Harry Kane scores the third goal for Tottenham

Hotspur against West Ham United. Matthew Childs / Reuters
Harry Kane scores the third goal for Tottenham Hotspur against West Ham United. Matthew Childs / Reuters

Striker Harry Kane proves he is no one-season wonder for Tottenham Hotspur

The Premier League has seen its fair share of one-season wonders down the years.

Michael Ricketts, Amr Zaki and Michu are just three of the forwards whose stars burned brightly for a single campaign before fading dramatically thereafter. When Harry Kane began this term with just one goal in his first nine top-flight appearances, there was talk that his name could soon be added to the ignominious list of short-lived success stories.

How premature such discussions seem now. Kane's two strikes in Tottenham Hotspur's 4-1 victory over West Ham United on Sunday were his sixth and seventh in his last four Premier League outings, with Jamie Vardy and Romelu Lukaku the only players to have scored more often in the opening 13 encounters of 2015/16.

There is now little doubt that the man who started last term behind Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado in the pecking order at White Hart Lane is here to stay.

“Harry Kane worked hard to recover the ball; he showed a strong mentality,” said Pochettino after the game, who was evidently just as happy with his No. 10’s commitment as his goalscoring.

Just as it took him six matches to find the back of the net for the first time this campaign, Kane took a while to get going on Sunday afternoon.

Tottenham in general began slowly, with West Ham – missing playmaker Dimitri Payet through injury – happy to cede possession and sit deep in a compact defensive shape.

Things livened up after a quiet opening 15 minutes, though, with Kane spearheading a side who continue to impress with their blend of physicality and technical prowess in what was arguably their best performance of the season.

The England international is a clinical finisher – something he demonstrated when he lashed the ball past Adrian to open the scoring after showing great strength and awareness to spin past Carl Jenkinson – but he is so much more than a penalty-box poacher.

There were plenty of neat one-touch lay-offs and clever flicks around the corner here, with Christian Eriksen, Son Heung-min and Dele Alli all benefiting from Kane’s ability to drop deep and link the play.

As Pochettino eluded to, he also led the hosts’ pressing by closing down the visiting centre-backs Winston Reid and James Tomkins, while his restored confidence was evidenced by some ambitious but accurate switches of play in the second half, drifting out to the left and firing pinpoint passes to the feet of Kyle Walker and Son over on the right flank.

On days like this, it is easy to see why the 22-year-old has drawn comparisons with Teddy Sheringham, the former Tottenham striker who, like Kane, made up for a lack of pace with plenty of guile and an astute football brain.

That absence of speed at centre-forward means it is vital that Pochettino’s charges get runners in advance of Kane to push opposing defensive lines back towards their own goal.

That is exactly what they did against West Ham; one of the hallmarks of the Argentine’s Tottenham outfit is their energy and constant movement, something that brings out the best in their line-leading local lad.

Things could have been even better for Kane, who should really have been celebrating his third career hat-trick at the final whistle: a gilt-edged opportunity was spurned towards the end of the first period, with the striker scuffing a shot horribly wide after being put through one-on-one by Alli.

Given that it is less than a month since Kane was forced to fend off flash-in-the-pan accusations, having to settle for two goals rather than three in a key London derby is a rather positive position to be in.

The doubters, for now, have been silenced. As Tottenham’s push for the Champions League places continues apace, Kane has proven that his incredible breakout campaign was no fluke.


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