Tottenham forward Heung-Min Son has spoken out about his frustrations with wearing his protective face mask while playing.
The 30-year-old broke his eye socket in early November and has been forced to wear the equipment ever since, famously throwing it off his face after scoring against Crystal Palace on Wednesday.
Son revealed in a recent interview with the Evening Standard that the mask is a hindrance to his game.
It’s obviously not the same as when I’m not wearing the mask. My vision is still fine, but when the ball comes at me, it can be annoying because I can’t see it because of the mask. “It’s not bothering me, but it’s not the best,” he admitted.
“I was really frustrated against Villa because I received the ball and then lost it because I couldn’t see it. I was simply enraged.
“If I’m alone, obviously, I would play without the mask, but my parents, my family, my friends watching back in South Korea are all worried. If someone hits me again, it’s obviously a risk.
They didn’t say you should wear it or anything, but we were having dinner [after the Villa game] and they asked, ‘Um, what happened with the mask?’
“They’re obviously concerned. Also, after the Villa game, the physios and doctors said, ‘It’s your decision, but we recommend you continue to wear the mask,’ because the risk is still high because it’s only been seven weeks since the operation.”
Son then went on to talk about his struggles with Tottenham, where he has only scored four goals this season after winning the Golden Boot last year.
“To be honest, frustrated is the wrong word! “First and foremost, I felt sorry for the team, my teammates, and the fans, because the expectations are obviously higher than what I’ve been doing,” he explained.
“It [the goal] was obviously like a weight being lifted off my shoulders. First and foremost, I’m grateful that we won the game.
“The north London derby [on January 15] has special meaning for the players and the fans,” he added. “We didn’t perform well when we played there, so we have big homework to do. We’ll get ready for the Portsmouth game first, but then we’ll get ready for that game.”