Date: 7th September 2019 at 8:00pm
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Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane picks up the ball ten yards out from the penalty area, jinks past two defenders to give himself a clear sight of goal, and lets fly an unstoppable shot that curls into the top corner of the net. Remember those goals? He seemed to do it on a regular basis. It hasn’t happened for a while. Why?

Kane is the complete footballer. He can shoot with both feet and he is a strong header of the ball. He can pass the ball through the eye of a needle and is always aware of the position of his team-mates. He is strong and has a great ability to hold the ball up when required. When Spurs break forward, Kane is often the player to make a telling pass toward either wing. He is an intelligent footballer. He is not as fast as many strikers but he doesn’t need to be because his positioning and awareness compensates for any lack of speed…not that he is slow to begin with.

It seems to me that, prior to last season, Harry had permission to drop further back, follow the ball and play across the park. Recently, he doesn’t seem to play with so much freedom and remains in a fairly central position. I think this restricts his normal game and reduces the impact he has in the team. Harry has so much ability that is wasted if he is simply used as a spearhead in the attack. We have Son and Moura who could both fulfil such a role and both are quicker in the box. Harry is not a Jimmy Greaves, with lightning reflexes and an uncanny ability to dribble through the box. His skills are different but equally effective.

By focussing on Kane’s striking ability does Spurs miss out on his midfield ability? I think Harry would be a brilliant attacking midfielder. He would still find the same positions he currently finds to score goals but his passing skills would contribute so much more when Spurs attack. As part of a normal process, he may well find himself dropping back into a MF role as he gets older in any case. His football sense would ensure this.

So, the question is…is MP utilising Harry’s awesome ability in the best possible way to suit the Tottenham team?

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40 Replies to “How Can Spurs Give The Opposition A Kane-ing?”

  • No doubt about it Harry has definitely changed his pressing and movement around the pitch for the last year or year and half ,is it done to keep him fresh??? Personally I don’t think he’s been the player he was when he first announced himself as a genuine top striker .centre halfs love a player that easy to track which I think Kane has become not because he’s not a class striker just that he’s very central all the time.I know people will say are you mad he’s scored a hat trick .last season Harry for his standards was average and a lot of the time not really in games and yes it’s not entirely down to him but I just think Kane with more freedom around the park suited him .

  • Pauric …. Yes, he did score a hat-trick. But last night’s goals seem to support what I’m saying. He scored two from a penalty …. he could have scored both of them from any position he played in, even GK. He scored one that was the result of a defensive stuff-up, which Moura, Son, Dele, or Eriksen would probably have scored had they been in the same position. And he made an assist which is what you hope for from an attacking midfielder. He’ll score goals wherever he plays.

    • Totally agree. Have said for ages build the team around Harry as the attacking midfield playmaker.(Hoddle ) He’ll still score the goals. Solves problem of Ericsson
      and get Dybala. Then play Dele where he’s best.

  • Seems like this season poch is trying different tactical positions for players. This in turn changes the shape and positions of players and shape of their movements.

    Yes harry has played more centrally, and suffered ankle injuries, (one was his fault in a city game) But… we also need to look at how opposition teams have identified the ways to stop us playing our free flowing game. As I and others have said poch needs a plan B & C to his management folder, looks like he is trying to do that.

  • I think we see more from Harry when his role is a little more flexible because we fail as a team to provide for him when he is in the box. He has great heading ability but we are so poor at getting decent crosses in we fail to get the best from him in this respect. That said, I don’t think this is the main problem, for whatever reason we seem to want to play in a very narrow space in front of goal, this allows defences to be very compact leaving very little space to do anything in. I think most of the top sides stretch play across the pitch to create spaces to run into or play the ball into for players to run onto, we rarely have the opportunity to do this because the box and surrounds are packed with players.

  • Geofspurs….thanks for another good article, it does get you thinking, my opinion basically goes with your own regards “our Arry” playing in spaces, it is his way thus best for him and the team in general, but being more central does allow the oppositions CB’s to have an easier job, a few times I have thought to myself “move Harry because you are be man marked far to easy”.

