Richard Buxton: Son Heung Min is becoming a liability for Tottenham
Manager Mourinho's return to the dark arts also shows in loss to Chelsea
Son Heung Min continues to reap the benefits from wearing the Emperor's New Clothes.
Everyone still hails the majesty of Tottenham Hotspur's talismanic forward but ignores the ugly reality.
His questionable disciplinary record is automatically dismissed off-hand whenever he predictably oversteps the mark again.
Apparently he is "just not that type of player".
Yet, there can be no disputing Son's foibles after he recklessly lunged at Chelsea's Antonio Ruediger during the Lilywhites' abject 2-0 defeat yesterday morning (Singapore time).
If to err once is human and to persist is diabolical, the newly crowned Asian International Player of the Year is beyond the pale, following a third sending-off in a year.
Even with the rescinded red card for his X-rated challenge that ended Everton midfielder Andre Gomes' season taken into account, Son is becoming a liability for Jose Mourinho's side.
Such is the frequency of these incidents that he cannot be excused for suffering a rare rush of blood to the head. The 27-year-old appears to be permanently high on haemoglobin.
Under both his current manager and predecessor Mauricio Pochettino, Son has often been the man who makes Spurs tick; knitting together attacks that recently saw Dele Alli flourishing.
But the South Korean international's extravagant talent is invariably undone by an increasingly suspect temperament.
He becomes neither use nor ornament to last season's Champions League finalists with semi-regular spells on the sidelines, serving one and three-match suspensions.
Mourinho has only himself to blame for that, despite flippantly suggesting that Ruediger would be undergoing tests in hospital for a broken rib from Son's second-half kicking out.
He yesterday added that Spurs would be appealing Son's red card, saying: "We are killing the best league in the world."
So much for being The Humble One.
Leopards never change their spots and Mourinho has finally allowed the mask to slip.
His refusal to deviate from his battle-hardened ways, which underpinned spells at Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford, has allowed Son to carry on with rash challenges and general indiscipline.
In the Portuguese's eyes, he is everything that he expects players to be.
They must be masters of the dark arts, in addition to all that they survey.
He continues to eulogise about the English Premier League's yesteryear, when he was in his element as a young, hungry and astute manager.
The English top-flight, however, has evolved significantly while that archaic mindset perseveres.
Accusations that Mourinho is now a "yesterday man" are increasingly borne out and nowhere did it become more evident than in Spurs' approach against his old club.
His appointment was supposed to end Tottenham's capitulation syndrome.
Instead, he gifted Frank Lampard an early Christmas present by allowing the Blues to comfortably end a concerning run of four defeats from their previous five league games.
Lampard ignored his former mentor's attempts at mind games by suggesting that his tactical set-up was reminiscent of the one deployed by Antonio Conte during his own Chelsea heyday.
CUTTING THROUGH THE NOISE
Since returning to the Bridge, cutting through the noise has been the former England midfielder's greatest triumph and more effective than harnessing previously unproven youth.
Tottenham, meanwhile, have become enslaved to muddled thinking.
Mourinho's combative stance in crunch fixtures proved his undoing at Manchester United and returned to haunt his current employers, who were erratic and incapable of any cohesion at both ends of the pitch.
No matter who is at the helm, it seems being "Spursy" remains a permanent state of mind.