King Kane rules at the Lane
Spurs striker proves he is the best in the EPL with deadly double
Harry Kane (20, 56,); Dele Alli (90+3)
|Romelo Lukaku (81); Enner Valencia (90+4)|
In a world of uncertainty, there is something reassuringly familiar about Harry Kane.
His striking attributes belong to the past, but his addiction to scoring offers Tottenham a glimpse of a bright future.
Kane picked up a brace as the hosts defeated Everton 3-2 last night - one sublime, the other straightforward - to offer jaded neutrals a slither of hope.
The English Premier League table now shows a seven-point gap between Tottenham and leaders Chelsea. But, in the EPL scorers' chart, Kane stands alone.
The 23-year-old Englishman is a striker like no other, a refreshing throwback that somehow fits hand in glove with the modern game.
Diego Costa, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku all have their unique attributes, but Kane's simplicity sets him apart.
The more he scores, the more he stays the same.
Everything about the Tottenham striker is old-school. His unassuming demeanour, his physical stature and no-frills haircut all belong to yesteryear.
His first goal was certainly "have-a-go-hero" stuff, lifting the game from its comatose state.
For 20 minutes, White Hart Lane shared the white uniforms and atmosphere of a hospital waiting room. Thankfully, Kane rose to the occasion like the retro, comic-book character he is fast becoming.
He collected the ball on the left, muscled his way past Idrissa Gueye and then unleashed a thumping strike past a retreating Gareth Barry from a full 25 metres.
Joel Robles barely saw it. White Hart Lane could scarcely believe it and Kane celebrated before calmly making his way back to the halfway line like a factory worker returning to work after a tea break.
His 18th EPL goal proved to be the shot of adrenalin that his teammates desperately needed.
As the heavens opened, Spurs poured forward. Robles denied Kane a quick brace and the post denied Victor Wanyama.
And then, inexplicably, the game's life support was switched off again and pins were heard dropping in the stands.
Considering the magnitude of the fixture - Tottenham are chasing Chelsea's coat-tails and Everton are vying for a European slot - the game largely petered out.
Ronald Koeman recalled Barry to add an extra body in central midfield, giving Everton a workmanlike, plodding feel.
Besides, Everton's tactical tweak was negated by Wanyama and his willingness to do twice the work of the average midfielder.
With the game drifting towards another snooze, Kane played the alarm clock once more, benefitting from Everton dozing at the back.
Robles sent a throw towards Morgan Schneiderlin in the 56th minute, but the Frenchman panicked, allowing Dele Alli to nip in and release Kane.
With the goal at his mercy, Kane guided a low finish into the bottom corner.
Koeman made a double substitution shortly after, taking off Barry and acknowledging that the attempt to halt the Tottenham traffic in midfield congestion had failed.
Slowly, Everton flickered, but an unexpected mistake from Jan Vertonghen gave them an undeserved lifeline. In the 81st minute, the centre back slipped and Lukaku put away the loose ball.
The Belgian's strike rattled nerves as the game disintegrated into farce.
First, Alli knocked in Spurs' third in the 92nd minute, when he flicked in Harry Winks' free-kick. And then, Enner Valencia tapped in Everton's second with only moments left.
But Spurs held on, thanks in large part to Kane's double.
They cannot quite boast the best first XI in the EPL, but they are undoubtedly blessed with the league's finest finisher.