Not quite the start to 2015 that Jose Mourinho had hoped for as he watched in horror as his title hopes took a major dent. With Manchester City firmly on their tail, Chelsea travelled across London to face Tottenham, a side who have quietly been working away to build up some much needed form and momentum. Mauricio Pochettino’s side have been on a good run of late and were hoping to find some of the Chelsea players nursing hangovers from their New Year’s eve celebrations. What they did find was a Chelsea team looked vulnerbale and there for the beating despite taking an eighteen minute lead. But Spurs rallied well and in the end the game turned into a whitewash as Tottenham won by 5 goals to 3. It was Mourinho’s heaviest defeat as Chelsea boss in either of the two periods he has been in charge. The forced substitution of Ryan Mason (due to injury) only fourteen minutes into the game for Moussa Dembele may have actually worked for Spurs. Dembele sat back more than Mason which allowed Erikson, Rose, Chaldi and Kane to attack with more freedom. Chaldi like Kane has been a revelation this season and was instrumental in setting up chance after chance for his teammates.
None of Mourinho’s men covered themselves in glory unlike Spurs hottest new prospect Harry Kane who continues to impress. It was yet another match winning perfromance from the 21 year old with a stunning brace. Spurs fans were rightly concerned in the summer at the lack of striking options at the club. Emmanuel Adebeyor is too often caught up in his own drama to be reliable whilst the shot shy Spaniard Roberto Soldado has still to show the waiting public exactly why Spurs splash £26million for his services. But they need not have worry because in their youth ranks was a genuine gem. Kane has stepped up under Pochettino to fill the void and has demonstrated maturity well beyond his years handling the pressure of playing in these types of matches as if it was second nature. With sixteen goals in all competitions so far this season, Kane has a growing list of admirers including current England boss Roy Hodgson.
It is becoming harder and harder for Hodgson to ignore the player especially given his mantra about picking players by form and not by reputation. In truth, its a nice problem to have as Hodgson surveys the opions before their next European qualifying match in March. The debate over who should partner Wayne Rooney up front rages on with several candidates in the running. Liverpools Daniel Sturridge is the preferred option however recent injuries have limited his playing time. Similar issues with Arsenal duo Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott have forced Hodgson to explore other options. West Ham’s Andy Carroll is making a push for a recall after some stellar performances but its Kane who has been in more consistant form this season so should get the nod. Already part of Gareth Southgates Under 21 side, Kane is focused on maintaining a regular starting spot for Tottenham but would welcome a call up to the full international team.
Spurs now find themselves in fifth place whereas Chelsea now drop to second behind Manchester City. Its Chelsea recent away form that has resulted in the change in positions as Mourinhos men let an eight point lead slip. One win in their last five away matches in unacceptable for a title winning side and Mourinho knows that he needs to rectify the problem quickly to avoid slipping further down the table. For Spurs and Kane the only way is up and the manner in which they brushed aside Chelsea will give them a confidence going into their next set of fixtures.