Tottenham Hotspur’s Champions League semi-final against Ajax in 2019 was one of the most memorable games in the club’s recent history. The North London club started poorly and found themselves 2-0 down at half-time.
However, the second half saw a remarkable turnaround, with Lucas Moura scoring a hat-trick to send Spurs to the Champions League final. In a recent interview on The High Performance Podcast, Kieran Trippier, who played in that game, recounted what happened at half-time and how Harry Kane, the club’s captain, played a key role in inspiring his team.
According to Trippier, Harry Kane was vocal during the half-time period, which is unusual for the normally quiet England captain. Trippier revealed that Kane was visibly angry, despite not being able to play due to injury. However, Kane’s anger was not negative but rather positive and encouraging. Trippier said, “I can remember, I don’t think Harry will mind me saying this. I’ve not seen Harry go mad in his career, but he really wasn’t happy. He wasn’t playing because he was injured at the time and he wasn’t happy. He didn’t say anything in a negative way, it was all positive, but seeing him and how he dealt with it helped me a bit. He’s a leader, he’s such an important player for club and country, but he’s sometimes quiet and stuff, but when he does speak you listen.”
This display of leadership from Kane was crucial in motivating his teammates to turn the game around. Despite not playing, Kane’s presence and words had a positive impact on the team, and they were able to come back and win the game. Trippier’s account shows that Kane is not a traditional captain who is always shouting and running his mouth, but rather a leader who speaks when something needs to be said.
The victory against Ajax and the subsequent appearance in the Champions League final were significant achievements for Tottenham, and Kane’s leadership played a key role in those successes. Kane’s ability to lead by example and inspire his teammates is a testament to his character and his importance to the club and country. His actions on and off the pitch make him a true leader, and his impact on the game against Ajax will be remembered by Tottenham fans for years to come.