Post 11

Leicester 1 Spurs 6

19th May 2017


Revenge is a dish best enjoyed cold. Last night Spurs munched and spat out the team that cost us the title last season, and caused us 2 dropped points at home earlier this season.

Leicester were like sushi. Mostly they slipped down easily. Occasionally there was a nasty moment, specifically when they pulled back to 2-1. But in the end Spurs left a clean plate.

This team are building a habit of taking terrible revenge. If I were Newcastle, I’d be afraid. Very afraid. Next season could see Spurs seeking retribution on the barcodes for those 2 losses last season.

The frightening thing about last night’s performance was its calculated control. Spurs crushed Leicester, initially physically, then mentally, and finally psychologically. We had two thirds possession (63%), generating a goal attempt every 3 ½ minutes (26) with 12 of them on target, leading to 6 goals. Yet we committed only 8 fouls and earned only 1 yellow (a silly one for Sissoko caused by frustration). Leicester are not a bad team. We simply made them look bad last night.

Our fans greeted Janssen with his own ironic chant: “he scores when he wants”. He rewarded them with a nice cameo, including a neat back heel to Kane, a right footed strike over the bar and an offside goal. But if the chant for Janssen is tongue-in-cheek, the same cannot be said when sung for Kane. Harry does, literally, score when he wants. Or he seems to anyway. And last night it was clear from kick-off he wanted to score. A lot.

His uncanny ability to be in the right place right time, and then find the net, was demonstrated by his first (pace for Son’s sharp cut back and an awkward finish made easy), his second (anticipation and a point blank header), and his third and fourth (trademark strikes from outside the box). He scores goals of all types, against all opponents, in all situations, home and away. As Poch says, he’s a world class striker already. He’s still only 23. And he’s getting even better.

I like Janssen. Whether he’ll turn out to be a ‘Son’ or a ‘Soldado’ remains to be seen next season. I hope it will be the former. I’m sure Poch and his assistants have Janssen practising, training, studying videos. But it must be so hard for Vincent sat on the bench watching a genius at work. When we watch Kane we can see his obvious attributes; skill, strength, accuracy with both feet, surprising pace. All strikers can work on their skills, shooting, speed, and try to imitate a role model.

But Kane has something that is un-learnable. You either have it. Or you don’t. You can practise your backhand against a wall for 12 hours a day and become a professional tennis player. But you’ll never possess Federer’s backhand. It would be misleading to deny the hundreds of hours of practise Kane has put into developing his own game, from his youth at Ridgeway Rovers to loan spells at Leyton Orient and Millwall. He has an insatiable appetite for self-improvement.

But another part of Kane’s talent is innate. Like Jimmy Greaves in his pomp, Kane has an almost unique ability to find the net. It comes from within. Nobody knows where from. Apparently they don’t even know within the Kane household; maybe from his dad’s side or his mum’s, perhaps his granddad Eric? Who knows.

Wherever it comes from, it’s magic.

EDIT: It is Christmas Day 2017. I am inserting two new tags; ‘Kane Records’ and ‘Hat-tricks’. At the time of writing, Kane has scored 36 goals and 7 hat-tricks in 2017. He is now level with Shearer’s calendar year record (36) with one match to play (Southampton on Boxing Day). His seven hat-tricks in 2017 include West Brom 4-0 on January 14, Fulham 3-0 FA Cup) on February 19, Stoke 4-0  a week later on February 26, this match v Leicester 6-1 on May 19, Hull 7-1 a week later on May 26, Apoel Nicosia 3-0 (CL away) on September 26 and Burnley 3-0 on December 23.

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