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Tottenham Hotspur

Analysing Harry Kane’s encouraging performance against Chelsea

Harry Kane’s poor record in August has continued after he failed to find the back of the net against Chelsea on Sunday. The narrative heading into the match was based on Tottenham’s Wembley woes and their striker’s inability to score during the month of August. Both rang true and they are problems that Mauricio Pochettino needs to correct sooner rather than later.

There will be few better times to play against the Blues this season, but Spurs failed to pick up the three points. They missed out on the opportunity to move six points clear of the champions after only two matches, which would have been huge, even at this early stage of the campaign.

Although he failed to score on Sunday, Kane delivered an encouraging display up front for Tottenham. He looked sharp and was causing the Chelsea defence a lot of problems with his intelligent movement in the final third. It was clear that ending his August hoodoo was on his mind, as he attempted eight shots during the match.

A lot of his efforts were blocked or from tight angles, but he certainly posed a threat for the entire ninety minutes. The closest he came to a goal came late in the first half, as he cut inside to make a yard for himself and fired a good effort against the post. This was the second successive game that he has hit the woodwork and he will be thinking that he is destined never to score in August. He was a fraction away from finding the back of the net and that will be frustrating. However, he remains confident in the final third and that is a promising sign.

Kane is very good at carrying the ball and he is more dynamic than people give him credit for. He completed two dribbles and was impressive when he tried to run with the ball. During the last two seasons, the 24-year-old has consistently worked on every area of his game and he is now one of the best strikers in the world. His lack of goals at the start of a season is a worry, but his movement still means that he can contribute in a positive manner for his team.

There were positives to take from the performance, but there were a couple of concerns that he needs to look at. He completed only 58% of his passes and that indicates that he was wasteful with the ball at times. Kane is normally effective at linking-up play, but his distribution was underwhelming against Spurs. The other worry was that he picked up a yellow card for the second successive game. He needs to learn to keep his discipline, even if he is frustrated by his lack of goals.

Tottenham will be disappointed with the loss, but there were positives to take from the game. Kane is one of their most important players and he showed enough against Chelsea to suggest he is in line for another great season. Once that first goal goes in, it will be difficult to stop him breaking the 20-mark again. If he continues to work hard and cause problems like he did on Sunday, it is only a matter of time before the goals flow.