Stoke City clawed their way back from a two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 at Tottenham Hotspur yesterday, the first time Spurs have thrown away a two-goal lead and not won in 75 home league matches.
Following first-half goals from Eric Dier and Nacer Chadli, a routine home win was very much on the cards until a penalty 12 minutes from time and a Mame Diouf equaliser salvaged a draw for the Potters.
It was a shock for Spurs and the number of Premier League observers watching on, but anyone at the ground would have told you that they could sense it happening.
It all started with the substitution of striker Harry Kane on 64 minutes.
The England international may not have found the net yet this season, but his abilities as a striker isn’t all about his goals as proven by his excellent link-up play, good first touch and willingness to drop deep.
|Touches||Total Layoffs||Ball Recoveries||Key Passes||Mins Played|
As per the table provided by Opta Stats, Kane took 25 touches, made three layoffs, contributed with two ball recoveries and created one chance during his 64 minutes on the pitch.
The 22-year-old's sheer presence helped Mauricio Pochettino’s men gain control, give his teammates a genuine outlet in possession and keep Stoke’s backline occupied enough to create space for Spurs’ fellow attackers.
As such, his substitution completely altered the pattern of play because Spurs don’t have a viable alternative, instead Mauricio Pochettino was forced to bring on Erik Lamela in his place.
After such an excellent season at White Hart Lane last year, it’s incredible that after two games of the ensuing campaign the club have yet to bring in a viable Kane alternative for when the inevitable injuries, suspensions or even lack of form arise.
As confirmed on the club’s official website, Spurs have signed forward Clinton N’Jie from Lyon while reports in the Mirror claim the North London outfit are planning on adding Saido Berahino to their ranks.
But are either player really suited to that lone centre-forward role Pochettino likes? From an outsider’s view, the duo represent fine attackers but they are more ideal to wider positions.
A true centre-forward alternative in the mould of a Fernando Llorente or Athletic Bilbao’s recent hat-trick hero Aritz Aduriz is what is needed, but with the transfer market set to close soon, a player of such ilk is incredibly no closer to joining the club.