Harry Kane’s first outing as captain of Tottenham failed to inspire Spurs in an insipid 0-0 draw at Burnley.
A week which began with Kane scoring for England with only his third touch, ended in frustration as Tottenham failed to shine in the sun at Turf Moor.
It was a result which did little for either side – Sean Dyche’s Clarets would have escaped the bottom three had they won, while for Spurs their lingering hopes of a top-four spot look to have evaporated.
At 21, Kane was the youngest player to captain a side in the Premier League this season, but his team-mates did precious little to create any openings for a player who has become such a talisman for English football that he was in demand from the home fans to sign autographs before kick-off.
Kane took over the armband from keeper Hugo Lloris, who was out with a knee injury, and Michel Vorm took over in goal.
Three of Spurs’ four England players who appeared against Italy started the match, though not England’s goal-scorer Andros Townsend, who was on the bench.
Ryan Mason, one of the Spurs quartet who did play in Turin, nearly gifted Burnley a goal five minutes into the game. Mason’s slip was seized upon by Danny Ings, who bore down on goal but from the penalty spot poked the ball straight at Vorm – a woeful finish.
Burnley, not for the first time this season, were unchanged from their previous outing and Sam Vokes was the next to be wasteful after Ashley Barnes had volleyed a cross into a crowded box. The striker scuffed his connection with the ball and a grateful Spurs defence were once more able to hack clear.
Tottenham found it difficult to find a rhythm and were restricted to shots from the edge of the area. Nacer Chadli and Christian Eriksen both brought low saves out of Tom Heaton without ever really testing the Burnley keeper, then when Kane did line one up from 20 yards out on the right he managed to drag it well wide of the target.
George Boyd sent a decent effort bouncing a yard past the post before Ings, from distance, nearly made up for his earlier miss by sending a curling shot towards the far top corner only to see Vorm tip it over.
Kyle Walker, another of that England quartet, looked to be struggling at the end of the first half and he lasted just 47 seconds of the second before being replaced by Ben Davies.
The match was crying out for some excitement but the second half followed the same pattern as the first: low on quality with the chances strictly limited.
Eriksen did manage to contrive himself some space, only to fire over, before Paulinho burst forward and from a promising position scuffed his shot embarrassingly wide. “It’s just like watching Brazil,” sang the Burnley fans.
Kane had endured a frustrating afternoon but he finally produced a piece of sublime skill to nutmeg Ben Mee, however his pull-back to the edge of the box missed everybody, and it was a case of ’as you were’ again.
Neither side deserved to win this one although Burnley came within a whisker in injury time when Boyd got his head on to a cross, but – with Spurs hearts in mouths – the ball bounced wide.