Opinion: Harry Kane gave up on Tottenham after Jose Mourinho was sacked

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Harry Kane
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Harry Kane’s struggles so far this season have become a major talking point amongst Spurs fans, as his rapid dip in form compared to last season is one not many would have predicted.

However, if you really dive into Kane’s form in recent months, one thing for me stands out. At club level, his form actually dipped massively after Jose Mourinho was sacked (4/19/20).

Kane in his final 5 Premier League games under Jose Mourinho recorded 5 goals (no assists, so 5 G+A), including a performance in Mourinho’s final game in charge which was simply dominant.

It is worth noting that in that final match vs Everton, Kane picked up an ankle injury. However, it was quickly deemed to be nothing serious, and Kane was back in full training by the end of that week.

In 13 Premier League appearances since Mourinho was sacked, Kane has recorded only 3 G+A, less than his tally in Jose’s last 5 games.

Since Jose Mourinho was sacked:

Son-Heung Min has recorded 9 G+A in the Premier League

Gareth Bale has recorded 6 G+A in the Premier League (double that of Kane despite departing for Real Madrid after last season)

Steven Bergwijn has recorded 3 G+A in the Premier League 

The only Spurs senior forward who Kane has recorded more G+A in the Premier League than since Mourinho was sacked is Lucas Moura (1).

Some will blame it on Nuno, and I have two reasons to believe that’s not the issue.

  • Look at how Raul Jimenez flourished under Nuno, it’s not like he’s completely incapable of getting the best out of strikers.
  • Kane has had a good output for England since Mourinho was sacked, despite playing under a much worse manager than Nuno in my honest opinion in Gareth Southgate.

Also, it’s not like all our other forwards have fallen off a cliff in terms of form since Jose was sacked. Son is still playing superbly. Bergwijn actually scored in the Premier League under Ryan Mason. Bale had his best run of form at club level in quite a while under Mason.

The biggest thing for me is, when I’ve watched Spurs since Jose has been sacked, Kane’s effort levels just haven’t felt the same. Watching that match vs Everton, it felt like Kane was determined to put the team on his back and find a way to get a result, he took control of that game and rescued us a point.

There’s not really been a game for Spurs in the Premier League since then where Kane has been dominant and seemed to have that level of motivation.

His only real high-quality performance in the PL since Jose was sacked was in the final game of last season vs Leicester, when, it’s worth noting, he was fighting for the league lead in goals vs Mo Salah and assists vs Son and Bruno Fernandes, which is a big source of motivation for any player.

I understand why Kane is frustrated and why he wants to leave Tottenham. He’s in the prime years of his career and has no trophies to his name, he wants to win and taste that feeling of success.

In Kane’s eyes (whether you agree with him or not, he clearly felt this way), Jose Mourinho represented his best chance at winning trophies with Spurs, and being competitive.

Kane clearly had a fantastic relationship with Mourinho, and I think it’s easy to conclude he was not someone who wanted to see him sacked.

Everyone knows Spurs are in a bit of a transition phase right now. Spurs aren’t 1 player away from being champions, etc.

Kane wants to be part of a team that is going to be competitive right now. That’s why he wanted to join Manchester City the most, the reigning champions, domestic double winners last season, Champions League finalists, and a club who employs a manager in Pep Guardiola who has won it all in football.

I can’t blame Kane for that desire at all. I understand why he wants to leave, and why he’s still dreaming of a move to Manchester. I get that he had a lot of respect for Mourinho and sees his sacking as a sign of the club not having the right ambitions in his eyes.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a real issue for Spurs in the meantime. A player who was supposed to be our talisman is offering nothing in the way of goals and assists right now.

When you have two forwards offering very little in the way of goals and assists (Kane and Moura) it makes it difficult for a coach to put together much of an attacking output. Especially when Nuno is already a coach who’s not exactly known for his brilliant attacking patterns and tactics.

I want to say Spurs need to find a way to get Kane motivated again. However, I’m just not sure that’s possible. When you set your heart on something like Kane did with his desire to leave Tottenham, it’s really hard to reverse that so quickly, as mentally he likely detached from Spurs and told himself, “I’m done with this club now, I need to go”.

It’s a very awkward situation, and despite my serious reservations about if he’s the right man to take Spurs forward, I feel for Nuno because it’s one of quite a few things that are not his fault that are making his life difficult.

Spurs need to fix this situation. If that means Kane has to leave the club and we reinvest and move on, so be it. No player is bigger than the club.

It will be difficult to find the perfect players to use that money on, however, you shouldn’t hire a director of football (Paratici) if you don’t trust them to make the most out of situations like this.

Look at what Liverpool did with Coutinho – even Inter Milan this season look to have very smartly reinvested the Lukaku and Hakimi money on a tighter budget.

It just can’t drag on like this. It’s not beneficial to anyone to have things the way they are right now. Kane either has to rekindle his love for Tottenham or Spurs should not be afraid to cut their losses.

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