    TQ2S…..I think you have hit the nail on the head there, we do seem to play to narrow these day’s and not wide enough, thus spreading the play, but add to this, one of my main concerns is we are way to slow/ponderous, ie, speed of play/movement/passing, is it that our players cannot think quick enough?

    All this talk/chat regards the great Spurs is frustrating, but hey! COYS

  • Very creditable performance by our lasses to start life in the WSL, only beaten by a super strike that HK10 woud be proud of. 24k+ crowd at The Bridge, hope we can beat that at NWHL when to gooners visit!

  • I did notice… Bulgaria parked the bus and england were doing a spursey.. passing sideways and back, getting nowhere. Stirling got round the back when their goalie and defenders messed about (just like lloris in gooners game) and stirling passed to harry.. 1st goal.

    Then 2nd half totally different, wide players crossing, runs forward, fast passing, upbeat tempo. Resulted in 2 penalties Stirling goal, from Harry’s assist.

    I hope our players have learned and will do the same in league games against bus parking teams. With spurs defence taking notice of Bulgaria mistakes…and not trying to be fancy dans and get the ball upfield quickly.

  • Them ankle injuries have taken a yard of pace from him. Sadly he will never be as good as he once was. He is still a very good striker though. He will always score goals.

    I am hoping Ndombele and Lo Celso will pass the ball forward with pace from deep. That should give him the head starts he needs.

    Having said that when Ndombele has done this, Kane and the others have miss controlled the ball near enough every time.

  • B108 …. England did play the same way Spurs do against bus-parkers. They also showed the same required patience. Once England capitalised on their defensive mistake the game changed. We just need to take our chances. But it’s the only way to play this type of game in my opinion.

  • Geof… The goal came because stirling was alive there and was in a bit of a wide position to get round the back to the byline. At Newcastle game spurs were not doing this really so the 9 defenders had it very easy.

  • B108 …. I agree about the goal but my point was about Harry who is a fantastic ‘all-round’ footballer. By restricting him solely as a striker do we lose the ‘all-round’ contributions he brings to the team?

    I do think we need to exercise patience against teams intent on a draw, which means a lot of midfield boring football. The danger of continually pushing forward is that we are more prone to be a victim of a quick break. It’s a matter of getting the balance just right and maintaining concentration. In football terms, it’s an interesting problem.

  • V the “bus parkers” intending not to lose teams, there are very many different opinions on how to break the situation down, its the same ole same ole debate every time we mess it up, for me there is no true/real answer, except maybe a bit of early luck, defender or GK error, example, v Bulgaria GK cock up resulted in our 1st goal. COYS

  • Geofspurs….your reply to B108, I am in total agreement with you regards restricting “our Arry” and his “all-round” contributions, I also ask, why try and change a player away from the way he has always played? COYS

  • Geof.. Yes harry has been effictive over last 3.5 years playing how hw plays normally. I am concerned if his ankle injuries have slowed him down a bit. So poch is trying to adjust our tactical play to reflect harry’s mobility? Perhaps placing him as a no. 10 when eriksen goes ? Which can leave young Parott as back up to Dybala ? or another striker. Either way we need to get back to our fast moving counter attacking play. A dele ali back on form with sonny as well with the new players will make us fearsome. Just the defence to sort out.

    Lloris is having too many up and down moments in games now.. latest France Euro game at weekend…. Gazza needs a chance in games now, as more confidence gained for him. CD toby & jan / davies / sanchez with LB rose / sess. & RB foyth / kwp / aurier

  • I noticed that wast of space… Piers Morgan mouthing off again, blaming ben stokes for being spursey… in the england cricket match. Just all we need to say is.. Go forth and multiply Mr Morgan…. 🙂

  • B108….no probs regards Piss Morgan he is a total Gooner W? so no apology needed mate.

    Another agreement with you is the getting back to our old ways, in your face fast moving football. COYS

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