Tottenham Hotspur played their first game — and got their first result — under Ange Postecoglou and without Harry Kane on Sunday, earning a deserved 2-2 draw against Brentford at the Gtech Community Stadium.
Kane is in Germany now as a Bayern Munich player and there’s a lot of emotion behind that decision, both for him and for us as supporters. But I can’t let this opportunity go by without one final retrospective on his contributions to this football club. So the theme today was obvious.
There are too many really good Harry Kane goals to count. You’ve got your favorites, for sure. These are some of mine, and the masthead’s.
Here are your Tottenham Hotspur player ratings for the 2-2 Brentford draw to the theme of Harry Kane goals. One last tribute, then we fully turn the page.
6 stars: vs. Arsenal, March 2016
The match might have ended 2-2 in the North London Derby, but this will always be my favorite Harry Kane goal. The goal itself is of course incredible, but what tips it over the edge for me is his reaction to scoring it — sprinting across the pitch, ripping the mask off, the pure JOY of it all. Kane always did love a good goal against Arsenal. This is his best. (One of the best ever home kits, too. Fight me.)
No Tottenham players were as good as this goal.
5 stars: vs. Chelsea, Jan. 2015
The 5-3 win over Chelsea in 2015 was an absolutely pulsating game of football, one of my all-time favorite matches. There were 5 Spurs goals in that one, but the first one — Harry’s — was the best one. It’s hard to imagine, but there was a time when Kane did slalom past defenders to make space like he does in this example. Fantastic strike. You should watch the whole highlights video too — Mousa Dembele was incredible in this game.
Ange Postecoglou (Community — 4.0): Ange did fine with his tactics and subs, but the reason he’s getting five stars from me today is for taking the absolutely correct decision to sub out Cuti Romero early after his head injury and subsequent headed goal. It is refreshing to see a manager put the health and safety of his players above his team’s performance. It was the right call and I’m glad he did it. I’m also glad Cuti is apparently ok. Good job, Ange.
4.5 stars: vs. Juventus, ICC in Singapore, 2019
OK, it was a preseason friendly, a meaningless match vs Juventus in Singapore, part of the International Champions Cup. Tell that to Harry Kane. In the 93rd minute and the score deadlocked at 2-2, Kane picked up the ball at the halfway line, saw former Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny off his line, and lobbed a ball from the GOSH DANG HALFWAY LINE over his head and in for the winner. I still think about this goal sometimes.
Yves Bissouma (Community — 4.5): Flat-out ran the show on Sunday against Brentford. A couple of ill-timed passes that slightly shadow the performance, but Bissouma was the engine that made Big Ange’s Spurs machine run. Hard to believe this is the same guy who slumbered through all of last season — send Antonio Conte to the Hague.
James Maddison (Community — 4.5): Wonderful to watch and wore the 10 shirt like he owns it. Only two shots but assisted both Spurs goals and created six chances with his passing. We haven’t had a creative player like him since Eriksen. He is going to be super critical to Tottenham’s success this season.
4 stars: vs Dortmund at Wembley, Sept. 2017
Kane always sort of had a reputation for not turning up in European competition, but he did in this match. Great goal that starts with him outmuscling a defender, then dribbling past another one before slotting past the Dortmund keeper. He looked more like Sonny for this goal.
Cuti Romero (Community — 4.0): Another weird one to rate since he didn’t play very long, but he was there long enough to make some good defensive moves and score a goal.
Destiny Udogie (Community — 4.0): God I think I love this kid. Good on both sides of the ball. The LB position is his to lose.
3.5 stars: the falling over finish vs. Leicester, 2019
This is one of the best finishes you’ll ever see. Sonny lays the ball off for Harry, who is making the late run. He gets a bump heading into the box and starts to fall over and still — somehow— manages to poke the ball into the net while falling on his ass. Kind of a flukey goal, but definitely neat. I still don’t know how he did it. Proprioception?
Micky van de Ven (Community — 3.5): Considering he’s had, what, two trainings with the team, this was a pretty composed performance, especially after Cuti went down. Had the deflection for a Brentford goal and was involved in a penalty shout but his speed bailed Spurs out of several counterattacks. Encouraging.
Emerson Royal (Community — 3.5): A weird one to rate. That was a very nice goal, but Emerson got smoked by Rico Henry for Brentford’s second and had a few other uncharacteristic defensive lapses, especially when tucking in centrally. Not one of his better games, but also... he scored a banger?
Davinson Sanchez (Community — 3.5): Came into the match in difficult circumstances and played quite well. A couple of excellent sliding tackles and used his pace to get in front of Wissa and Mbeumo when needed. He fits much better in Ange’s system than he ever did for Jose or Conte. I don’t know if he’ll stay but we could do a lot worse.
Pape Sarr (Community — 3.0): The midfield improved immediately the moment he came on. He needs to be starting.
3 stars: every single Harry Kane penalty kick ever
The guy was automatic. Except, y’know, for England (but we won’t talk about that).
Guglielmo Vicario (Community — 3.0): Made a couple of pretty good blocks when called upon but seemed frantic and flapped at a few crosses. I’d forgotten what it’s like to have a sweeper keeper. Way too early to bin him off but he’ll need some time to settle.
Dejan Kulusevski (Community — 3.0): Doesn’t seem to be as effective playing out wide as he was as an inside forward under Conte, but it’s early. Dribbled a lot into dangerous areas but wasn’t as incisive with his passing and had only three shots, two of them blocked. Not a terrible game, but we’ve seen better from Deki.
Son Heung-Min (Community — 3.0): Heavy weighs the armband? Sonny had a couple of nice moves in and around Brentford’s box but found life tough against Brentford’s defense. Might be the opponent, but I wonder if he would be better deployed in Richarlison’s role.
Ivan Perisic (Community — 3.0): Grampa Ivan put in a couple of decent crosses into the box as a sub for Sonny but wasn’t as incisive as what we’ve seen in preseason. Still, he’s going to be an asset, if he chooses to stay.
2.5 stars: the deflected free kick vs. Aston Villa, 2014
Once upon a time, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, Harry Kane scored a deflected free kick goal to win the match at the death at Aston Villa. This is an objectively great goal, as is the incredible celebration. So why is it down at 2.5 stars? Because Harry leveraged that goal to take every single free kick afterwards for YEARS, even with Eriksen on the team, and never made another one until last season. I love that goal. I hate that goal. 2.5 stars.
Oliver Skipp (Community — 3.0): I’m not sure what he offers in a Postecoglou side that someone like Pape Sarr (who was much better) doesn’t. Did not offer much on either side of the ball and had a couple of badly misplaced passes. Did make a couple of forward runs that were not seen.
Richarlison (Community — 2.5): A disappointing first outing. Didn’t get as involved as I was expecting, though things did open up for him a little more in the second half. I am trying not to burden him with the weight of Kane’s output, and we’ve seen him do well in preseason so hopefully he just needs time to settle into a new role.
2 stars: the one he stole from Christian Eriksen vs. Stoke, 2018
I don’t care how many of his children he offers to sacrifice in remembrance of the ancient Britons to make it true, he never touched it and he knows it.
No Tottenham players were this bad.
1 star: the one he let in as a keeper vs. Asteras Tripolis, 2014
FFS Harry, that was routine!
No Tottenham players were worse than Harry Kane letting an easy free kick past him while playing as an emergency goalkeeper in the Europa League.
Tom Carroll Memorial Non-Rating