Mauricio Pochettino beaming over ‘commitment’ of World Cup stars

Aubrey Yates
August 15, 2018

As such, even Spurs fans have begun to joke about the so-called curse.

Remarkably, the prolific England captain has never found the back of the net in the top flight in August, a run which now stretches to 14 games, although his club boss is certain it will only be a matter of time before Kane shakes off his World Cup fatigue to set his tally ticking over once again.

The gong could have also been awarded to Jan Vertonghen, but it was apt that England midfielder Alli scored the victor after a busy summer.

Tottenham were the club with the most players to reach the semi-finals at this year's competition with nine, featuring as many as six of them in today's win.

All jokes aside, would Kane have benefited from an extended rest after a World Cup campaign which appeared to tire him?

Speaking after Mauricio Pochettino's charges got the campaign off to a winning start away at Newcastle on Saturday, the 24-year-old England global sent a rallying cry to fans, saying: "For the last three years we've been challenging the best teams in the country, and last year we were challenging the best teams in the Champions League with the squad that we have here today".

Asked if the striker was still to return to his best form, Pochettino said: "For me, he is in his best form whether he scores or doesn't score".

"I think all the squad showed their commitment with the club, with the team".

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"It was a game that from the beginning of the season is always hard - teams with a lot of energy", the Argentine explained.

"You will not always take your chances, and we were unlucky with the shots that hit the post and crossbar, and also with the control of Kenedy".

"There were many good performances from players that were very professional during their holidays. You could feel fans had the belief we could do something", the Spaniard said.

"Of course the players are going to have a process to improve their fitness".

Benítez was looking to take as many positives as he could from a disapointing defeat where many thought the Magpies created enough clear cut chances to get something from the game.

They overcame Newcastle 2-1 after an action-packed first 20 minutes at St James' Park.

"Newcastle showed a lot of energy and had quality. We reacted well and never gave up".

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