Such is their immeasurable influence on Tottenham’s ability to score goals, Son Heung-min and Harry Kane cannot afford to have a match off like they did today against Brighton.
It’s not simply the duo’s goal contributions, but their all-round play, particularly their propensity to set up teammates, oftentimes each other, that Spurs cannot afford to do without.
While Sonny had a few fleeting glimpses at goal in today’s discouraging 1-0 loss, both him and Kane were unable to create goal-scoring chances. It cost Spurs dearly, as it always does.
You can probably add Dejan Kulusevski to that list.
Tottenham’s front two, extended to three with Kulu in such a rich vein of form late, cannot afford to lay an egg, especially at this time of year.
The triumvirate, who have been dominant lately, are the primary reason Spurs moved into fourth place and, almost miraculously after Arsenal’s loss to Southampton, remain there.
It was clear from the start that nobody on Spurs starting 11 had the zip and energy they’d require to beat an organized, well-prepared Brighton side. However, Tottenham is always in with a shot of stealing a victory when the front men are firing, clearly not the case today.
Kane rolled his ankle prior to the interval, but didn’t look affected by the momentarily concerning moment. He wasn’t sharp, though. His touch was off and he never got a whiff of goal, a strange turn of events in a match you’d expect his superior talent to come to the fore.
Brighton is outstanding defensively, but Kane and Sonny, such is their recent sizzling form and superior skill, are expected to muster at least one excellent opportunity. That didn’t eventuate and Spurs were held without a home shot on target, reminiscent of Nuno’s days in charge.
Hopefully it’s a one-off poor performance, as Spurs will not secure fourth place if their front men aren’t at least creating chances. Nobody expects them to score at the prolific rate they have been — particularly Son — in recent weeks, but some sort of middle ground is essential to the team’s Champions League aspirations.