Tuesday, April 18, 2017

One Season Wonder

Harry Kane. To some Tottenham supporters he’s already considered a legend, chorusing “he’s one of our own” whenever he shoots or scores or breaths. In years gone by, Tottenham were happy enough getting 6th and maybe challenging for a European spot but have now been transformed into a club that is battling for league titles and is a mainstay in the top 4, shoving the likes of Manchester United and main rivals Arsenal out of the fray.

A big contributing factor to this is Harry Kane’s goalscoring touch which has seen him score 20+ goals for the third season in a row, joining the likes of Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Arsenal legend Thierry Henry and the Premier League’s record goalscorer Alan Shearer. Not bad for a “one season wonder”.

Not bad for a "one season wonder"

Not even the likes of Ronaldo, Carlton Cole, Sergio Aguero and Manchester United’s record goalscorer Wayne Rooney have managed this, Wazza only managing to score over 20 Premier League goals twice in his career.
~ Side note: Sergio Aguero could be added to the list this season though as he’s scored 20+ goals the last 2 seasons and is currently on 17 this campaign ~

I saw one stat that really made me want to write this post and that was that Harry Kane has scored 69 goals in 110 Premier League appearances, the exact same as Barcelona forward Luis Suarez when he played for Liverpool. This obviously creates comparisons and questions whether the Spurs forward is good enough for Europe’s elite.

Now obviously Suarez and Kane are two completely different players with completely different playing styles but I don’t think there would be much difference in scoring tally if Harry went abroad. I’m pretty sure most people won’t agree with me but I believe that Harry Kane would fit in perfectly in Real Madrid’s team and would be a better attacking option than Karim Benzema. Again that’s just my opinion and I am entitled to it. But I digress.

Would the Tottenham man look out of place at Real?

Although Kane matching Suarez stat is impressive, I think it doesn’t tell the full story. Spurs’ team over the last few seasons has been class and has been getting stronger and stronger under Pochettino, whereas the side that Suarez played with was average at best. Yeah Liverpool had Gerrard and Coutinho you still have to say that their team was lacking any real quality in defence. I mean their best defender was Martin Skrtel for crying out loud…

Not to take anything away from Harry, he’s a world class talent (well almost, I’ll get to that later) but he’s had it a little easier than the Uruguayan did. Kane has the likes of Eriksen, Son, Lamela and Alli to run off him and create chances. If Suarez was having an off day he’d have to rely on the likes of Raheem Sterling and Jordon Ibe to give him a goalscoring opportunity.

When you look back at the 13/14 season when Suarez more or less carried Liverpool to second in the table, Suarez was relied upon for not just goals but also creating chances. The former Ajax man scored 31 goals that season...just imagine how many he’d score if he actually had a good team around him...but again I’m digressing.

The only thing I can think of that will stop the Tottenham man’s scoring streak is a lack of quality around him. The Lilywhites currently have one of the best squads in the league but in 5 years time this side could look completely different. If Spurs offer out some hefty long term contracts to the likes of Alli, Eriksen, Dembele and Kane himself, I think Kane will continue to be up there as one of England’s top goalscorers.

Alan Shearer continued to score goals right up into his thirties because Newcastle managed to keep quality in the side...but when the Magpies began relying on Kieron Dyer, Lee Bowyer and Charles N’Zogbia to create chances for Shearer it was always gonna be a struggle. Still, 10 goals for a 36 year old is still pretty impressive, Rooney is struggling to get that now and he’s only 31...I can’t help digressing now.

Speaking of Shearer, a lot of fans have been asking whether the Tottenham man has the credentials to overtake The Geordie’s record. Now I imagine most Spurs fans are in the same boat as me when I say there’s a long way to go yet. It must be said though that you wouldn’t bet against the Spurs number 10 as he is showing strong signs he could do it.

Arsenal fans always accuse Kane of "only scoring pens" despite only ever scoring 11 in
the league...

It’s quite difficult to compare these guys’ records as Shearer actually played a couple of years in the old first division before the Premier League began. At 23, Shearer had amassed 47 Premier League goals which (for any maths buffs out there) is lower than 69. At this point in time Kane is on course to beat Alan Shearer’s record…all he needs to do now is score around 20 goals a season for the next 10 years. It’s that easy.

At this point in time, I am a firm believer that England should be looking to build a team around this guy. There’s a lot of debate who we should be building the team around with names like Alli, Sterling and Lallana getting their names thrown into the hat but my money would be the Spurs front man simply for his potential longevity.

Whether other players may rely on pace and quick feet, Kane doesn’t. He’ll be playing the same in 10 years time as he is now and that is simply because he uses his brain to get goals. Teddy Sheringham springs to mind, a player who wasn’t particularly strong or quick but was so intelligent on the pitch that he was still banging in goals in the top flight in his 40’s.

It's like Sheringham never left.

So where to now for Harry Kane? Well for me there's not much Kane can do to improve his game when he gets into the swing of it...my only gripe would be how long it takes to get into his swing. The 23 year old has been unbelievable over the last three seasons but from what I seem to remember he had a poor start to all three seasons.

This is only a minor gripe I have to say. Another area where he needs to be careful is one where he has no control over; injuries. He hasn't been hit with a huge injury as of yet (touch wood) but for him to keep progressing and become the next England great he needs to keep fit. To be fair I bet Tottenham a praying he keeps fit as well...otherwise they'll have to rely on...Janssen.

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Cheers for reading.

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