Potter, Styles, Houdini and Hill.
You know what you’re getting with Harrys. They are people you can set your watch to. When have you ever been let down by a Harry?
Take Harry Edward Kane MBE, for example. Kane couldn’t be anything other than a Harry. It just wouldn’t work. Patrick Kane? Jamie Kane? David Kane? League Two strikers, at best.
Since 2015, Kane has plundered at least 20 goals for Spurs every season, making a mockery of his one-season wonder tag.
His penalty to rescue a point against Arsenal was goal number 23 for club and country this season. It also saw him become the north London derby’s top Premier League marksman.
In short, Harry Kane is a picture of reliability. But Kane is no longer the most important Harry at Spurs.
That honour is now bestowed upon Harry Winks.
An ankle ligament injury suffered against Man United midway through January kept Kane out for five Premier League games.
A Kane-less Spurs won all five of those encounters and put three past Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, although Mauricio Pochettino’s side also lost to Chelsea in the League Cup and Crystal Palace in the FA Cup.
Heung-min Son’s versatility and Fernando Llorente’s ability to be world football’s most handsome nuisance meant Spurs were able to find a way to survive without Kane’s goals.
There was no such replacement when Winks was ruled out against Arsenal with a hip injury.
The 23-year-old has become the beat to which Spurs’ whole team dances. Without him, Spurs’ flawless can-can breaks down into an awkward dad dance at a wedding after seven pints of London Pride.
Winks blends Scott Parker’s trademark turn-around-in-a-circle-to-avoid-trouble move with an exceptional range of passing from deep. He’s the vital link between Spurs’ defence and attack.
In Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, Spurs are blessed with two of the finest passing centre-backs in the Premier League. Christian Eriksen, Son, Kane and Dele Alli have the ingenuity and ruthlessness in front of goal to trouble any side in Europe.
At their best, Spurs’ defence and attack work in unison. But, when Winks doesn’t play, they become two distinct phases.
Against Arsenal, too often Vertonghen, Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez dithered at the back, with Moussa Sissoko and Victor Wanyama either unable or unwilling to drop in the pocket of space in front of the defence and get on the ball.
In attack, Spurs became predictable. The deeper Arsenal dropped in, the more Spurs tried to force it and the greater the space in which to counter-attack became.
Eriksen in particular looks a different player when Winks doesn’t play. Winks is the supply line that allows Eriksen to operate in the half-pockets of space in the final third. Without him, the Dane goes roaming and becomes less of a threat.
Spurs can count themselves lucky that they’ve got the two best Harrys in world football.
A certain Harry Maguire might have something to say about that, but Spurs’ lack of fluidity without Winks was a clear indication of how important he has become at the club.
Just don’t call him the Hemel Hampstead Xavi.
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