Mauricio Pochettino insists he has no problems with Harry Kane’s England call-up despite the striker playing only once in seven weeks.
Kane was handed a surprise start at the Emirates Stadium and justified his manager’s faith as his second-half penalty secured Tottenham a valuable 1-1 draw.
The 23-year-old certainly showed signs of rust and came off after 72 minutes but his contribution was enough to earn selection in Gareth Southgate’s England squad, which was announced on Sunday night.
England play Scotland in a World Cup qualifier on Friday before hosting a friendly against Spain four days later.
“Can he be in the England squad? I think yes,” Pochettino said after the match. “Now the doctor is assessing him but I think it is not a problem.”
It was Kane’s fifth goal in as many games against the Gunners and helped Spurs maintain their unbeaten run in the Premier League after Kevin Wimmer’s own-goal had earlier put the home side ahead.
Kane’s comeback is welcome news for Southgate but the interim England boss was unable to pick Dele Alli, who twisted his knee in training on Saturday.
Kyle Walker also limped off against Arsenal but the full-back’s problem was not considered serious as he made it into the England squad along with team-mates Eric Dier and Danny Rose.
Pochettino agreed Kane’s presence alone gave his side an “emotional lift” but the striker’s selection was not the only surprise as Tottenham started in an unfamiliar 3-4-2-1 formation.
It was a bold move that just about paid off for Spurs, who recovered their assurance at the back after a shaky display against Bayer Leverkusen and created more chances going forward.
They are still without a win in seven matches but should be better placed after the international break if, as expected, Kane, Toby Alderweireld and Erik Lamela all complete recoveries from injury.
“Today you need to be flexible,” Pochettino said of his new system. “In the last month we’ve had some small problems and we always need to adapt our system and our game.
“Today we worked a lot to try to find better solutions in the offensive area and tried to play thinking about the opposite goal, higher up with two strikers and one offensive player in behind to create chances and win the game.”