Spurs 3-3 West Ham
- Goals: Son Heung-min (£9.3m), Harry Kane x2 (£10.7m) | Fabian Balbuena (£4.4m), Manuel Lanzini (£6.4m)
- Own goals: Davinson Sánchez (£5.4m)
- Assists: Kane, Son, Sergio Reguilón (£5.5m) | Aaron Cresswell (£4.9m), Vladimir Coufal (£4.5m)
- Bonus points: Kane x3, Son x2, Cresswell x1
The New Kane
Harry Kane (£10.7m) is back… just not as we know it. Fantasy Premier League managers have been waiting for this day for some time and many of them have finally got what they wanted: a Kane capable of exploding nearly every week.
Against West Ham, the Spurs forward delivered once more, registering another three attacking returns, posting a third double-figure haul in five matches and now heads into Gameweek 6 as the top-scoring Fantasy asset with 60 points.
That huge haul is made up of five goals and seven assists, which means Kane has already matched his personal-best total for assists in Premier League campaign, putting up seven in the 2016/17 and 2014/15 campaigns respectively.
A big reason for the player’s resurgence this season is that Jose Mourinho has finally found a way of building the Spurs team around Kane’s altered role in recent years.
Rather than trying to force him back into the more traditional number nine we once knew, Mourinho is making the most of Kane dropping into midfield. However, the premium forward is not just sitting deep, as we often saw over the last few years. In 2020/21, his success has come from balancing both areas of his game, knowing the right moments to drop and when to press forward to attack space.
Kane now knows the best time to drop into midfield is when space is opened up by the opposition and, as we saw for Spurs’ opening goal on Sunday, this is often combined with well-timed runs by Son Heung-min (£9.3m) on the left and whoever is occupying the right-hand flank.
Spurs’ third goal against West Ham was a classic example of Kane knowing when to terrorise defences, peeling off the back of an exposed Angelo Ogbonna (£4.9m) to head beyond Lukasz Fabiański (£5.0m) from Sergio Reguilón‘s (£5.5m) cross.
MOVE WITH THE CROWD
It would appear that the more seasoned managers are starting to cotton onto Kane’s Fantasy credentials a lot sooner than the rest of the world – worth knowing for anyone trying to scythe their way up the overall rankings, or avoiding the red-arrowed swing of an effective ownership axe.
While Son sits in 46.8% of teams, second only to Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.7m), only 32% own Kane at this point in time. That’s despite the Spurs man registering 17 more points than Everton’s leading forward.
Meanwhile, as you can see from LiveFPL.net’s captaincy analysis for Gameweek 5, Son was the most popular skipper with a 17.9% share, while Kane had to make do with the second-highest backing (16.9%).
However, when we consider the managers who came into Gameweek 5 as the top 10,000, Kane’s command of the armband was much more significant.
47.6% of these bosses captained the premium forward, compared to just 20.8% backing for Mohamed Salah (£12.3m) and 16.4% for Son. Such figures ensued Kane had the highest effective ownership among the top 10k for Gameweek 5 (118.4%), a mantle he may well hold onto for Gameweek 6 as the game’s top-scoring player and a trip to Burnley.
West Ham defence
It must be said that Kane and his team-mates were certainly helped by some poor defending in Gameweek 5, although that was largely only during the first 20 minutes.
During this period, the Hammers were all over the place at the back. Having switched to a back-five, there was no communication in the opening exchanges and it was often unclear who was picking up which attackers.
That led to very little pressure on the ball, allowing for more time for Kane, Son and Reguilón to create the three chances that led to goals.
While that period might have encouraged those looking at Manchester City and Liverpool assets for the Gameweek 6 and 7 captaincy respectively, it is interesting to note that West Ham were much harder to break down after slipping into the initial 3-0 deficit.
They have weathered the storm of their difficult fixture run since the beginning of the campaign much better than expected, especially in comparison to the rest of the Premier League.
Between Gameweeks 1 and 4, their expected goals conceded (xGC) score was just 3.71 having faced Newcastle, Arsenal, Wolves and Leicester. That was the fourth-best in the Premier League over that period and the second-lowest of any team that had played four matches.
Even after conceding three goals at Spurs, their xGC of 5.40 was still in the division’s top three prior to Monday evening’s matches, although of the teams that played last night, only Burnley boasted a better score anyway.
Aaron Cresswell (£4.9m) is sure to end up on more and more Fantasy radars as West Ham’s fixture swing approaches in Gameweek 8. Between then and 13, David Moyes’ men face Fulham (home), Sheffield United (away), Aston Villa (home) and Leeds (home).
