Interestingly, Pep Guardiola is either a visionary or he was probably just more than three years ahead of time when he described Tottenham Hotspur as “the Harry Kane team”.
It was an assessment – albeit a tad unfair at that time – Guardiola regretted later, but there is now growing evidence that Spurs and head coach Jose Mourinho need Kane more than ever.
Although it would be improper to credit only Kane for this victory that arrested Tottenham’s run of three successive Premier League defeats, the striker’s early return from injury clearly inspired his team-mates and helped to lift the pressure that had started to build on Mourinho.
Not only did Kane score on his comeback, but he also had a hand, or in this case a chest, in Son Heung-min’s first goal in seven games.
Truth be told, Tottenham’s improvement with Kane back can also be attributed in part to their rivals lacklustre perfromance.
Mourinho deserves credit for sending a positive message with his team selection, including Lucas Moura and Erik Lamela with Kane and Son, as Spurs finally stirred from their recent hibernation.
“Harry Kane is one of the best strikers in the world, period,” said Mourinho.
“And the team depends a lot on him, we cannot hide from that. He is the goals, the assists, the link play, the personality and the important influence on us.”
Asked when he knew Kane could start against West Brom, Mourinho added:
“Yesterday (Saturday), he was perfectly fine – absolutely normal. Of course, a player of his level has the experience to make his own decision and he was clear, he was ready to play without any problem.”
Mourinho had billed the West Brom game as must-win and was just as pleased with his team’s performance, as he was the result.
“Of course, the result was the most important thing after three defeats,” he said. “But what really, really had an impact on me, and it was not a surprise, was the commitment, desire and togetherness from the players. There were very good things in terms of the football we played.”
Kane missed three good opportunities to open the scoring during a first-half in which Tottenham enjoyed 73pc of possession.