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‘I was afraid of them’: West Ham defender admits he was scared to come up against two Tottenham players

Sam Preston

West Ham United defender Vladimir Coufal has spoken about facing Tottenham duo Son Heung-min and Harry Kane.

The right-back has spoken most specifically about the 3-3 draw between the sides in October 2020, when football was played behind closed doors.

Son scored early on, before Kane netted twice to put Spurs 3-0 up but three goals after the 82nd minute earned a dramatic draw.

Speaking to Czech outlet Bezfrazi, Coufal shared what that game was like and said he was nervous about facing the duo, but actually performed well.

Coufal Son Kane
Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

Coufal speaks about facing Son and Kane

Coufal said: “Our coach told us before the match that Son and Kane are dangerous. And I was afraid of them – plus, these two scored three goals in just the first 15 minutes. I was thinking maybe the coach would get me off the field, even though the goals were not my mistake. It would be the coaches’ right, nonetheless.

“Seventy minutes in and we were still losing 3-0. I begged the time to be over. I played so well that I could go on for another two halftimes. I was everywhere on my side of the field, knowing our opponents had no idea how to get through me.

“No. I’m not just an extra here,” I thought. “I’m supposed to be leading here. I rightfully belong here. Son had nothing in the rest of the game and I realized what self-confidence can do; how easy football can be because of it. In the end, we tied 3-3.

“During the last 12 minutes of the game, we scored three goals and created a new Premier League record. The West Ham community finally knew I belonged in the core 11 of their team. I’m on the national team now to prove my words and position. I have a responsibility to you all. And I do not intend on hiding.”

West Ham and Coufal got a taste of what Son and Kane can do to teams, but they ruthlessly punished Spurs for not making the game completely safe.

What a goal it was by Manuel Lanzini to make it 3-3, and it was a shame that the drama did not play out in front of a full house.

West Ham host Tottenham in a week’s time at the London Stadium and it will be up to Coufal to help his side get the better of Kane and Son as they look to get their first points and goals of the season.

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