Alan Shearer claims Harry Kane 'didn't turn up' in Champions League final and slams Maurico Pochettino
Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer has had his say on Saturday's Champions League final between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, criticising Maurico Pochettino's team selection as the London club succumbed to Jurgen Klopp's side.
The Reds beat their Premier League rivals 2-0 in Madrid to lift the European trophy for a sixth a time.
Despite an ankle injury keeping striker Harry Kane out of action since April, Spurs' captain played the full 90 minutes at the Wanda Metropolitano but struggled to impose himself on the game.
Shearer, the Premier League's record goal-scorer, thinks Pochettino made a mistake in picking star striker from the start, explaining the 25-year-old's lack of match fitness was clear to see.
"I’m sure Pochettino agonised over whether to start Harry Kane but he got that one wrong," Shearer wrote in a column for The Sun .
"Kane didn’t look fit at all and didn’t turn up in Madrid — he was nowhere near as sharp as he could and should have been.
"I imagine Harry was in Pochettino’s ear all week and he has had a week to judge it based on seeing him in training. I’ve been in the same situation myself.
"He may never feature in a European Cup final again so he would have been desperate to play.
"But you have to judge him on his performance and he simply wasn’t 100 per cent fit."
Tottenham's Argentine manager also started Harry Winks after the midfielder returned from a groin problem - another big call.
And semi-final hero Lucas Moura, who scored a sensational hat-trick against Ajax to propel Tottenham to the final, started on the bench.
Former England captain Shearer believes it was a decision that ultimately cost the north London club their dream of winning the Champions League for the first time in their history.
"Harry Winks was exactly the same," Shearer continued.
"He hadn’t played for over two months yet he was risked to start in such a huge game for the club.
"To play one was a gamble, to play two who haven’t played for that long was a huge risk and it didn’t pay off.
"I’m sure Pochettino will be thinking 'If only'. If only he had done something different. Lucas Moura could have offered them an alternative way of playing."
He added: "The big difference was Klopp had the same decision to make with Roberto Firmino, who started the game despite clearly not being fit.
"After 55 minutes, Firmino made one bad pass too many and Klopp dragged him off and put Divock Origi on, while Kane was left on all night and offered hardly anything."