Tottenham’s struggle this season continues as the London outfit were held to a 0-0 draw against Everton at home. We look at three key points to have emerged from the tie.
1 – Harry Kane has lost his confidence
What a difference three months and a failed European U21 campaign can make. While it is true that Kane was suffering from a niggling injury that was affecting his performances in the last four games, it still does not justify the way the player is moving around on the pitch or missing his chances.
Kane was good enough to be put on the pitch against Everton, which makes is pretty clear that he was good enough to score a one on one, a moment which revealed that current problems surrounding the player.
Last season, the player was in stunning form, his ability to score goals unquestionable and his attitude top class. It was a striker on form and in confidence. While every striker must go through a lean patch, it is the mental ability to come through it that separates the one season wonders from the real quality ones (i.e, if the performance was no fluke in the first place).
Kane looks like a player who is thinking too much, as opposed to the one who instinctively put the ball in the back of the net last season. He looked too desperate against Everton, taking shots from long ranges with the ball going nowhere near to the goal. He was also guilty of missing a one on one after being sent through with the goal gaping. In the end, it looked like he just had too much time and a poor touch did not help his case as Howard saved Everton’s blushes.
Kane is short of confidence and it is evident in the desperation in his game right now. With Spurs having signed Son, it won’t be long before Kane is dropped if he does not improve.
2 – Tim Howard is back to his best
Everton did not have the best of the season defensively in 2014/15. One of the main reason was the lack of defensive cohesion on the side. While things have not changed much this season, the Merseyside outfit have their goalkeeper to thank for their latest clean sheet.
Howard has been instrumental in helping the Blues keep two clean sheet in their opening four games. His latest outing saw him thwarting Harry Kane expertly in a one on one. The USA international also pulled off a couple of other solid save, especially from Ryan Mason’s shots as Everton held onto a 0-0 draw at White Hart Lane.
3 – Ryan Mason’s off the ball running will create problems for teams this season
Mason has been drafted in by Pocchetino in the central midfield along side Eric Dier. The Englishman is taking full advantage of the opportunity to play alongside defensive minded Dier to bomb forward from the midfield.
Twice in the game he made threatening runs, and was found by the Spurs attackers. He unleashed a shot each time, only for Howard to thwart him. With better finishing, he could have found the net on each occasion. But the fact that he got into those positions to test Howard must be heartening for the Spurs faithful who are suffering big time in the attacking department following the loss of Eriksen to injury and with Kane going through a rough patch. We can expect much of the same from Mason during the season and teams playing against Spurs should guard against the clever runs of the Englishman or risk being punished, especially if he works on his finishing in the future.