Gary Neville has lavished praise on Harry Kane, insisting that the Tottenham man is mentally ‘unbreakable’ just as Alan Shearer was.
Kane, who was already the leading goal scorer in the history of North London derbies heading into Thursday’s match (Goal), added two more to his tally.
The England captain converted with typical efficiency from the penalty spot, with Son Heung-min deemed to have been fouled by Cedric Soares, before he produced a typical predators finish in the back post after a corner kick was flicked on by Rodrigo Bentancur.
The 28-year-old also had in Tottenham’s third as he showed impressive strength to turn Gabriel inside the box before the ball fell for Son, who turned it home.
Neville admitted that he was impressed with the patience Kane showed despite not seeing much of the ball in the opening exchanges of the match.
The former Manchester United defender told Sky Sports: “Harry Kane tonight had one touch in the first 15 or 20 minutes of the match. I think the eager, immature centre-forward does what the opposition want him to do and starts to drift wide or drop deep.
“I remember Sir Alex always used to say to be patient. Hold your position between the two centre halves. Stay there. Eventually, the moment will come.
“Harry really did show some patience in that first 20 minutes. He could have got eager. He could have started moving in, going wide to get the ball and involve himself in the game, but he didn’t do.
“He held that central position. Elneny was blocking him off brilliantly, it was good from Arteta. But eventually, the game started to come to him.”
Neville insisted that the criticism the 28-year-old was getting following his lacklustre start to the season now looks silly.
The pundit said: “He is playing at this really high level. Earlier in the season, there was this feeling that his time was up, he wasn’t happy, his form had gone, what has happened to Harry Kane?
“Sometimes it can be a bit embarrassing when you think back to the conversations you were having about the same player six months ago. But I have always said this is gold, Harry Kane. This is the most reliable thing you can invest in.”
Neville also showed praise for the mental strength that the Tottenham man possesses as well as his professionalism.
He said: “I had him for four years as an assistant coach to Roy Hodgson. He is unbreakable up here. He is Alan Shearer-like. He is the only person I have ever seen who is like Shearer. He has emotion, of course.
“But he is completely sober in every part of his life, in his preparation, he will get the chances, the repetition of the strike into the far corner, Shearer was exactly the same.
“Tonight, what we have seen, I thought his performance last week at Anfield was special. It is difficult to play well against Van Dijk’s back four, that pressing midfield, that aggressive small pitch, that Anfield atmosphere, what was on the game.
“For him to do what he did last week at Anfield was really special, it was a top performance from a centre-forward, and he has done it again here tonight.”
Spurs Web Opinion
There are aspects of Kane’s game that are clearly improving under Conte. The 28-year-old seems to have got much better at picking when to stay in the middle to make himself a nuisance to the opposition defenders, and when to drop deep.
Previously, in games where he did not see much of the ball, Kane had the tendency to be a little clumsy in possession, almost like he was trying too hard to make an impact. However, we have already seen this season at the Etihad and Anfield that his decision making in possession has improved.
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