Harry Kane was the star as Tottenham managed to beat West Ham United on Saturday. The Hammers triumphed in this fixture last season and it could easily have been a tricky one for Spurs to negotiate after a disappointing draw to Swansea City. However, they performed well and should have won with more comfort on the day. There were some doubts regarding the 24-year-old at the beginning of the season, but it is difficult not to see him as one of the best strikers in Europe based on his recent form.
The England international scored a brace to put his team into an ascending lead during the first half. It was great movement to get ahead of the play for the first goal and he was never going to miss after Dele Alli put it on a plate for him. The second came minutes later and showed his goal-scoring instincts as he pounced on the loose ball to find the back of the net once more.
Spurs rely heavily on Kane to provide the goal threat and he rarely disappoints. He is never afraid to have a shot and he attempted seven during the match at the London Stadium. It is important for a striker to have that trait as it isn’t always going to go to plan in front of goal. On another day, he would have scored a hat-trick, as he struck the post twice. They were both great strikes, and showed his dynamic movement in the penalty area to manoeuvre the room for a shot. This is an underrated part of his game, but it makes him very difficult to defend against.
It was encouraging to see Kane work hard in attack, as he pressed well and was aggressive in his pursuit of winning back possession for his team. Strikers need to work hard and contribute off the ball in the modern game. The 24-year-old made one tackle, but that doesn’t effectively represent everything that he did when out of possession.
One area of concern is his passing, as he completed only 56% of them during the match. This is down from his season average and it will be noted by Mauricio Pochettino. Although Kane did score twice, it wasn’t the perfect performance and there remain areas to work on. His link-up play is usually reliable and effective, but that wasn’t the case on Saturday.
This was a crucial game for Tottenham as they couldn’t afford to drop points again after a poor display against Swansea. They looked laboured during that match, but they were much improved on Saturday. Kane’s own performance in front of goal was a highlight, as he scored twice. It wasn’t the best overall contribution from the striker, but he won the points for his side and deserves praise for that. If Spurs are to challenge for the title, they will need their striker to show consistency in front of goal for the third successive season. This was an indication that he will break the 20-goal mark once more.