LONDON (AFP) – Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino says he is “in love” with Harry Kane after the red-hot forward took his tally to six goals in four games.
Kane’s brace helped Spurs secure a 3-2 win at West Ham United that helped ensure they did not risk losing further ground on early Premier League pacesetters Manchester City and Manchester United.
And Pochettino said the forward’s display reinforced his view that the England international is one of the best strikers in the world and deserving of every accolade directed his way.
“He is one of the best strikers anywhere, not only in England. I find it hard to find the words to describe him. I am in love like the fans are in love, like his team-mates are in love.
“He is so humble, he keeps all the values that managers like me appreciate a lot. That is why I am in love with him for different reasons.”
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic said he shared Pochettino’s glowing assessment of Kane.
“The best compliment I can give him is put it like this – we played with three centre-backs and they had a really good game,” said Bilic. “They are mostly against him and (Dele) Alli, and still he was using those situations and decided the game for them.
“He is definitely one of the best in the world. He is doing it week in week out now.”
It was Tottenham’s third away win of the campaign, a record that stands in sharp contrast to their problems at home, where they have collected just two points from their opening three games at Wembley.
“Now we need to start to feel good at Wembley, to make it feel like home,” said Pochettino, whose side are fourth in the table. “The next challenge is to win there.”
Kane struck twice in four first-half minutes at London Stadium in Saturday’s early fixture to put Tottenham in control of the meeting with their London rivals before Christian Eriksen added a third on the hour.
But Pochettino’s side were forced to endure a nervy ending after Javier Hernandez kickstarted West Ham’s response with a 65th-minute header.
Spurs full-back Serge Aurier was sent off after collecting a second yellow card in the 70th minute and Cheikhou Kouyate fuelled West Ham’s hopes of claiming a point with an 87th-minute header.
Pochettino spared Aurier criticism, accepting it will take the former Paris Saint-Germain player time to settle into his new home.
“I think the first yellow wasn’t yellow. Of course disappointed because he got the second and then red but that is football, I understand very well,” said the manager.
“When I was a player I made a lot of mistakes. But I am happy with him. He’s only been working with us for 20 days so I am happy. In football this type of situation happens.”
Defeat leaves West Ham in deep trouble in the relegation spots but Bilic says he sees signs of improvement.
“We are disappointed we lost the game,” he said. “It’s not that they didn’t deserve it, but until that first goal we were proper like last year against them, a really good performance.
“We had some really good situations, but we didn’t grab the opportunities.”