" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Alan Stanton
Neither Spurs nor Son Heung-min have experienced the start to the Premier League season that they would have wanted. By now, Tottenham should have been settled in their brand new stadium but while delays continue, they are attempting an ongoing compromise with their temporary home at Wembley.
For the player, international duty at the Asian Games interrupted his domestic campaign and it’s hard to estimate how the threat of military service had South Korea not taken the Gold Medal would have affected him mentally.
The stadium issue remains unsolved but, happily, Sonny is back and Spurs fans should know what a vital player he is. Bayern Munich certainly value his worth if current transfer links are to be believed but the 26-year-old has declared that he is happy at Tottenham and that’s further good news.
The priority for the club is another top-four finish and as 8/11 shots to accomplish that, the markets suggest Spurs are on track, but the return to match fitness of Son Heung-min is pivotal to achieving that goal.