Tottenham’s players are guilty of over-relying on Harry Kane because they’ve been “drawn into the hype”, according to Noel Whelan.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds United and Coventry City striker explained it is the fault of Kane’s teammates rather than the England skipper that the team appear to perform better without him in the side.
Spurs have reached the Champions League semi-finals after triumphing in a remarkable quarter-final over Manchester City in midweek without their talisman to continue a trend of impressive results this year and in previous seasons when he has not played.
Whelan believes it is a mental rather than tactical or physical issue that explains the perplexing anomaly of how Tottenham thrive without their best player.
“It all comes down to taking responsibility,” Whelan told Football Insider. “When Kane is in the side, his teammates are always looking for him. You can be drawn into passing to one player because of the hype.
“No, that’s not right. Spurs have got special players all over the field and they don’t need to look to Kane all the time. Son [Heung-Min] is a different player when Harry’s not in the team because he takes more responsibility.
“He needs to do that when Harry’s playing as well. He’s a brilliant player and can win matches on his own, and the only reason he is not effective when Harry plays can be a mental one.”
Son is set to lead the Tottenham attack once again in the absence of the injured Kane as they return to Etihad Stadium on Saturday for the lunchtime showdown that is a repeat of Wednesday’s memorable fixture.
In other Tottenham transfer news, the club “have been sniffing around” an in-form number 10 to replace Christian Eriksen.