The Spurs manager was naturally asked about the 21-year-old’s chances of an England call-up, and whether Roy Hodgson – who was at Loftus Road yesterday to see Kane brilliantly strike twice against QPR – had been in contact about the striker. “No,” Pochettino said with a smile. “Not yet.”
It must surely be a matter of time, because Kane was again magnificent, again hitting the net, and again the match-winner. He was not, however, the only difference between the teams in this match. QPR’s capacity for calamitous defending was just as crucial, as were Craig Pawson’s series of poor penalty calls.
Chris Ramsey’s side actually put in another fine overall performance but were let down by bad marking for Kane’s opening goal, some big missed chances and three big decisions.
Just as they can feel they were good value for at least point, QPR can also feel aggrieved at not getting at least one penalty. Both Mauricio Isla and Bobby Zamora were fouled in the box at different points, and there seemed a clear handball from Nabil Bentaleb.
Rio Ferdinand was back in the QPR line-up Ramsey said he was “very disappointed” that all of the calls went against his side, adding: “Sometimes there are decisions that are fine lines but when you’re fighting for every point, like we are, you have to try grab on to everything you can.” Kane is certainly doing that, and may yet grab that England call-up. He showed fine opportunism for both goals. With the first, after 34 minutes, he was quickest to react to an in-swinging Andros Townsend free-kick. Kane nodded it home while the QPR defence remained stationary and Rob Green committed himself. It may have been offside, but rescued an initially off-colour Tottenham.
For the second, after 69 minutes, Kane took advantage of QPR’s ludicrously high line to round Green and easily finish.
Pochettino puffed his cheeks out at trying to find new words to describe the striker. He declared it a “fantastic performance” and, more intriguingly, explained that Kane had “changed my opinion” about the player. “He’s young, he can improve.”
Kyle Walker and Charlie Austin clash The quantum leap Kane has made this season is already impressive. He has scored 16 League goals and there are a few other stats that further state the case: Kane has scored more times than the entire Aston Villa team. This was also the sixth consecutive away game in which he had scored and he has struck against all five of the other ondon sides in the Premier League.
For QPR, Charlie Austin smashed the cross bar from a presentable first-half chance and Hugo Lloris made a number of fine saves. Eventually, Sandro slid a shot past the French goalkeeper to make it 2-1 and a bit more tense late on, but it was not enough.
Harry Kane heads Spurs into the lead So, Ramsey was again left talking about a creditable Rangers performance. “I think they did well again and I know you’re going to say I’m saying it every week but, if you’re a football person, you’ll see players applying themselves very well.
“You need that bit of fortune to go your way. Teams like Tottenham, they do have that little bit of quality, that even if they’re not playing well, they’ll pull something out of the bag.”
Here, it was Kane, and he showed plenty of quality. Ramsey worked with the young striker when he was at Tottenham, and was naturally asked about facing him, and the prospects of an England call-up. He showed a lot of respect, and some gallows humour.
Eriksen hit the post in the second half “Yeah, I’d pick him for England,” said Ramsey, “but, the way I’m going now, I don’t think I’m going to be in that position!” Kane is now well in position for that international call-up.
QPR: (4-4-2) Green; Onuoha, Ferdinand, Caulker, Yun; Isla (Hoilett, 69), Henry (Grego-Cox, 88), Sandro (Wright-Phillips, 90), Phillips; Austin, Zamora
Tottenham Hotspur: (4-2-3-1) Lloris; Walker, Dier, Vertonghen, Davies; Mason, Bentaleb; Townsend (Dembélé, 63), Eriksen (Stambouli, 88), Chadli (Lamela, 79); Kane
Referee: Craig Pawson.
Man of the match: Kane (Tottenham)
Match rating: 7/10