Hodgson admits Tottenham are ‘pretty good’ but denies claim they are better off without Harry Kane

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson with Harry Kane in 2020

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson with Harry Kane in 2020

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has admitted that Tottenham Hotspur are ‘pretty good’ but does not believe they are better without Harry Kane. 

The Eagles are set to face Spurs at Selhurst Park on Saturday, who have won five and drawn two of their seven Premier League games so far, leaving them top of the table.

Some pundits have, predictably, begun talking about Tottenham as potential title contenders. Ange Postecoglou has undoubtedly had a massively positive impact on the London club, with a much more forward-thinking style to Spurs’ play this term.

Questions were raised over whether Tottenham would have enough quality to compete for the top four after their record goal scorer Kane signed for Bayern Munich in August.

Postecoglou has completely destroyed that assumption, however. There is obviously a long way to go in the campaign, though, and Hodgson will hope that Crystal Palace will be the first team to beat Tottenham this weekend.

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Hodgson: Kane would have ’embraced’ Angeball

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Hodgson suggested that despite Tottenham’s excellent form so far this season, they are not better off without they former talisman Kane.

The 76-year-old Eagles coach, who lost his own former talisman when Wilfried Zaha signed for Turkish side Galatasaray this summer, said: “No. With the respect I have for Harry Kane and knowing the absolute quality and what that man’s achieved in football, I’m not certain I can subscribe to a theory where we’ve lost a player of his quality but now we’re better. I’m not sure about that.

“I mean they’re pretty good at the moment without him, but I would probably say they would have been even better still with him, so I don’t subscribe to that particularly.

“I don’t doubt for one minute that with the way Ange has introduced his philosophy to the players and got them playing the way he thinks that they should play, I don’t have any doubts that Harry Kane would have embraced that, would have fitted in very, very well.”

Crystal Palace have got off to a typically solid start to the 2023/24 campaign, winning three, drawing three and losing three of their nine matches so far. They currently sit in 12th place in the Premier League table.

The Eagles have scored just seven goals in those matches, however – the joint-second-least in the division – and Hodgson will no doubt be hoping that his team can score a few more against Tottenham this weekend. Given Spurs’ recent form, though, that may be a difficult task.

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