Forget King Kane, if Tottenham Hotspur qualify for the Champions League or even win the title then they will have their midfield to thank for much of their success.
Harry Kane is one of best strikers in Europe over last two seasons. Last season Kane was an iron man, playing all 38 games, averaging 89 minutes per match. Playing without a recognised back up striker, Kane lead the line on his own and scored 25 goals.
This season he has suffered two ankles injuries resulting in nine missed games. The expected dip in Tottenham’s fortunes has not materialised however.
They hung in during the early part of season with the defence keeping them in games but more recently it is the midfield that has scored the goals to maintain their winning run and keep the pressure on Chelsea.
Alli (16 goals), Erickson (7), Son (11), Wanyama (2) and Winks (1) have combined for 37 goals. This makes up 37 goals of a total 64 (58 per cent) scored by the team.
In comparison, the next best is Liverpool who have scored 34 of 68 (50 per cent) goals from midfield players. Of the top six teams, Manchester United and Arsenal share the worst record, having scored only 39 per cent of their goals from midfield players.
On Saturday against Watford it was again the midfield that got the job done, with first half long range strikes from Ali, Dier and Son sealing the points.
On a different note, I watched with delight as ex-Tottenham keeper Gomes repeatedly launched accurate missiles with his long throws. Being used to watching most goal keepers punt the ball long to reach targets past the half way line, I watched in amazement as Gomes launched throw after throw to targets standing beyond the half way line.
While not bearing any fruit today, the accuracy of a throw as opposed to the AFL-style punt may create some problems for Watford’s future opponents.
Lastly, the Spurs have suffered injuries to several key players during the season. The current team is missing five regulars including leading scorer Kane, long-term absentee Erik Lamela, standout defensive midfielder Viktor Wanyama and both full backs (Rose and Walker).
In previous seasons the strength of the squad has been in question but the same cannot be said this season. Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier have covered the two fullback positions with aplomb and Eric Dier’s versatility allowed the shift to a 4-2-3-1 yesterday.
After almost being let go over the summer, Son again showcased his skills scoring a brace playing mostly off the left wing.