Pochettino simply adores Harry
MAURICIO POCHETTINO admitted last night that he is in with Harry Kane.
The Spurs boss was full of adoration for the in-form striker after he scored twice, hit the woodwork twice and warmed up for the Champions League trip to Greece in the best possible way.
Pochettino said: “Harry is not just the best striker in England but one of the best in the world.
“I love him, his team-mates love him and the fans love him. Not just for being a wonderful striker but for his attitude and professionalism. For a boss, he is a dream.
“I am very happy to beat a side that was full of emotion and staged a late rally when we were a man down.”
Christian Eriksen netted after Kane’s double but the away side had to batten down the hatches after Javier Hernandez and Chiekhou Kouyate scored in the 65th and 87th minutes respectively.
The only real downside for Spurs yesterday was the dismissal of new boy Serge Aurier, sent off after collecting two bookings, the last for whipping away the legs of Andy Carroll.
There is also the mysterious form of Dele Alli. The midfield star works hard getting into space but then falls over his own feet trying to do too much.
But this was the Kane story – he scored twice in five minutes to take his tally to six in four games as Spurs restored order after losing their last two games on West Ham soil. Defeats that hurt further because they ended lingering title hopes.
Kane delivered a masterclass in what a striker should do during a game. He fought tigerishly, held up play, brought team-mates into action and scored goals.
West Ham started well and Marko Arnautovic had acres of space down the left flank but his finishing was wasteful and his crosses wayward.
They were forced to change tactics in the 27th minute when Michail Antonio limped off to be replaced by Carroll, who arrived to a tremendous welcome from the home fans.
Kane often worked both flanks to try to find openings but chances were rare until the opening goal arrived in the 34th minute.
Eriksen and Alli combined down the right and the latter’s cross was met by Kane, diving full length, who planted a header past Joe Hart.
Just four minutes later, Jan Vertonghen sent Alli scampering clear and when his shot was blocked by Hart it fell kindly to Kane to slide the ball home.
West Ham’s early confidence evaporated and Kane started the move for Tottenham’s third with a 30-yard free-kick.
The ball came back off the post, was whipped in again by Aurier and landed sweetly for Eriksen to score after coming off Angelo Ogbonna.
To their credit, the Hammers staged a decent recovery with Hernandez heading in following a corner.
Aurier was given his marching orders with 20 minutes still left on the clock and when Kouyate scored with a powerful header it was game on.
They could not find a third way past Hugo Lloris, though, and the pressure now mounts on Slaven Bilic with his side sat in the bottom three.
The Hammers boss said: “Mixed emotions about the game. We played as well as I have seen, we had chances but didn’t take them.
“Until their first goal we were there.
“Then Antonio went off, they scored and we lost our shape. They scored another before we got it back.
“Kane? Best compliment I can give him is we played with three centre-backs and they had very good game but still Kane was lethal.
“He decided the game. He is one of the best strikers in the world. He held the key to this game.”