Tottenham Hotspur opened their Europa League campaign with a gentle stroll to victory.
Jose Mourinho’s side took on LASK Linz at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Thursday and won 3-0.
Goals from Lucas Moura and Son Heung-Min, as well as an own goal, ultimately gave the north Londoners a comfortable win in what looks like it could be a comfortable group. They also have to play Royal Antwerp and Ludogorets, two opponents that will not have them quaking in their boots.
Nevertheless, Spurs can only play what is in front of them and Mourinho’s men did so with aplomb, even with a fair amount of squad rotation involved.
The Portuguese played summer signing Carlos Vinicius from the start up front in place of Harry Kane and he repaid his faith with two assists, while Gareth Bale, Erik Lamela, and Joe Hart also made the starting XI.
The acquisition of Vinicius, on loan from Benfica, means that Mourinho does have the option to rotate his team and allow Kane a rest, something he hasn’t had in some months.
Indeed, he spent the entirety of last season operating without a recognised back-up in the squad.
But Michael Brown, the former Spurs midfielder, believes that the England captain will have a problem with his treatment on Thursday.
In fact, he has gone so far as to suggest Kane could have been disappointed with being left on the bench.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “Harry Kane is Harry Kane, we asked last year: ‘Ooh, is he good enough, has he been disappointing since he’s come back?’
“Now it’s like: ‘This is what Harry Kane is’. There’s no question that when he’s been injured at times, he’ll take a little bit of time to get going but now that Spurs side are getting results and doing well, he’s getting fitter and stronger.
“He’s massive for Spurs, Harry Kane. I just think they won’t really want to use him that much but it’s up to the rest of the squad if you need to bring him on. Harry Kane, in any game, will want to come on.
“He’ll want to play and that’s where the management team will be pulling him back with the amount of games. It’s one of them, how many times do you start him in the cup competitions?”
GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…
Brown has totally missed the point here.
While it may be fair to say that Kane always wants to play, he always wants to do what is best for the team.
At the end of the day, Spurs need him fit and firing in the Premier League and this was the kind of game that they could win with their eyes closed.
With all due respect to LASK, Spurs never even tried to get out of second gear.
Now it means that Kane is fit and fresh for Monday’s encounter with Burnley, just as Mourinho planned.
Brown, being a former player himself, should know better than this.