‘We are not able to build enough’ – Tottenham boss plays down Harry Kane issues

Spurs have scored just once from open play in five games this season.

Nuno Espirito Santo does not think Harry Kane’s problems are down to the team not creating enough (David Davies/PA)
Nuno Espirito Santo does not think Harry Kane’s problems are down to the team not creating enough (David Davies/PA)

Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo insists Harry Kane’s struggles this season are to do with the team.

The England captain is yet to find his form after being embroiled in a summer transfer saga where he was intent on joining Manchester City.

As a result he returned late to pre-season training, missed the opening game of the season and has looked a shadow of the player that won the Premier League Golden Boot and Playmaker awards last term.

He has yet to score in four Premier League games, has had fewer touches in the opposition box than Liverpool defender Joel Matip and recently went through his first ever 90 minutes without having a shot in the 3-0 loss at Crystal Palace on September 11.

The 28-year-old has not been helped by Spurs’ considerable lack of attacking threat as their XG (expected goals ratio) is the lowest in the division, scoring just once from open play in five games.

Nuno, who returns to Molineux for the second time in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup third-round clash with Wolves, said that Kane was not the problem.

“The realisation that we are not able to build enough situations is the problem that we have,” the Portuguese said.

“All individual situations that happen with the players – touches, actions – are a product of the team.

“At the same time we’ve got to analyse and we look at the problems we have in defence.

“It’s the same approach in terms of analysing the situation. It has to do with the team. Our main focus must always be the team.”

It was a rosy start to the season for Spurs as, despite the Kane saga rumbling on in the background, they won their opening three league games and Nuno was named August’s manager of the month.

A frenetic international break, with a number of players affected by injury or quarantine issues, was followed by back-to-back 3-0 defeats, which have curbed the positivity.

Nuno believes hard work is the key to getting back on track.

“We are on it. We are working hard. We are aware that we have problems we have to improve on,” he said.

“The energy is exactly the same. Of course when things are well, you smile, you’re happy. This is life. But my energy? It’s always the same.

“On Sunday (against Chelsea) we had fitness problems because naturally players that are away, that was our decision to put them to play, they were in Croatia, players returning from injuries with not too much training.

“If you want to be accurate in your analysis, it’s not enough to do with the physicality of the team. It has to do with individual aspects. How do we solve that?

“We don’t have too much time on the training ground. Let’s use the competition and let’s manage our squad properly.”

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