JONATHAN WOODGATE: Tottenham need more leaders like Harry Kane

JONATHAN WOODGATE: It is crazy Tottenham have only won one trophy this century… keeping Harry Kane was huge and the club need more leaders like him if they are to get over the line

  • Tottenham have not won a trophy since their 2008 League Cup win over Chelsea
  • It was massive for Spurs to keep Harry Kane despite the striker wanting to go
  • The club needs more leaders like Kane if they are to finally get across the line 

Tottenham’s record is not good enough. To win only one trophy this century, the 2008 League Cup final in which I played and scored against Chelsea, is crazy.

They have been close since, reaching finals and finishing second in the league under Mauricio Pochettino, but still no medals. It boils down to the players not being good enough to get over the line.

It is the reason Harry Kane wanted to leave. Keeping him was massive for Daniel Levy. Selling Kane, letting their best player leave, would have told other potential signings that the club lacked ambition.

Harry Kane wanted to leave to win trophies and Tottenham need more leaders like him

Nuno Espirito Santo has a massive rebuild on his hands. After winning his first three games in charge, he has since lost two ahead of Sunday’s north London derby.

He has to try to get Spurs into Europe. But do I see them getting in the Champions League this season? No.

I can not work out the team. I do not see leaders in that group. Kane is a leader, Son Heung-min is an outstanding talent, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is a leader. What else? I do not see a lot more.

People say Levy calls the shots, but these days the chairman and chief executives are the key influencers at every club. They hire that many staff, it is not always the manager with the final say. Levy has the right; it is the owner’s club. To be honest they have run it well, but without the silverware.

I have been to their new stadium as Middlesbrough manager and I’m going for the Anthony Joshua fight. It is magnificent.

Nuno Espirito Santo has a massive rebuilding job on his hands at Tottenham

The Arsenal game is fascinating because both clubs are in transition. I saw Arsenal beat Burnley at Turf Moor last weekend. In patches they were very good.

You could see what Mikel Arteta was trying to do, but they still need a core. They were a bit fortunate when Burnley went direct, and when they come up against a Chelsea or Man United, they will get beaten.

The Arsenal fans have to be patient. I know they want instant success but they will not be in the Champions League for a couple of years at least. The same with Spurs.

The north London rivals will finish close together come May. But there will not be a lot of bragging rights when whoever finishes highest is the difference between sixth and seventh, or seventh and eighth.

Arsenal were pleasing on the eye last week. Gabriel was good. I am a big fan of Ben White, and I thought he helped him.

I look closely at centre-halves. At Spurs, I like Japhet Tanganga. I think Nuno will try to forge a partnership between Eric Dier and Christian Romero, but longer-term look out for Tanganga, who is aggressive, strong and quick.

Tottenham need more players of a higher standard to help out Kane and Son Heung-min

Spurs have the option to go three at the back. It does not have to be a negative formation: look at the way Chelsea do it. But you do need wing-backs who can bomb on and outside centre-backs who are quick.

A few people at Spurs remain from my time. Kane was coming through when I was there. I could not have predicted the career he was going to have. He went on loan a lot and fair play to Tim Sherwood, he gave him a chance. Now he is England’s No9, will break Wayne Rooney’s goal record and has a chance of beating Alan Shearer as the Premier League’s top scorer.

From what I have seen, Harry has not downed tools, he just has not had the service. He will score more than 20 league goals this season.

I do not mind him dropping deep. He is evolving as a player and I did not hear many complaints last season when he made all those assists. But for the plan to work, he does need runners like Son, Dele and Steven Bergwijn to go past him.

Jonathan Woodgate pictured with Ledley King after the club’s last trophy win back in 2008

Share this article

Source: Read Full Article