Former Ireland captain, Kenny Cunningham, has claimed that Harry Kane has been extremely ineffective in pressing the opposition of late, and questioned whether the Tottenham striker is physically incapable of closing down defenders anymore.

Kane once again got on the scoresheet for Tottenham at St Mary’s to take his tally to 21 goals in the Premier League this season (Transfermarkt) but the Lilywhites once again failed to see out the win as Southampton came from 3-1 down to salvage a draw.

(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Antonio Conte certainly did not hold back on his players in his post-match press conference, accusing all 11 of being selfish and playing for themselves instead of the team (Football.London).

Reports indicate that the Italian could well lose his job on the back of that rant, with Daniel Levy expected to ask the 53-year-old to pack his bags this week (Telegraph).

Cunningham believes that one of the players Conte may have been talking about in his press conference is Kane, noting that the striker was walking around rather than closing down the Saints defenders on Saturday.

The pundit told Off The Ball: “I think the goals are interesting with Kane.

“It’s too easy to look at Kane and say that he’s doing his stuff. He does his stuff in and around the penalty box, but is he doing his stuff out of possession when Spurs don’t have the ball?

“I would argue he’s not and he hasn’t been for quite some time. I’m not sure physically he can do it.

“Maybe when Pochettino was there he was playing with more intensity and there was more there, but he’s different.

“I see a drop-off there and it comes to us all at different points. I looked at him on Saturday, he was literally walking.

“You know when someone is trying to kid you, trying to close down the centre-half, but he’s not closing them down, he’s getting within 10 yards and walking into traffic, walking into people to get away from it.

“It wasn’t just Saturday, I’ve seen it all season and last season as well.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Cunningham certainly has a point as Kane’s pressing has noticeably dropped off over recent years.

Perhaps the reason the 29-year-old has adopted his game into being more of a playmaker is that he is physically incapable of closing down the opposition defenders with regularity in the final third.

That is one of the reasons why I doubt if we can return to the sort of high-pressing style we had under Pochettino as long as Kane is still at the club.

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