Avoiding burnout of boy wonder is boss’ biggest Spurs test

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Harry Kane was once a Europa League-only selection for Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham this season, but those days seem like ancient history now the boy wonder from Walthamstow is single-handedly keeping the Lilywhites’ bid for Champions League football on track.

The turnaround in Kane’s fortunes under the Argentine has become so stark that the former Southampton manager is now worried that his young goal getter will suffer burnout before too long.

Having started nothing but European and Capital One Cup games until November 6, Kane has failed to take the field just once in all competitions since being handed his first Premier League start against Stoke on November 9.

Although it’s widely believed that Spurs are a wholly fitter outfit under Pochettino, even the most healthy of players fatigue eventually and Kane is in danger of hitting a wall before long if he continues to feature so heavily at White Hart Lane.

The problem is that without their England U21 international, the 13/2 top-four hopefuls would be a far longer price for Champions League qualification than they currently are.

Spurs have lost just three times since Kane was promoted to the role of head striker and have won six of the 11 top-flight games he has started since that bow against the Potters.

With Roberto Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor combining for a woeful three league goals between them, Pochettino has little choice but to ride the Kane wave far longer in order to cling to his rivals’ top-four coattails.

The fixtures come thick and fast in north London, with an unwanted replay against Burnley in the FA Cup and a two-legged Capital One Cup semi-final with Sheffield United posing the 42-year-old tactician increased selection problems.

One way of lightening the load on Kane is obviously through the transfer market, and with Spurs no strangers to a January signing, don’t be surprised if the cavalry arrives this month.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.