Sadly Kane and Tottenham‘s faint hopes went up in smoke after a dreadful run of one point from four games. They have gone from outsiders for the title to battling for a top-four spot.
However, Kane can still be a king-maker as Spurs visit both title contenders in the run-in, with the trip to Liverpool today and then the game at Manchester City on 20 April.
Jurgen Klopp does not need telling what damage Kane can do. He saw it first-hand in Liverpool’s 4-1 defeat at Wembley in October 2017 and then at Anfield last Februray as the England captain missed one penalty and scored another in a thrilling 2-2 draw.
Liverpool’s German manager is a big admirer of the striker, describing him as ‘world class’. He just hopes he does not see Kane at his devastating best this afternoon.
“Harry Kane, what a striker,” enthuses Klopp. “I really like him, he’s just a fantastic player. That is the truth but hopefully you won’t see why I like him.
“I respect how he came up – going out on loan. His career is fantastic. Going on loan, there is the one picture of him and Jamie Vardy sat together on the bench for Leicester. I wouldn’t want to be the coach at that moment!
“It’s not like he came up at 18 years old as a talent. He had to do it the hard way and he had to improve day-by-day.
“It’s difficult to play against him. One player alone against Harry Kane is really difficult. It’s like always with world class strikers, you have to avoid the passes into him.
“But if you defend them, Christian Eriksen shoots from 50 yards, Dele Alli is in the box and makes a little header or Son gets in behind. It’s not just about Kane, but Harry is a really good striker.”
As the title race enters the home straight, things will heat up as the number of games continues to fall. Margins could be tight and as such, goal difference could still be a factor.
City hold the advantage on that score and they don’t need reminding just how important that could be, given the events of 13 May 2012 and Sergio Aguero’s 94th minute winner over QPR, as they finished level on points with Manchester United, but ahead on goal difference.
However, Klopp knows that he cannot let that influence his thinking or how he sets his team up.
“I don’t tell the boys to go out there and score six,” he says. “It is not an obvious thing you go for because it is disrespectful. You score when you score.
“People may say when we play Huddersfield, for example, we can improve our goal difference. But it is a case of score the first goal, then the second.
“If the boys are doing the right things, then they don’t stop. That is how it is. You never stop.
“We cannot go for it but we know it can be a decisive thing.
“Hopefully we will not have to change our plans. Maybe in the last game against Wolves we will have to win by three or four goals. If we have to do that, then we will try.”