Soccer

Peter Crouch highlights encouraging Harry Kane change after Jose Mourinho’s mistake

In pictures: Tottenham v Crystal Palace

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Former Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool striker Peter Crouch believes Harry Kane has “definitely been better” since Antonio Conte became Spurs manager. The England captain scored in consecutive matches for the first time since last season, after netting the opening goal in Tottenham’s 3-0 home victory against Crystal Palace.

Kane had only contributed one goal and one assist in nine Premier League matches before the former Chelsea and Inter Milan manager took up the reigns.

After initially struggling to find his form under Conte, Kane is beginning to respond well to the Italian’s new tactics and approach.

His first time strike against Crystal Palace’s side follows his fine finish against Liverpool, during the north Londoners’ 2-2 draw against Jurgen Klopp’s side.

And former Spurs and England striker Crouch believes Kane’s more forward-thinking approach under Conte is behind his recent good form.

“It’s definitely been better since Conte’s been in and I just want to highlight Harry Kane playing higher,” Crouch said after the match.

“I think it helps, as good as he is dropping deep, I think if you play Harry Kane high you give Ndombele the chance to play from deep.

“He can pick his pass look to feed Kane which is where you want him.

“What you want is Harry Kane in the box, being an attacking threat.”

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Both of Kane’s goals against Palace and Liverpool arose from the Tottenham No.10 hanging off the shoulder of the last defender.

Against Klopp’s men, he quickly reshuffled his feet and peeled off Ibrahima Konate before firing low and across goal.

He also opened the scoring against Palace by ghosting beyond the last defender and latching onto Lucas Moura’s inch-perfect through ball and firing first time into the back of the net.

Under Jose Mourinho, Kane would have likely been the player feeding those passes onto the likes of Son Heung-Min and Lucas, instead of gobbling up the opportunities himself.

Kane’s outstanding range of passing and intelligent movement meant the former Chelsea and Manchester United manager encouraged Kane to drop deeper, instead of stay on the last defender.

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While this tactical instruction resulted in the 28-year-old topping the Premier League assist charts as well as winning the golden boot last season, many were demanding the England hitman to stay closer to the goal.

However, while Conte appears to have instructed Kane to get himself into more goalscoring positions, Kane demonstrated his outstanding passing abilities in Spurs’ second goal against Palace.

He cut inside and spread the ball to Emerson Royal on the right-hand side, who proceeded to float a wonderful cross for Lucas Moura to charge in and head into the back of the net.

Moura then turned provider in the second half by whipping a venomous cross for Son to tap home the third goal of the game.

Tottenham’s victory over the Eagles means they have moved into fifth position, where they are only five points behind fourth placed Arsenal.

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