When Harry Kane is missing, Tottenham play like a team without a brain. Everything feels more coherent when he is on the pitch. Son Heung-min comes alive on the left wing, darting into space, hunting opportunities and giving defenders nightmares. Everyone grows in stature and, with a crisis brewing in the background, it was easy to see why José Mourinho decided to gamble on Kane’s fitness against West Brom, bringing him back less than a fortnight after the England captain injured both ankles against Liverpool.
In truth there is little to learn in victory against a side as bad as Sam Allardyce’s West Brom, who look doomed to relegation already. But this much is clear: if Spurs are to qualify for the Champions League, they need Kane to stay fit. They had toiled in his absence, suffering three consecutive defeats, and were inspired when he returned. Inevitably it was Kane who displayed the composure to defeat West Brom, coolly opening the scoring before Son clinched the points, and there were even signs of more ambition from Mourinho, whose caution has been holding Spurs back.