hat’s the perfect way for Harry Kane to become Tottenham’s record goalscorer? It has to be a penalty, against Arsenal, in injury time, to win the north London derby on Sunday. A penalty he has won by ‘being clever’. There was contact when Gabriel Magalhães nudged him ever so slightly in the back. He had every right to go down ,Craig Pawson is surrounded, forced into that impossible position of trying to look authoritative while tip-toeing backwards to evade Granit Xhaka screaming in his face. By this time, William Saliba has taken a trowel to the penalty spot. Paul Tierney looks at his monitor in Stockley Park. Check complete. Peter Walton sits in his cupboard agreeing it was the right decision. AFTV implodes Thank goodness Emi Martínez left Arsenal almost two and a half years ago or it would be a further 25 minutes before Kane steadies himself, takes a few steps back, stutters his feet, runs up and plants the ball high to Aaron Ramsdale’s outstretched right hand. The net ripples. Martin Tyler has something perfect ready to go. Peter Drury bellows “Cosmic Chasmic Kane” for the international audience,
The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium erupts. It’s 2-1. Two goals for Kane, who has exorcised the ghosts of Qatar, dented his rivals’ title ambitions, lifted Spurs into the top four and overtaken Jimmy Greaves as the club’s record goalscorer.
A less biased forecaster might suggest the above is optimistic at best. Arsenal are playing with a joyous fluidity Spurs fans can only dream of at the moment. Regardless of how this season pans out, Mikel Arteta has proved many wrong. Credit to those who trusted the process, who kept faith during his Blair Witch lightbulb tribute – I didn’t.
When the only criticism is that you jump around a little bit too much (as opposed to Klopp … no; Pep … no; Conte, Simeone – you get the idea) you’re probably winning. Five points clear at the top of the Premier League, but a manager who doesn’t treat the dotted lines of the technical area like an electric fence seems a reasonable trade-off.