Tuesday 12 December 2017

Harry Kane: 'Tottenham finishing below Arsenal last season hurt a lot'

Tottenham striker Harry Kane
Tottenham striker Harry Kane

Charlie Eccleshare

Tottenham striker Harry Kane revealed his frustration on Wednesday at the team's capitulation at the end of last season, but insisted it was still a very positive campaign overall.

In an interview with ESPN FC, Kane admitted to feeling pain at finishing behind Arsenal for the 21st straight season and discussed manager Mauricio Pochettino's methods and his hopes of one day captaining Spurs and England.

On failing to finish above Arsenal last season, Kane said: “It hurt us a lot. Not just not finishing above Arsenal, we wanted to finish second. We did well all season, we went game-to-game with Leicester pretty much until the end of the season.

"We wanted to finish strong. If we'd finished second, everyone would have said 'ok Leicester won the league but Tottenham had a good year'. But it ended up with Leicester winning the league and Spurs having a disappointing season. But it wasn't - it was a great stride and progression.

"That put a dampener on everything. Of course we want to finish above Arsenal, we want to finish above every team. But it's more that we wanted to finish second to say 'alright, we didn't win the league but we had a great season'.

“Last year was the first year in the Premier League for a few of our players. We fought for the title for so long and we were disappointed with the way it ended. This year we've had another year of playing together - we know each other better on and off the pitch - and we have a better relationship."

Kane started to break into the Tottenham first team in 2014 under Tim Sherwood, but it was the arrival of current manager Pochettino that saw him become a regular.

Kane says of the Argentine: “A lot of the time he's calm, but he's very passionate. If he feels the problem isn't the game but is about our attitude, he'll tell us we need to work harder or play harder.

"He's emotional. And that's what we want - we all feel the same. We all want to win, we've all got the same goal.

"He's got two sides to him. He's very respectful - if you respect him, he'll show you respect back. If you work hard for him, he'll give you his time. But he's ruthless if you cross him. If you don't want to work for him and you don't want to be a team player, you won't be part of the team."

Looking ahead, Kane admits he would love to captain his club and country one day: “Hopefully Hugo [Lloris] is here as long as possible and he'll be the captain. But if he goes to another club or is injured, that's a role that I'd love to take up.

"Everyone knows how I feel about Spurs and the connection I have with the fans. I see myself as a leader and we have a lot of leaders on the field. So why not. I'd love to be captain of Tottenham and hopefully one day England as well.”

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