Will the fruitful international break re-ignite Harry Kane’s club form?
Not for the first time in the last few years, an absolute superstar was born at White Hart Lane last season. Harry Kane’s tally of 31 goals in all competitions exemplified what had been a tremendous year, and the Englishman was at the thick of everything good that happened at Spurs in the second half of the campaign. Expectedly enough, there was interest in the summer from some of the big boys in Europe, with Manchester United reportedly willing to pay £50 million to land the Englishman. But, he expressed fierce loyalty towards his current club, with whom he signed a contract extension until 2020 in February.
The pressure of expectation was sure to weigh heavily on Kane’s shoulders this season, and it has quite clearly shown thus far. He is yet to open his account in 4 Premier League games, and while there have been irregular flashes of last season’s form, he has looked a very different player. A lot could be down to the fact that teams are taking him very seriously this year, and come with a well thought-out plan to stifle his threat.
Has he turned a corner?
Kane was one of the standout players for England in their two European qualifiers in the last week. He scored twice against San Marino on Saturday before netting the vital opening goal against Switzerland at Wembley on Tuesday. He gelled as well with Wayne Rooney as bread with butter. The England fans were absolutely delighted to see him on song, but there was a bunch that was even happier i.e. the Spurs faithful.
Tottenham travel to Sunderland on Sunday, and this is the perfect opportunity for Kane to break his duck. The Black Cats have only won 14 times in their last 52 home games, and are rock-bottom in the table, yet to register a victory.
Spurs are yet to win themselves, and are languishing in 15th place with just 3 points in 4 games. There is a feeling though, that once Kane gets his act together, it will all change in the blink of an eye. Manager Mauricio Pochettino may look at the possibility of playing a second striker alongside Kane, even though the presence of Christian Eriksen in the hole behind offers great support to the frontman.
Are we expecting too much?
Kane switched from the number 18 shirt to the iconic number 10 shirt this season, and was also made the third captain of the team by Pochettino. At 22, that sure is a lot of responsibility to have. It is therefore understandable that he is feeling the heat despite only being on a 4-game goalless run. It is vital that he doesn’t overthink, and just gets on with his game. Quality is always going to show through, and Kane has bags and bags of it. He set very high standards for himself last season, and 31 is a tally any striker would struggle to live up to on a regular basis.
There have been several English players in the past (Andy Carroll, Francis Jeffers) who have been one-season wonders, but one gets a feeling that Kane is not one of the them. His supreme ability on the ball coupled with his lethal finishing still very much makes him the man to watch out for this season. It is always a question of getting the first goal out of the way.
There is still a long way to go in his career, but one gets a feeling that this is the season that will actually define the path he will go down. If he flourishes yet again, people will really sit up and watch and the big clubs will come calling again with bigger cheques. If he fails though, it won’t take too much time for him to fade away into oblivion. As a football fan, I most certainly hope that the latter doesn’t happen, and Harry Kane remains the main man in the Premier League for the next decade.