Yes, that man had to rise to the occasion once more. Kane’s nerveless penalty set Tottenham on the way to securing the three points they so scarcely deserved. His hat-trick further furnishing a growing reputation. The Spurs faithful lapped it up. His exceptional season continues, unabated by the ineptitude that all too often surrounds him.
REPORT: Harry Kane hits hat-trick as Spurs edge past Leicester
The question, therefore, must be asked: where would Tottenham be without their talismanic striker? Devoid of momentum and certainly further down the league.
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Undoubtedly, this is a(nother) season of transition at the Lane, but, in truth, how much of an improvement has there been from last? Tottenham finished sixth under the much-maligned Tim Sherwood. Will Spurs fare better this season? Possibly. Will they threaten the top four? On this showing absolutely not.
Kane’s unexpected and, to date, exponential rise has engendered a sense of momentum around a club that is once again failing to meet its own expectations. Yet, those expectations are not in line with reality.
Sherwood has been lampooned as a man devoid of any self-awareness; a hyperbolic man of sound-bytes. However, the apple does not fall too far from the tree. Tottenham are a club beset by delusions of grandeur. Sherwood is a man afflicted by the same trait. He has claimed credit for the rise of Kane. However, his biggest achievement as Spurs boss may well have been to pave the way for a more realistic outlook amongst the club’s support.
Put simply, anything is better than Sherwood; his tenure reset expectations – maybe not amongst the board but certainly amongst the fans. Mauricio Pochettino is, in fact, benefitting from the Sherwood effect, but there are problems that need addressing.
Chiefly, Tottenham are way too open. Manchester United ruthlessly exposed that last weekend and a better side than Leicester would have surely taken at least a point from this afternoon’s game.
However, in Kane, Tottenham are in possession of the league’s most lethal marksman. Facts are facts and Kane currently leads the scoring charts from Diego Costa and Sergio Aguero.
Suspicions that his performances are some form of anomaly diminish by the goal. He has proven himself a player capable of not only scoring many goals but one capable of scoring many types of goals. A trait that should dispel the notion that his excellence is temporary.
Of course, longevity remains the truest barometer of a player’s talent but, as it stands, there is little evidence to suggest that Kane will not continue on his current trajectory come next season. In fact, his body of work up until now suggests that Tottenham have a striker of the very highest calibre amongst their ranks.
As it stands, Kane has papered over the cracks in Tottenham’s season. Pochettino is deserving of considerable praise for Kane’s rise - certainly more than Sherwood. His responsibility now is to build a side around the England hitman that can see Tottenham reach the heights the club believes it is befitting of.
Otherwise, as has been the case in recent seasons, Tottenham stand the considerable risk of losing their best player.
Marcus Foley at White Hart Lane - on Twitter:@mmjfoley
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