Ange Postecoglou heaped praise on Tottenham Hotspur captain Son Heung-min after the South Korean’s double meant the Australian manager’s first taste of a north London derby ended with a battling point in a 2-2 draw on Sunday.
Son, who has taken the captain’s arm band this season, twice cancelled out Arsenal goals as Postecoglou’s side maintained its unbeaten start to the league season.
With Tottenham’s record scorer and talisman Harry Kane having left for Bayern Munich and experienced keeper Hugo Lloris having lost his place, Son has become the leader on the pitch for the new-look side.
And the 31-year-old delivered on Sunday to take his league tally for the season to five, second only to Erling Haaland’s eight for champions Manchester City.
“He’s been outstanding as a leader and as a player. I’ve put him in that nine position now and he just works so hard,” Postecoglou, whose side have 14 points from six games, told reporters. “His first thought is what’s best for the team.
“And he puts himself into that position and then he has the quality to finish. I’m so happy for him.
“When I talk about that great environment with the players, Sonny is leading that with Madders (James Maddison) and (Cristian) Romero.”
While Postecoglou’s side had beaten Manchester United this season, Arsenal away was regarded as the real acid test of its resurgence under the former Celtic manager.
As promised, he sent his side out with a positive mindset and while there were some anxious moments as they played out from the back, Tottenham’s fans were delighted at what they witnessed even if the wait for an away league victory at The Emirates goes on, having last won there in 2010.
“It’s not about being happy with the result. You can get a result and a draw and thinking you’ve escaped but I didn’t think that today,” he said.
“I thought we went toe to toe with a top team.”
Tottenham has now scored at least twice in Postecoglou’s first six Premier League games and he is one of only four managers to achieve that feat along with Carlo Ancelotti, Pep Guardiola and Craig Shakespeare.
“I think they are a really good side. They’ve got a really good coach. You can see the spirit in the team and the energy around them,” Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said.
“But six games is too early (to make a judgement on what they will be fighting for at the end of the season).
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