Thomas Tuchel will pleased with what he saw out of Harry Kane during his Bundesliga debut. Kane came on as a 64th-minute substitute during Bayern’s 3-0 loss to RB Leipzig in the DFL Supercup last weekend and was unable to make much of an impact.
However, in his first start for Bayern against Werder Bremen tonight he was truly instrumental as the Bavarian giants won 4-0 on the opening day of the season. The Englishman assisted the opener at the three-minute mark with a delightful flick onto Leroy Sane before doubling Bayern’s lead with a tidy finish in the 74th minute with only his second shot on target.
Although there was the same killer instinct in front of goal that we have come to expect from Kane, the performance as a whole was very uncharacteristic of the £100million striker. At Tottenham Kane would often drop deep to involve himself in the attacking build-up play but under Tuchel, he seemed happier to let the wingers do their thing while sitting on the opposition’s final man, patiently waiting for his opportunity to pounce.
Though he played more like a traditional target man at times he would also drop back to help in defence and won two aerial duels in Bayern’s final third. He also contributed with clearances and even got stuck in with a couple of tackles as well. Kane’s defensive capabilities have often come under criticism but at the Weser Stadium, there were no such holes in his game.
Before being subbed off in the 84th minute for Mathys Tel, Kane made 34 touches, completed two long balls, a key pass, won two fouls, scored a goal and assisted another; very solid stats. Despite seeing far less of the ball than he has during his time at Spurs, the outcome was still the same.
“I don’t think it is going to be the first time in his career (he has been under pressure),” Tuchel told a press conference ahead of the Werder clash. “So that is why he will learn to transfer the pressure into performance and stay relaxed.
“It is not about life or death. It is a game, a competitive game and he has proved for about 10 years how he does it, so I am not worried about Harry. The Harry Kane effect will not be gone (if we lose). It is the way he works in training, in the locker room, his professionalism, the way he goes about things and how humble he is in training, how keen he is in training.
“The way he acts after such a game, after a loss, he is the first on the training pitch, he works with the reserve players, he is the one walking ahead who is inspiring others. That is what makes that transfer fee (worthwhile), not only his goal-scoring record but all the other things as well.”
Sane added his second of the match minutes after Kane went off to make it 3-0 before the English star’s replacement, Tel, fired in a fourth to give Bayern a comfortable opening-day victory.