Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger were on pundit duty as Tottenham played Liverpool in the final. You’d understand if Jose Mourinho didn’t get along very well with Wenger, but we are not writing this to talk about their feud. This is about our Harry Kane and the final. Jose Mourinho lashed out at Kane for underwhelming in the final.
Mourinho is a man who doesn’t mince his words. Speaking after Tottenham’s 2-0 loss to Liverpool in the Champions League final, he lashed out at Kane. Lucas Moura had scored a scintillating hat-trick against Ajax to get Spurs in the final but was then benched in favour of the returning Harry Kane.
Kane was injured on 9 April in the first leg of Tottenham’s quarter-final against City. Spurs negotiated the second leg with City and the two semis against Ajax without him. Before the final in Madrid on June 1, Harry Kane spelled the beans on his return to fitness.
Mourinho criticizes Kane amidst Pochettino’s defence of his team selection
Everyone from London to Madrid assumed that Kane would start if he was fit and so it turned out. Mauricio Pochettino chose to stick to the best striker at Tottenham, even with his lack of match fitness following injury. Needless to remind, Harry Kane was anonymous for most of the final as Spurs ended the game without scoring a single goal.
“They couldn’t link the play. Harry Kane was hidden all the time. Normally he drops back, comes in between the lines. Normally he’s the link, building play.”
-Jose Mourinho via HITC
So, in proper Jose fashion, Mourinho lashed out at Kane for not really showing up in the final. Can we really blame the Spurs talisman? He was returning from an injury and maybe this final just wasn’t meant to be for Spurs.
We can talk all day about the “what if” questions surrounding Tottenham’s team selection but we must understand that Pochettino played Kane with the player’s ability in mind. It’s known to everyone that he’s one of the finest goalscorers and had he found his shooting boots in the final- we’d be having an entirely different conversation right now. Maybe next season!