Harry Kane is better than he was last season: Five things we learned from Tottenham 4 West Ham 1
Harry Kane is even better than he was in his breakthrough season, Mauricio Pochettino is turning Spurs into a consistent force and other things we learned from Tottenham 4 West Ham 1
By Editor Wayne Veysey
West Ham suffer two lashes of the Kane
He set the ball rolling with the opening goal and his superb third strike sealed the three points for Spurs. This was an awesome display of line-leading from Tottenham’s talisman, who has now scored eight Premier League goals from 13 matches this season. Bar one somewhat embarrassing left-foot scuff when through on goal, Kane ticked all the boxes of all-round forward play. Back to his 2014-15 best? Maybe we should go even further and hail the 2015-16 Kane version as an improved one. He has shown the strength of character to come through a difficult early-season patch and has added greater athleticism and awareness to his game. Kane is a mighty fine player.
Spurs work like a pack of hyenas
For the second time in 24 hours, a Premier League team out-energised and out-mastered high flying opponents with a display of ultra intense pressing. The greatest compliment you could play Mauricio Pochettino’s team is that they did to West Ham what Liverpool had done to Manchester City on Saturday. The home side condensed the play, refused to allow the visitors time to settle on the ball and then picked them off with incisive forward forays. It was collective excellent from Spurs. The players work like a pack of hyenas and must be a nightmare to play against.
Alli will miss Chelsea clash
It is not all good news for Tottenham. Delle Alli, who followed up his man-of-the-match England display in midweek with another midfield masterclass, collected his fifth yellow card of the season, ruling him out of Spurs’ next Premier League game against Chelsea, which takes place on Sunday of next week. Alli will be sorely missed. Deployed in a more advanced role today, with Mousa Dembele dropping back to anchor the midfield alongside Dier, the 19-year-old worked like a dog to deny the visitors time on the ball and showed again that his distribution and ability to combine the play is out of the top drawer.
Lanzini confirms his immense potential
There were some fine goals at White Hart Lane on Sunday but none were better than the consolation goal conjured by Manuel Lanzini. The Argentine has been one of West Ham’s two stand-out players this season – along with the much-missed Dimitri Payet – and enhanced his reputation with his wonderfully-taken late strike. Taking advantage of Kyle Walker’s complacency, he wriggled this way and then that before bashing an unstoppable finish past Hugo Lloris from a tight angle. The Hammers’ co-owner David Sullivan has spoken of his conviction that Lanzini’s loan deal will be extended into a permanent one. From a claret-and-blue point of view, he had better be right. West Ham will suffer if they cannot hang on to the impressive 22-year-old.
Pochettino can coax consistency from Spurs
Tottenham have been top-six regulars ever since Harry Redknapp took advantage of Gareth Bale’s brilliance and some astute signings to assemble the best Spurs team since for a generation. But it did not last. Bale was sold, the replacements were duff and Champions League football proved to be a distant dream. Now, White Hart Lane regulars are starting to believe that their team are growing into a force able to regularly mix it with the big boys. Unbeaten in 12 Premier League matches, Pochettino is coaxing consistency from his team, who have climbed to fifth and just two points behind rivals Arsenal.