BEVERLY HILLS, January 29, (THEWILL) – Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur were counting on another English Premier League victory when they clashed with defending champions Liverpool on Thursday to keep their climb up the league table on course. Two consecutive losses, first against Liverpool and Leicester in December after a draw against Crystal Palace had derailed their leadership of the table.
However, they were unable to build upon their 3-1 build-up league victory against Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United and fell at home to a Liverpool side that had rediscovered their scoring boots by a similar scoreline.
As discomforting to their title aspirations as that defeat was, nothing made it more debilitating than the injury fears it evoked when their frighteningly clinical striker Harry Kane limped off in pain. Many Spurs fans must have been forlorn when Mourinho’s initial prognosis sounded unmistakably dire with Kane’s swollen ankles.
Relief, then, came with the optimistic hope that Kane’s latest injuries were not as serious as previous ones suffered by the Tottenham Hotspur striker. Spurs will now wait in hopeful positivity for the swelling to subside on both ankles, before he undergoes scans to determine the true extent of damage.
In the best case scenario, the irreplaceable Kane may be out for as little as a fortnight, with manager Jose Mourinho having predicted a “few weeks”. Kane is understood to be in far less pain than he suffered in damaging ankle ligaments previously. A lower grade of injury has been predicted this time, with the belief that he could make a swift return to action for the north London club.
There is not much to Spurs this season if Kane’s contribution is subtracted from their tally. A fully-fit Kane, and the result at Anfield could have been different. But, he had borne the weight of the club so heavily that the slide from the top of the League is coinciding with his gradual decline in form. It is only imaginable what the fate of the club will be now in his absence.
However, Mourinho remained upbeat about their chances. Directly admitting Kane’s importance, the Portuguese said, it was unlike last season when most of their attacking line was sidelined by injuries: “Because we have Carlos Vinicius, Steven Bergwijn, Lucas Moura, Erik Lamela and Gareth Bale. It’s a different situation because we have attacking players.”
He believes they have what it takes to progress and return to the summit. Yet, with a thoroughly congested fixture calendar, Kane’s two-week absence is going to be chock-full of enticing ties including league matches against Brighton Hove & Albion, Chelsea, West Bromwich Albion and the FA Cup fifth round tie away to Everton. He could also probably be missing from a league fixture at Manchester City.
The players Mourinho mentioned will have their hands full filling in the big shoes of Kane to keep their title-winning project going. Mourinho will hope they can live up to that high expectation while praying that they only have a fortnight to manage without the clinical Kane in the squad to salvage their season.