What Should Mauricio Pochettino do With Harry Kane?
Posted by Featured Articles | Published on September 16, 2016
Finally, after 1,981 long days, Tottenham Hotspur returned to the glory of the Champions League, by doing something only Spurs could manage to do. Not only did they smash the attendance record in England for a football match with 85,011 spectators packed into Wembley Stadium, they managed to give up two soft goals within the first 31 minutes of the match and fell 2-1 to AS Monaco. So much went wrong, and so little went right for Spurs. Possession and chances created heavily favored Tottenham, but the final ball and finishing were abysmal all night.
The most obvious example has to be Harry Kane’s opportunity to tie the match at 2 after Vincent Janssen’s magnificent effort to win the ball and play in Kane right at the center of the goal from 6 yards out… Except Kane smacked the ball right into the keeper’s hands hastily, instead of calmly passing the ball into one of the far corners of the net like we know he’s capable of after proving it time and time again. It doesn’t end with that, unfortunately.
All game long, Kane failed to create any space for himself in favorable positions. That’s not to say Kane didn’t have his chances. Numerous times Harry had the ball at his feet in the box with options to play with, but they all ended the same way, one cut inside towards goal and an easily blocked shot. Not once did he decide to try shooting near post, or find someone to lay the ball off too. Every single chance Kane was given, he selfishly and hopelessly, attempted a curling effort that never made it more than 1 meter before hitting Monaco defenders. So the question remains: What should Mauricio Pochettino do with Harry Kane?
Now, Spurs find themselves in a familiar position. Harry Kane only has one goal in all competitions so far, and he appears tired, lacking pace and poise, and simply needs a rest. Last season, Kane had one goal in nine BPL appearances and despite the poor form, Poch continued to start Harry until he found his goal scoring form. However, that might not be necessary given new striker Vincent Janssen. With nobody to cover for Kane last season, Poch was forced to stick with him until he ended his goal drought. Nowadays, Spurs have another option. In the appearances Janssen has made, he’s impressed in all of them, despite not scoring. He’s come close before and his work ethic can never be questioned. He fits into Tottenham’s high press system perfectly and it would seem pretty reasonable if Kane was benched for the match against Sunderland.
Either way, I don’t think Pochettino could go wrong by starting Kane, Janssen, or even both. However, with two true and quality strikers available, decisions must be made. Spurs’ UCL campaign does not get much easier as they have to travel to Russia and Germany to face the other teams in the group. If history tells us anything, it’s that Kane will find his goal scoring boots soon, for now, however, changes need to be made, and rotation must be constant in order for Tottenham to succeed in both the Champions League and the Premier League.