After years of speculation, Harry Kane finally left Tottenham Hotspur as he moved to German champions Bayern Munich, but does losing the talismanic striker hurt the North London club’s hopes of silverware?
Spurs have not won a major trophy since lifting the League Cup in 2008. It will be 16 years by the time the club’s next opportunity to win a trophy will come about, causing Tottenham to be the butt of many jokes on social media.
Quite simply, for a club of the magnitude of Spurs, it isn’t good enough. Kane had not yet broken into the first-team, as he would have only been 14 years of age when goals from Dimitar Berbatov and Jonathan Woodgate defeated Chelsea 2-1 to lift the club’s last football trophy. In the time since Kane made his senior debut in 2011, there have been several near-misses for Spurs – most notably losing the 2019 Champions League final 2-0 to Liverpool.
Last season’s hugely disappointing campaign, which saw Spurs finish outside of the European places altogether and fail to advance to the latter stages of any cup competition, proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back for Kane as he decided to leave for pastures new.
Life After Kane
Sooner or later, Spurs would have to face life without Kane. The reality is that, with the club’s record goalscorer, Spurs have failed to win a single major trophy with Kane.
Spurs new head coach Ange Postecoglou admitted that he had been planning to go into the season without the England striker. Having come so close to leaving for Manchester City two summers ago, and with just a year remaining on his contract in North London, all signs had long been pointing towards an exit for Kane.
Now, the speculation has gone. Tottenham can now focus on the players they do have at their disposal, with the likes of Heung-Min Son, Richarlison, Dejan Kulusevski, and recent-addition James Maddison aiming to make up for the loss of Kane. That is before a penny is spent on a possible ‘replacement’.
It could be worse for Spurs and a return to an attacking brand of football under the former Celtic manager is certain to galvanise frustrated supporters, who have had to endure mostly negative tactics under Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho before that. Though Spurs did not win away at Brentford, drawing 2-2, there were still a lot more positives than negatives to take away from it.
Spurs dominated the ball with 70% of possession, had 18 shots (six on target), and new-signing Maddison assisted both goals. There is still work to be done at the back, but the feeling among Spurs fans is largely positive in terms of what they have seen on the pitch so far.
Can Spurs Win a Trophy?
Without any European football, Spurs two realistic chances of silverware are the domestic cups barring an unlikely charge towards the Premier League title. Spurs have not won the FA Cup since 1991 and, in the 32 years since, have only added two League Cups to their trophy cabinet.
In recent years, Spurs have been guilty of prioritising the league and European football above the FA Cup and League Cup. They are far from being alone to do that, but with fans begging for silverware and the end to rival fans’ glee of counting the years since they last won a trophy, you can understand the frustration.
With no European nights at White Hart Lane, Spurs can focus their efforts on the domestic cups. Of course, chairman Daniel Levy is going to demand that Postecoglou finishes inside the top four and secures a return to the Champions League, but a trophy would make the Aussie an instant legend with the fans.
As the other big hitters look to navigate their way through hectic European schedules, Spurs can take advantage of a lighter programme. We have seen in recent seasons how the absence of European football can benefit a club’s season. There can be no better example than in 2016/17, when Chelsea won the Premier League having finished 10th the season prior, failing to qualify for either the Champions League or Europa League.
To be in with a chance of winning a trophy, Spurs must add quality to their squad – especially in defensive areas. Richarlison, unless another striker is brought in before the end of the transfer window, must also begin to show why the club spent £60 million on securing him from Everton last summer. Perhaps the transfer of Kane could be the best thing to happen for the Brazil forward, who thrives on being the main man for his team.
Spurs have lost big players, and arguably better players, in the past and been able to move on. The likes of Luka Modric and Gareth Bale were probably bigger losses at the time and Spurs managed to stay competitive. Weirdly, Kane’s departure may end up being a positive with others grasping the opportunity to step up out of the now-former talisman’s shadow.
Don’t bet against Spurs winning either a League Cup or FA Cup this season, especially with a return to free-flowing attacking football.