Clive Allen has a firm grip on his place in Tottenham’s history books, but admits Harry Kane is making him nervous about losing it.
Allen bagged a club-record 49 goals in just 54 matches during the 1986/87 season for Spurs, an achievement that is yet to be topped.
Kane looks the likeliest to break that and has already gone close when he plundered 41 goals in 2017/18 and Allen reckons the England captain, who has scored seven goals in 10 games so far this season, will be the only man to take the record off him.
“He has gone close. The way he has improved himself since coming in as a 16-year-old has been phenomenal,” Allen told the PA news agency.
“He has always had that ability to score goals and he has improved his all-round game.
“The way he conducts himself now, he has been incredible with how he has been this week.
“If anyone can do it, Harry can and if he does I will be the first one to shake his hand.
“I would like to maintain that record, and it will be an incredible feat if anyone does it, so good luck to him. He has already threatened to do it a couple of times.”
Allen scored 33 times in the league, with three hat-tricks, while also firing David Pleat’s side to the FA Cup final and League Cup semi-final.
He opens up about that phenomenal season in his autobiography ‘Up Front’ and reveals how excelling at Spurs was his destiny.
“I was born two weeks after they did the double and my dad (Les Allen) was in that side,” he added.
“It was always my destiny to one day play for Tottenham, which obviously happened.
“I had the best years of my career there.
“It has been such a big part of my life, listening to my dad talk about the double, right the way through to the last day at White Hart Lane, it has had a big impact.
“You dream about breaking the record and hope that something like that could happen, but I never imagined it would.”
Allen, who was famously sold by Arsenal 63 days after they paid £1.25million for him, can take a small piece of credit for helping cement Spurs’ position among the elite of English football.
He was part of the coaching set-up between 2004 and 2013, working under Martin Jol, Juande Ramos and Harry Redknapp, as the north Londoners established themselves as Premier League top six regulars.
“The club has moved forward in a massive way,” Allen said. “Having been involved in it to a small degree, having a part in it. It is nice to know that I played sort of a part.”
That progression led them to the Champions League final last season, but they have endured a tough start to the current campaign.
A horror 10 days, where they were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by League Two Colchester, hammered 7-2 by Bayern Munich and humbled 3-0 at Brighton, has led to uncertainty over the position of boss Mauricio Pochettino.
There have been calls to sack the Argentinian, but Allen, who knows chairman Daniel Levy well, knows that is not going to happen.
“I don’t think he will get sacked, when you look at the way he has worked and the way he has developed the squad in terms of Champions League qualification, being competitive at the top end of the Premier League,” Allen said.
“Daniel has delivered in a big way in terms of everything that is in place now, the best stadium in the world and the training complex, his relationship with the manager is a good one.
“That has shown, Mauricio has been there five years and I don’t see that changing any time soon.”
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An underwhelming Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 8 was left to hang over FPL managers for a while with the international break following it.
However, Premier League action is back and it’s time to rid ourselves of the memory of a GW that produced an meagre 36 points as the average score.
Chelsea and Tottenham enjoy comfortable home fixtures against Newcastle and Watford while Manchester United and Liverpool face off in the big clash of the weekend at Old Trafford.
Elsewhere, Arsenal are on the road to Sheffield United while Manchester City visit Crystal Palace.
Leicester City assets are also proving enticing and they face Burnley at home.
Here are a few tips to help guide you through GW9.
CAPTAIN – CALLUM WILSON | BOURNEMOUTH | 7.9M
Callum Wilson has quietly been one of the most effective forwards this season. The prolific scorer has blanked only once this season – away to Arsenal in that dreadful GW8.
Prior to that though, the England international delivered in every outing this term with five goals and three assists to his name, earning 48 points in the process which betters the tallies of Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy.
Wilson has registered eight shots on target at home this season which is second only to Teemu Pukki (9). With Norwich City to face this time, he is likely to get on the score sheet.
The Canaries are yet to keep a clean sheet this season and have conceded 16 goals in the last six GWs.
HARRY KANE (10.9m) has not lived up to his reputation this season but he’s been picking up a few points of late. The England captain has delivered in four of the last five GWs but hasn’t had a double-figure haul since the opening round. That said, he’s scored two goals and bagged three assists while on international duty and Watford at home is as good a fixture as any to hand him the armband.
TAMMY ABRAHAM (7.7m) is keeping up his run of excellent form having returned to goal-scoring ways against Southampton last time around. The striker is having more shots than anyone else in the league at the moment and with Newcastle to host next, he’s primed for more goals.
JOHN MCGINN (5.8m) is one of the bargains of the season so far with three goals from midfield. He did fail to deliver at Norwich last time but he’s back home this week and has Brighton to play. Following his hat-trick for Scotland, his confidence should be soaring.
ONE TO GET
RICARDO PEREIRA | LEICESTER CITY | 6.2M
He may be expensive but with the current run of fixtures for Leicester City, Ricardo Pereira may be worth his price tag. The attacking full-back is brimming with potential for goals and assists and has scored in his last two outings. With 40 points this season, he’s the highest-scoring defender alongside Trent Alexander-Arnold. Arsenal are the only top six team the Foxes face in the next nine GWs.
ONE TO AVOID
ASHLEY BARNES | BURNLEY | 6.5M
Having started the season in sensational form, Ashley Barnes has fallen off a cliff. The Burnley striker has now blanked in his last five GWs and his underlying stats have taken a hit as well. With Leicester and Chelsea to face next, don’t expect that to improve any time soon.
CALLUM HUDSON-ODOI | CHELSEA | 5.9M
He’s only played 106 minutes in the league this season after beginning the campaign injured but Callum Hudson-Odoi has already impressed with two assists and five key passes. Meanwhile, he’s either scored or assisted in all four appearances he’s made across all competitions this term. Southampton away in GW8 was his first start of the season and no one had more shots inside the box (2) or created more than his three chances. He faces Newcastle at home next and the Magpies have conceded 11 goals away – the second most in the league.
Former Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp feels Mauricio Pochettino may benefit from a move elsewhere, but he expects him to stay and turn around their poor start to the season.
In the last month, the Champions League runners-up have been beaten by League Two Colchester in the Carabao Cup, thumped 7-2 at home by Bayern Munich in Europe and lost 3-0 at Brighton.
Despite Spurs’ wretched form Pochettino is among the managers currently being linked with Manchester United should they call time on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s troubled spell in charge.
However, Redknapp believes the Argentinian would only ever leave Spurs if the Real Madrid job became vacant.
“I still think they’ll finish third,” Redknapp told the PA news agency. “They’ve got a fantastic squad, they’ve got cover everywhere and they’ve got international players everywhere.
“As a manager, I learned from a great manager in Alec Stock, he always said you have to change the players every couple of years or they change you.
“The same message every year becomes stale. You can only keep saying the same things so many times.
“Maybe five or six years in Pochettino needs a fresh start. He’s a great manager, but maybe it’s time for a change for him as well.
“But I don’t think he’ll go. Not unless the Real Madrid job comes up. I’m sure if that came up that would be a great job for him.
“But I think he’s happy that he’s got a great job at Tottenham.”