2. Tottenham don’t need Harry Kane to win
Casual fans will glance at the box score and assume that Harry Kane played a really influential match for Spurs. While he deserves credit for his hard work and excellent penalty, he was anonymous for long stretches of the afternoon. Despite that, Tottenham were able to dominate the match against their rivals.
This doesn’t mean Kane isn’t important. Obviously, Spurs are at their best when the attack flows through their talisman. The point here is that Tottenham are not dependent on Kane to win. If a club makes him the focus of their defensive game plan, Spurs have enough other options to win in a different manner.
The first half against Arsenal really showed this perfectly. Remember, Spurs should have been up 2-0 after both Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen blew easy opportunities to get on the score sheet. The point is that Tottenham produced these quality chances without Kane being really involved.
It was obvious that Arsene Wenger instructed his defense to take Kane away and live with the consequences. In some ways, that worked since they went into the break on level terms. That was more a product of good fortune though. Players like Dele, Eriksen and Son Heung-Min tormented Arsenal without playing through Kane.
In many ways, this is the biggest difference between last year’s team and this year’s squad. Pochettino has enough offensive options to win when Kane isn’t playing his best. That bodes very well for Spurs’ future.