And against Wolves, Leicester and Spurs, Cresswell has registered a clean sheet and three assists, averaging nine points per game in that time.
The New Sergio
Reguilón is slowly emerging as the eye-catching Spurs defender, grabbing an assist in his second successive start at left-back, while the more expensive Matt Doherty (£5.8m) has missed out on each of the last two matches to Serge Aurier (£5.2m).
Reguilón has been a persistent creator of chances in his two Premier League outings thus far. Despite playing just 180 minutes compared to the rest of the team, his five key passes this season is the most of any Spurs defender and behind only Son (16) and Kane (13).
However, clean sheets continue to prove elusive for Mourinho’s men as they managed to surrender a 3-0 lead in the last 10 minutes of Sunday’s London derby.
It was a just reward for West Ham, who had proved persistent, especially during the second half and finished the game with more shots (13 to 11) and more shots in the box (10 to five) than their hosts.
It meant that Spurs are still without a clean sheet since Gameweek 37+ of last season and have let in eight goals since then, 1.6 per game.
Even though it looked settled at first, the centre-back pairing under Mourinho remains complicated for Fantasy managers and could be the only thing that might temper further investment in Reguilón.
Eric Dier (£5.0m) missed out for the first time with a hamstring injury, allowing Toby Alderweireld (£5.4m) to make his first start since Gameweek 1, this time alongside Davinson Sánchez (£5.4m). That was actually the centre-back pairing used the last time Spurs kept a clean sheet in the Premier League, although it did not work out on Sunday, with the Colombian netting an own goal.
Meanwhile, after five matches, Spurs’ xGC of 7.18 remains inside the bottom seven so far this season. However, they do face Burnley (away), Brighton (home) and West Brom (home) before Gameweek 8.
Time to Bale?
After much fanfare, Gareth Bale (£9.5m) has finally made a reappearance in the Spurs team, this time as a 72nd-minute replacement for Steven Bergwijn (£7.1m).
The incredible performance of Son so far this season has largely pushed the Real Madrid man to the periphery of the Fantasy radar but managers would do well to keep an eye on him in the coming weeks.
As the South Korean’s price rapidly increases in line with Bale’s (now £9.3m to £9.5m), the latter may find himself less overlooked in the interest of value.
And if his 18-minute spell against West Ham is anything to go by, the Welshman is sure to find himself in the goals this season.
Stationed on the right-hand side of Spurs’ attacking midfield, Bale linked up well with Kane and was played through for what looked a certain goal in the closing stages.
We will also have to keep an eye on what impact Bale has on the key assets around him and whether or not he might detract from the amount of possession Son sees. Against West Ham, the two players had the same minutes per touch figure of 1.6.
Finally, an update on Michail Antonio (£6.3m), whose 76th-minute substitution ensured he was not involved in any of West Ham’s comeback goals.
It was his first blank away from home this season and the forward can certainly consider himself unfortunate to have registered just one point, as he had more touches in the penalty box than any other player on the pitch (10) and was joint top for shots in the box too.
Moyes revealed after the game that Antonio had a tight hamstring and that the substitution was largely precautionary.
“Michail had a tight hamstring and I didn’t want to take any chances at that time so I changed it.” – David Moyes
While Antonio owners will have to wait on the next press conference before making a final decision, his chances of a start up-front were still boosted by the latest news on Sebastien Haller (£6.2m), West Ham’s only other senior recognised striker, who missed the Spurs game with a knock.
“We were pretty short, Seb Haller picked up an injury in training yesterday.” – David Moyes
Tottenham Hotspur XI (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Reguilón, Sánchez, Alderweireld, Aurier; Højbjerg, Sissoko; Son (Moura 80′), Ndombèlé (Winks 73′), Bergwijn (Bale 72′); Kane.
West Ham United XI (5-4-1): Fabiański; Masuaku (Snodgrass 90′), Cresswell, Ogbonna, Balbuena, Coufal; Fornals (Lanzini 77′), Rice, Souček, Bowen; Antonio (Yarmolenko 77′).
LESSONS LEARNED FROM FPL GAMEWEEK 5
- Everton 2-2 Liverpool
- Chelsea 3-3 Southampton
- Manchester City 1-0 Arsenal
- Newcastle United 1-4 Manchester United
- Sheffield United 1-1 Fulham
- Crystal Palace 1-1 Brighton and Hove Albion
- Tottenham Hotspur 3-3 West Ham United
- Leicester City 0-1 Aston Villa
- West Bromwich Albion 0-0 Burnley
- Leeds United 0-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
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