Tottenham v Stoke: Five talking points
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There are always talking points when you’re a Tottenham fan, even after a crushing 4-0 home victory over Stoke City at White Hart Lane. Our reporter Neil Metcalfe looked at five from his point of view.
Mauricio Pochettino said after the game that he is one of the best in Europe and after another hat-trick, his third in 2017, not many would argue. Some still do of course but Kane has now scored over 20 goals in the last three seasons and his first against Stoke was his 100th for the club in all competitions.
But what was most pleasing was the manner of his strikes with the second in particular being a beautifully-executed volley with his so-called weaker foot. He is capable of scoring from anywhere on the pitch but despite his goals, it was probably the exquisite touch for the fourth goal that was the highlight.
Reminded me so much of Dimitar Berbatov and he wasn’t too bad a player was he?
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There was a worrying moment 10 minutes into the second half when Kane’s leg collided with the post as he attempted to get on the end of a cross.
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He was ok to continue after a spot of treatment but I can’t be the only one who thought he should have come off there and then. At 4-0 up, and having just recovered from a slight knock in Gent, surely letting him rest and giving Janssen a run wouldn’t be a bad idea?
But the Dutchman remained in his chair with Son Heung-Min the man to replace Kane late on.
And it’s not the first time he has been overlooked recently. He stayed seated against Fulham too and with Spurs needing to chase the game against Gent on Thursday, he was only afforded a few minutes at the end.
He was full of smiles before kick-off on Sunday but questions are being asked about his future at the Lane.
The victory over Stoke showed Spurs at their clinical best and was a far-cry from Thursday’s Europa League exit.
It wasn’t a bad performance against Gent but too many chances went begging and some believe the venue was more to blame than profligacy in front of goal.
It’s a difficult one. On one hand Tottenham haven’t been anywhere near the best at Wembley when you look at some of the swashbuckling performances at White Hart Lane. But could that be down to the opposition raising their game rather than Spurs failing to fire on all cylinders?
It’ll only take one or two games like this at the national stadium to convince some of the doubters, hopefully starting with the FA Cup this year, but until then this debate looks set to run and run.
The loss of Danny Rose has been a blow, such has been the form of the full-back this season. But whisper it quietly Ben Davies has been playing well in his absence.
I thought he was excellent against Stoke and had a good game against both Fulham and Gent. One cross in particular in the first half was absolutely perfect and almost led to a goal.
He got up and down the flank as any good wing-back should and looked just as good defensively as in attack.
Maybe it’s a sustained run of games which has helped boost his confidence. Whatever it is, it’s good to see.
After his ‘indiscretion’ on Thursday all eyes were on the youngster, especially considering he was against the likes of Charlie Adam in a tough Stoke midfield.
And he was on the receiving end of a couple of hefty challenges too throughout the contest but not once did he look like letting it get to him.
Pochettino spoke of giving more ‘love’ than usual after his sending off and the player himself has spoken of improving his temperament in the past.
He did just that on Sunday and capped off a good performance with the fourth goal.
After the game he tweeted: “It’s been a difficult week, I felt horrible after the game on Thursday. Delighted to respond today, thank you for your support #COYS.”
More love may well be needed in the future but this was an encouraging sign in his development as a player.