Harry Kane wore an expression that was a mixture of devastation and bewilderment as Tottenham’s players slumped to the floor when Liverpool snatched a last-gasp winner in an Anfield thriller.
What goes through the club record goalscorer’s mind at moments like this, when Spurs threaten something special then come up short once again?
And how will Kane view it all when this season ends with one year left on his contract, another season has passed without success, and Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is looking for yet another manager?
This was a chaotic Anfield occasion where all Spurs life was there, from the early surrender that gave Liverpool a 3-0 lead inside 15 minutes, through to Richarlison’s injury time equaliser that was answered within seconds by Diogo Jota’s winner for Liverpool.
Spurs even seem to be playing tricks on the minds of their fans, with some leaving after 15 minutes and those remaining demanding another refund similar to the one they received from the players following the 6-1 debacle at Newcastle United.
They then offered the sort of hope that has been killing Spurs fans for years, a stirring comeback with wild scenes of celebration at Richarlison’s leveller transformed into desolation as Jota struck.
As mayhem unfolded, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp celebrated wildly and needlessly in front of the fourth official John Brooks, losing control on the touchline once more and pulling a hamstring in the process, while Spurs counterpart Ryan Mason raged at the injustice of Jota being on the pitch after his high boot injured Oliver Skipp.
When the temperature dropped Kane gave an honest appraisal as he admitted: “The table doesn’t lie. Where we are doesn’t lie. We’ve got some fantastic players but as a team we aren’t playing good enough collectively.”
Indeed, in that opening 15 minutes it looked like the Spurs players may have to open a standing order to repay disgruntled fans after setting the somewhat questionable precedent of forking out for the trip to Tyneside.
After that Spurs created the better chances and should have earned a point worthy of celebration until Jota stole it away.
Kane’s dejection was understandable as he looks no closer to the first trophy of his career and the possibility of playing in the Champions League next season slipped even further into the distance.
This only adds to the belief that these are now defining weeks ahead for Spurs, their record goalscorer and chairman Daniel Levy.
The key question is what can Spurs possibly offer Kane to make him stay beyond the final year of his contract? What can Levy conjure up to avoid the dilemma of selling England’s captain this summer or face the prospect of losing him for nothing a year on?
Levy is on the hunt for his next manager after the failures of Jose Mourinho, Nuno Espirito Santo and Antonio Conte. Will he secure a name, Julian Nagelsmann perhaps, that could persuade Kane to extend his career in north London?
Disappointments such as this will not add to Levy’s powers of persuasion and there is a growing sense that Kane, at least, may push for a parting of the ways this summer, with Manchester United reportedly already doing due diligence on whether a deal can be done for a player who will be 30 in July.
These are pivotal weeks on and off the pitch that will shape the future at Spurs.
Spurs fans made their discontent known loud and clear hear as they chanted “Daniel Levy Get Out Of Our Club” with Liverpool running riot early on and the chairman possibly fearing he may have to pen another public apology to a long-suffering fanbase.
Instead Spurs, as they have done so often this season, woke up too late and started to play when they were 3-0 down, the threat and character of the final 70 minutes the sharpest of contrasts to a lamentable first 20.
It is likely Spurs will be battling it out with Liverpool and others for a place in the Europa League next season. Liverpool have slim hopes of a place in the Champions League but victories for Manchester United and Newcastle United make that an increasingly long shot.
Whether Harry Kane will be there with them is one of many dilemmas facing chairman Levy and Spurs. Harry Kane wore an expression that was a mixture of devastation and bewilderment as Tottenham’s players slumped to the floor when Liverpool snatched a last-gasp winner in an Anfield thriller.