Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane was hailed as ‘one of the best English players’ by Watford manager Javi Gracia, whose side face Spurs on Monday evening at Wembley Stadium.
Quoted by the Daily Mirror, Gracia sounded deeply unimpressed by the ridicule that the England striker has faced in his increasingly desperate campaign to claim his third successive Premier League Golden Boot.
The Hornets boss said: “I respect all opinions in football, but my opinion is that Kane is one of the best English players for sure. I don’t mind whether he claims goals or not – he is one of the best. Strikers want to score with every touch and I show him only respect.”
Another great away win. Definitely claiming that goal, flicked off my shoulder on the way in. @GaryLineker and @alanshearer will clear that one up on @BBCMOTD #COYS #THFC #PremierLeague pic.twitter.com/jIDF7cLf3d
— Harry Kane (@HKane) April 7, 2018
Discussing the possibility that Kane could captain the Three Lions at this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Russia, Gracia added: “With goals or not, with the captaincy or not, I’m sure he will show what he can do in the Premier League and he will also show it at the World Cup.”
Kane has netted 26 league goals so far this season, five behind the Premier League’s leading scorer Mohamed Salah.
However, Spurs have four more league matches this season, whereas Salah’s Liverpool have only two – one of which is an awkward trip to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea.
️ | “The most important thing is not where we play, but trying to do a good work & get a good result.”
— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) April 29, 2018
The England star will certainly relish the opportunity to add to his impressive tally against the Hornets, who have the third-worst defensive record in this season’s Premier League. He will also be hoping for a Spurs win, with fifth-placed Chelsea just two points behind their London rivals.
As for Gracia – whose Watford side have 38 points and could still mathematically be relegated – he is desperate to end two dismal runs. The Hornets have gone six league games without a win (including four defeats), and seven away matches in all competitions without a goal – their last away goal coming in a 3-1 loss against Manchester City.
Speaking about his side’s dismal scoring record away from Vicarage Road, Gracia said: “We need it – we need a goal away from home.
“All players, especially strikers, live by goals and it would be good to score at Wembley, get a result and break this bad relationship we have with away goals,” he added.
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What is your perfect career in football?
Like a young Pep Guardiola, your passion for coaching and teaching others to improve shows you have the mind-set, skills and drive to make it as a Football Coach. All the greatest players have an even greater coach behind them!
Disability Support Manager
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You love to be at the heart of the business side of the game, which could give you a real edge in a role such as a player’s agent, negotiating deals for clients!
Your passion for playing the sport means you belong on the field, competing with the 1% of players who make it to the very top of the game!
You have a natural talent working with numbers, and an unstoppable passion for the beautiful game. Time to bring the two together to pursue your perfect career!
You control the conversation, always offer a unique insight, and are never afraid to express your opinion in high pressured debates. This puts you in a very strong position to pursue a career in the limelight as a football pundit!
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You see the pitch and everything about the stadium as a thing of beauty, and with a passion for working outside you would suit the life of a Club Groundsman!