Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has blamed participation at the under-21 championships over the summer for Harry Kane’s current goal drought.
The striker is yet to score in six outings in the Premier League, and despite registering a shots-per-game ratio of 3.5 (more than last season) he has appeared lethargic and somewhat short of the quality that saw him make such an excellent impression last term. “Not only on the pitch, but off from the pitch as the pressure – he is a hero for Tottenham and England – was unbelievable”. But maybe at the end of the season he rested, went to the Euros, didn’t score at the Euros after three games, he came back late for pre-season and you need to recover the time.
Tottenham are pointing the finger at England, and have accused the national side of abusing Kane.
Pochettino believes Kane will learn valuable lessons during this spell: “You can improve a lot in the bad moments and for him it is a very tough moment”, he said.
Kane’s shot accuracy has dipped from an impressive 58% last season to 33% this campaign and the striker is yet to contribute an assist on top of his lack of goals. There is not just one reason for it. “That is why I say it is important to have a squad because you are going to win or lose the title by just one or two points”. Previous year was my first in the Premier League and I played at right-back and centre-back.
“We must let him do his job”.
“He will mature. He has personality and good character. It’s true that maybe the summer did not help”.
Pochettino believes Kane’s slow start to the season has affected his confidence, as did a lack of a break at the end of 2014-15.
Spurs have lost their last four meetings with City, conceding 16 goals, but Pochettino said his team are over the disappointment of losing a North London derby at home to Arsenal in the League Cup on Wednesday.
He added: “We try to assess the position on the pitch and sometimes he drops off too much, but when we analyse it he is playing the same way that he did last season when he scored a lot of goals”.
“Like last season, it’s not my decision”.
Meanwhile both midfield Nabil Bentaleb and youngster Alex Pritchard remain out of action through injury. Pellegrini said of the injury list: “It doesn’t seem very long – it is very long!” I think it is a very different tournament.