Spurs v Chelsea: Analysis - Les Ferdinand on Kane and Costa
04 January 2017|Tottenham Hotspur
There are so many key areas as we face off against Chelsea - the full-backs, central midfield, the goalkeepers - but if you have to choose one that might decide the destiny of the three points, then it could boil down to the two central strikers on show - our own Harry Kane and Chelsea's Diego Costa. Les Ferdinand is thinking the same way, and who better to talk about these two striking heavyweights than one of the best?
39 goals in 149 appearances for Spurs - 1997-2002
17 England caps, 1993-98
Eighth in all-time Premier League goalscorers - 149
Coach at Spurs - 2008-2014
Now Director of Football at QPR
Les: "Chelsea won’t be thinking ‘if we contain Harry Kane, we’ll contain Tottenham Hotspur’, Dele Alli is in form, scoring goals breaking forward, Son looks good and is a threat. The two full-backs as well - there are lots of battles out there but the forwards will be central to it all. Harry will have to occupy their back three and Costa will look to do the same against Spurs, and he’s done well all season."
Below: Diego Costa with Antonio Conte
Les on Costa
"He’s everything you want a centre forward to be, left and right foot, headers, he can score all types of goals. The thing is, and this is where Costa and Harry are similar, if they aren’t scoring goals, they are bringing something to the team. You know they will put the defence under pressure, that they will occupy two members of that defence to create space for others, and that’s vital. That’s what Costa has done well this season and sometimes even if he hasn’t scored, he’s ended up being Man of the Match because of his persistence and what he brings to the team. Harry falls into the same category."
Below: Harry was on target twice at Watford on New Year's Day
Les on Harry
"There is now so much expectation on him and that’s where you want to get to as a player, you want to get to a level where people expect good things from you and Harry’s producing week in, week out. If anything, he's gone up even further in my estimation. He's had tough spells and you know your career isn’t just going to spiral upwards without dips in form or without injuries and it’s how you come out of those periods that makes you as a player. Every time he’s been questioned, he’s come back again and that’s the making of a star striker."
Below: Les takes on Desailly, Terry and Babayaro - League Cup semi-final, 2002
Speaking from the heart...
Les: "I played plenty of times against Chelsea and against the likes Desailly, Leboeuf, Gallas, Zola, Hasselbaink, so they’ve been a formidable force for a while now. Of course, I remember the 5-1 win in the semi-final (second leg) of the League Cup (in 2002). I scored in the first leg, we ended up losing that one 2-1 but obviously got through to the final with that second leg back at White Hart Lane. When I saw us beat Manchester City (2-0 in October) I thought ‘here we go’ and I now feel the team is back in that form. These games are the major testers. Chelsea are on a huge winning run, both teams are full of confidence and now I have to speak from the heart, I just hope Tottenham can produce the level of performance to get over the line."