Fixtures and the Kane – Second Worst Case

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Because the worst case is he’s gone for the season and they’ll be no trophy and an extremely sketchy and by no means assured journey into the Top Four.

Let’s assume it is as Poch says—like the earlier injury—which pegs his return for either the FA Cup semifinal in five weeks time or, more likely, the final NLD at the Lane a week after. Last time it was seven weeks out but I simply don’t see Kane missing both of two successive games with that import if he’s even 80% healthy.

I presume that the two make-up games—the Palace away game already missed and an away game at King Power vs Leicester scheduled for the first Wembley weekend—will both occur after that semi-final. The League can’t schedule them during the March international break; the week of 4/1 already has a midweek game scheduled and the following week would force several teams to play at least three doubled-up weeks in a row prior to the semifinal; plus there are Champions League quarter-finals set (including Man City we assume, and possibly, incredibly Leicester as well) for the weeks of April 10 and 17—and semi-finals the week of May 1 and 8. Man City-Stoke were slated vs the UCL—I don’t think the Premiership is thrilled about doing it again.

So the remaining schedule looks something like this:


19-3       Southampton (H)               NO KANE

1-4           Burnley (A)                     NO KANE

5-4          Swansea (A)                     NO KANE

8-4           Watford (H)                     NO KANE

15-4        Bournemouth (H)              NO KANE

22/23-4   FA CUP (Chelsea, Arsenal or a Manchester side)        PROBABLY NO KANE

26-27-4 (Make up game Crystal Palace/Leicester A) PROBABLY NO KANE

30-4        Arsenal (H)                          KANE??

6-5           West Ham (A)                     KANE

13-5        Man United (H)                    KANE

16-17/5 (Make up game Crystal Palace/Leicester A) KANE

21-5        Hull (A)                               KANE

27-5        FA CUP FINAL??                   KANE

A number of things jump out here. Every single midweek game will be away, including the two makeups. Spurs will play five more times at the Lane; and as much as 8 games away or at Wembley. Kane would miss the next six, and possibly seven games, but return for the final six or seven. We play three away games vs teams in a relegation fight—Burnley have nearly been as good at home as they have been poor away; one can only hope by that final Sunday that Hull have already been relegated. Both of our lesser London derby rivals get a chance to beat us at their ground (though neither have played well at home all season)—we may very well play both of the two greater London rivals and perhaps one of them twice more. (Or the same calculation re: Manchester)

The clear conclusion here is to quote Peter O’Toole playing T.E. Lawrence: “nothing is written”. Without Kane this is an imposing task for Spurs to both finish Top Four and win the Cup. And it’s hardly a gimme with him. We can’t count on United, Arsenal and Liverpool continuing to drop points they shouldn’t be dropping. At a minimum it seems to me that Spurs need to win three of the five fixtures vs mid or lower table sides they will play without their talisman, and draw a fourth. And then win one and draw the other from Arsenal and Man U at the Lane. That would get us to 70 points—with away games at Leicester, Palace, the Hammers and Hull all squeezed into the final month. If we win two of that quartet—that’s 76 points and probably a 3rd place finish. Win three and we should be runner-ups. But win only one and draw another and it could get very interesting, particularly if, as one would expect, there are stumbles while Kane is missing.

Everybody wants a trophy, not least the manager. But in pursuit of that aim today we may have lost the Champions League plot. It ain’t ever easy with Spurs, is it?

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