I have to admit that I feared for Tottenham when star striker Harry Kane picked up an injury last month. Boy have they proven me and a number of experts wrong.
Tottenham have managed and even thrived without their star man. Kane made his return from injury from the bench in Saturday’s 4-0 mauling of Watford.
However, to be fair the north London side already had the game sealed up before his cameo.
Midfielders have shown in his absence
Two of the biggest reasons for Kane’s absence not really hurting Spurs has been the performances of midfield duo Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli. The pair have been in good form for much of the season. Both players seem to have thrived on the responsibility of being their team’s most influential players.
Alli scored the opening goal against Watford and was a big influence once again. The soon-to-be 21-year-old has now scored 16 goals for the side from north London. The youngster burst onto the scene last season.
However, it is clear to see he has matured into an even better player for another season of Premier League experience. Alli is one of the brightest young players in the European game. Hopefully he will only get better with more experience.
I have been a fan of Eriksen since his days at Ajax. He always came across as a very intelligent footballer. He is capable of both scoring and creating goals, but you can feel that he can become even better in the future.
The Danish international’s return of seven goals and 11 assists in the Premier League this season is a good one for the attacking midfielder. Eriksen is one of the main creators in a very impressive team. Eriksen is still also only 25-years-old. According to Whoscored.com, only Kane has a higher average rating per match than the former Ajax man for Spurs this season.
An honourable mention has to go to South Korean attacker Heung-min Son. The versatile 24-year-old has scored 11 times in the Premier League and also produced four assists. For a player who does not start every game those are impressive numbers.
Son scored twice against Watford, while also producing an assist. The former Bayer Leverkusen star also missed a fantastic chance for his hat-trick.
Tottenham a better team with Kane
It would be ridiculous to claim that Spurs are a better team without Harry Kane. The 23-year-old is one of the best strikers in the Premier League. He is the team’s talisman and everybody connected with the club will be relieved to see him back in action after injury.
Tottenham showed that they can cope without the striker if needs must in the last few games in the top-flight. It’s a sign of a strong team when they lose such a big player and the team still wins games.
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino will now have a very good selection dilemma on his hands. Son has been playing up front and been in good form. However, if Harry Kane is fully-fit then he will start the next match it’s as simple as that.
Whether Son will start next weekend’s game against Bournemouth in an attacking midfield position probably depends on how Pochettino decides to set-up his team. Alli and Eriksen have to play. That means Son may find himself back on the substitute’s bench.
Title too much for Tottenham this season
Unfortunately for Tottenham, it seems the Premier League title is beyond them this season. The team from north London are seven points behind league leaders Chelsea and odds of 9/1 to win the title this season.
The Blues may have recently slipped up at home against Crystal Palace, but they recovered from that loss with victories over Manchester City and Bournemouth. Spurs would need a few more major slip-ups from Antonio Conte’s side to have any chance of winning the title this season.
However, Pochettino is building a very strong team at White Hart Lane. The fact that most of Spurs best players are in their mid-early twenties suggests that there is much more to come from the men from north London.
The way that they coped without Kane also shows that Pochettino’s team have a strong enough team and mentality to cope without their star man. That attribute could be crucial in seasons to come when no doubt Spurs will be title challengers.
Do Tottenham still have a chance of winning the title this season?
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