Will Harry Kane's return haunt Watford?

Tottenham 3 Norwich 0: When Harry Kane steps out at Vicarage Road today in Tottenham’s colours rather than the yellow of Watford, the home club will rue an opportunity that was missed 11 years ago.
Will Harry Kane's return haunt Watford?

Shortly before he joined Tottenham’s youth academy, and after famously leaving Arsenal’s schoolboy ranks, the youngster spent several weeks on trial at Watford, who decided not to take him on.

The rest, as they say, is history, but how Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores would love to have Kane playing alongside Odion Ighalo, with the two strikers currently level on 29 goals as the top scorers in English club football during 2015.

Instead they two forwards will be up against each other as Spurs challenge in the top four. Kane opened the scoring from the penalty spot after being fouled by goalkeeper Declan Rudd and then added a second with a well-drilled shot shortly before half-time to take him two clear of Teddy Sheringham’s club record of 25 Premier League goals in a calendar year, set in 1993.

Yet he could have been a Watford player. “I was there for a four to six week trial before I went to Spurs. I live in Chingford, so I’m quite local.” But it went no further. “No. I was very young at that stage. I didn’t play at Vicarage Road until I was on loan at a couple of clubs.”

Kane was not even aware he had beaten the record of Sheringham, his boyhood hero. “I didn’t know that, but it’s good to hear. I try not to think about too many records but to hear stuff like that shows I’m doing well and hopefully I can break even more records next year.”

But he is more concerned about team success. “That’s always the aim for me, it’s not about personal records but about team trophies and winning honours. If 2016 brings a trophy for club or country that would be amazing.”

This philosophy is driven by Mauricio Pochettino, who dislikes singling out individuals for praise ahead of the team, although he was pleased to see youngster Tom Carroll score his first league goal. “I was very pleased for him, he gave us energy and scored a great goal.”

But Pochettino was unhappy when four of his forwards missed a great opportunity as Erik Lamela tried to play in Kane for his hat-trick goal. “That upset me. When you are in that position you have to score. We need that killer mentality. It was 3-0 but for me it is always 0-0.

“There was a moment when we had played brilliantly but missed a pass and there was silence. I tried to shout and get more energy going in the team, and our supporters were brilliant after that because they translated that energy to the players. You need to learn and improve. I know I need to shout to the players and the stands.”

Pochettino knows Flores from their time as coaches in Spain. “I have a very good relationship with him and his staff. I admire the fantastic job they have done so far at Watford. Ighalo is very good, I know him from Spain and he’s a striker that is difficult to deal with.

“We need to be clever and do our job for Monday.”


Lloris 7; Walker 7, Alderweireld 7, Vertonghen 7, Davies 6; Dier 6, Dembele 7; Lamela 7, Eriksen 7, Alli 8; Kane 7 Subs: Carroll for Eriksen 72, Son for Alli 78, Chadli for Dembele 83


Rudd 8; Martin 5, Bennett 6, Bassong 6, Olsson 5; Redmond 6, Odjidja-Ofoe 6, Tettey 6, Mulumbu 5 , Brady 6; Jerome 5.


Howson for Mulumbu 72, Dorrans for Odjidja-Ofoe 72, Mbokani for Brady 79


M Jones

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox