It is certainly a strong squad that Jose Mourinho now possesses – and how Mauricio Pochettino will ponder the experience his successor has been permitted to sign – with Dele Alli not even making the 18.
Spurs struck hard, struck early and struck in devastating fashion. With their first passage of meaningful possession they scored. Kane collected the ball and arced a wonderful long pass forward that swung into the path of Son Heung-min allowing him to cut across Fabian Balbuena and curl his right-footed shot beyond Lukasz Fabianski. Just 45 seconds had elapsed and it was Kane’s ninth assist of the season – six of those for Son.
The second goal came with Kane again instigating the move with another excellent pass, this time to Steven Bergwijn, and when he eventually re-gained possession he first nut-megged Declan Rice on the edge of the West Ham penalty area before striking a low shot through Angelo Ogbonna’s legs to beat Fabianski.
Kane’s third was more routine but was again expertly taken as West Ham allowed Sergio Reguilon the time and space to ‘stand up’ a cross beyond the far post and not one of their three central defenders was close to Kane as he rose to guide a header back past Fabianski.
There could have been more – Fabianski did well to deny Son – with Kane’s remarkable contribution summed up as he threw himself and hurt himself to block a goal-bound shot by Tomas Soucek as the clock ticked towards half-time. Little wonder that Mourinho strode onto the pitch to shake Kane’s hand as the players walked off.
Mourinho returned early for the second-half, looking understandably satisfied but it was West Ham who pushed and should have pulled a goal back when Michail Antonio’s shot took a deflection and spun up only for Pablo Fornals to head over from two yards out with the Hugo Lloris beaten. Soon after and a Soucek header was fortunately deflected and Reguilon escaped after appearing to barge over Jarrod Bowen.
Mourinho reacted by sending Bale and another new signing, Carlos Vinicius, to warm up just as Kane ran forward again to force Fabianski into a sprawling save down to his right. He went even closer when teed up by Son on the area’s edge only for his first-time shot to strike the outside of the post.
It would be West Ham who scored, however, with Moussa Sissoko allowing Balbuena to reach an Aaron Cresswell free-kick and head the ball past Lloris. On the touchline West Ham manager David Moyes, back after a period of self-isolation, bellowed at his players to get the ball for a quick re-start.
Was he clutching at straws? Possibly not because West Ham struck again with substitute Andriy Yarmolenko slipping a pass to Vladmir Coufal who crossed only for Davinson Sanchez to intervene and inadvertently send another header past Lloris.
In injury-time it appeared set for Bale to confirm the result and maybe steal the headlines from Kane as he took the centre-forward’s pass in his stride and beat Ogbonna to give himself a sight of goal only to send his shot wide.
Remarkably it was West Ham who did score when another Cresswell free-kick was only cleared as far as substitute Lanzini who struck a fierce right-foot shot to beat Lloris and change the story of this game.