Harry Kane was an absolute phenomenon last season. The Englishman scored 21 league goals (31 in total) and was instrumental in Spurs’ fifth placed finish. He ended the season with the PFA Young Player of the Year award. Naturally, he was expected to follow up his exploits and be influential in the club’s top four challenge again this season. But it has been slow pickings for the England international. Kane only has one goal in 13 appearances for Tottenham this season, a goal that could very well have not stood at all, against Manchester City.
According to his manager Mauricio Pochettino, Harry Kane has paid a price for his “exertions over the summer”. The striker represented his country at the U-21 Championship and according to Poch, the striker was left short of confidence post that.
“I think Harry is the same person and he has the same mentality as last season,” Pochettino said. “But maybe at the end of the season, he rested, he went to the Euros and he didn’t score at the Euros in three games.
“He came back late for preseason and then you need to recover the time. Sometimes you are not in the best scoring condition when you start to play and you don’t score and your confidence goes down. This is probably what has happened but it is a good experience for the future.”
Kane, currently, seems to be out of confidence, touch, luck and subsequently goals. Despite being industrious against Estonia, he didn’t do the striker’s job too well (out of touch) and it wasn’t surprising that goals evaded him. Against Lithuania, his goal rebounded in off the goalkeeper’s arm and was initially given as an own goal (out of luck). That, however, seems to be changing for him as the goal has eventually been awarded to him.
This might seem like simplifying things terribly, but while everything he touched turned into gold last season, the own goal incident against Lithuania showed how he just can’t catch a break. Kane needs a performance which can get him back to his last season self. A striker’s food is goals and Kane needs his nutrition, else he will wither.
After scoring against City, Kane said that maybe he made some people eat their words.
“Maybe I shut up a few people who have been talking over the last few weeks,” he said.
“Only seven games and a few people said ‘one-season wonder’. People can judge me at the end of the season and we will go from there. I have to stay focused but it is great to score.
He is right. It is too early to call someone a one season wonder. It has not even been 10 games! However, the forward must understand that these critics have good reason to prematurely jump the gun. The 22-year-old was putting everything in the back of the net in the second half of last season. This time, he can’t even seem to succeed when he only has the goalkeeper to beat (see his one on one chance against Tim Howard).
The good thing though is that the goals will come for Kane. He works his socks off in every match, his passing and clever runs are prevalent in every single game and he finds himself in the right position more often than not. With Son’s arrival and Spurs hitting form, there is also less pressure on the 22-year-old to deliver quickly.
The Lilywhites play Liverpool at home next. Kane needs to make life tough for the visiting defence. While optimism is high with the arrival of Jurgen Klopp, Spurs still go into the game as the favourites, given their recent run of form. Liverpool have had a wobbly defence for a while now and Kane should look to exploit this.
Meanwhile, let’s not forget that Kane only recently turned 22. What he achieved last season was surreal, almost too good to be true. While he definitely needs to back a good season up with another one, he is still learning his trade and is himself not quite the finished product. He needs time and faith and under Pochettino, it is likely that he will get both and return to goalscoring form sooner rather than later.