It’s nothing new that Harry Kane has endured a slow start to the season. In fact, this campaign he has been more prolific than usual by breaking his duck as early as August for the first time.
Yet, he has still faced criticism. The England and Tottenham forward is yet to find his feet after a disappointing end to the last season on a personal level as injury and recovery slowed his form as he competed with Mohamed Salah for the Golden Boot.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino has been quick to leap to his defence in public, sticking up for the centre-forward and insisting that he and his coaching him have faith in their man.
“He needs to provide the team with his best, but maybe in the circumstances we are like a team, or when he plays with England it’s maybe not the best conditions for a striker to give the best. It’s not that I want to justify him, it’s only because the period during the season always change. The most important thing here is the confidence and trust we have in him.”
“No doubt with Harry but because Harry’s so big a player everyone expects him in every single action for him to do something different. That’s why the expectations and perspective are completely different to another player… We know Harry Kane very well in the last more than four years we work with him. We know that it’s not a situation that worries us. We are in a situation that is under control.”
In doing so though, the Argentinian has taken a gamble. By recognising his poor form, the coach has not held back, though he clearly labelled the greater weight of the criticism towards the service that he is being provided with.
What may concern some at Tottenham is the role that the supporting cast have played in his absence and how they will take the comments. Whilst the likes of Lucas Moura have stepped up whilst Kane is misfiring, it’s clear that the Lilywhites will need Kane at his best if they are to compete for the Premier League title.
They will likely understand that, but equally may feel aggrieved that Pochettino has shown such a strong display of faith in a player who has done little to justify it in the opening weeks of the campaign.
Kane himself has reacted well to such comments in the past, but Pochettino will be well aware that so much as recognising his struggles could upset a key man in his squad.