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Can Harry Kane Do It Again?

I’m sure some have just read the title of this article and thought it to be churlish to even pose the question, but I think it is one that has merit ahead of what could well be the defining year of the Tottenham striker’s career.

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It was the 2014/15 season when Harry Kane really burst onto the scene; his goals in the Europa League earned him an opportunity in the Premier League and by late November, became a regular starter. He went on to score an impressive 21 league goals, breaking the 30 goal mark in all competitions. Though not the quickest or most technically adept, he was showing the rare knack of being in the right place at the right time, something that should not be underestimated. His passion, work rate and enthusiasm, as well as his goals, helped make him a fans’ favourite at White Hart Lane. However, there had been many ‘one season wonders’, so the question remained, could he do it again?

Early in the 2015/16 season it appeared that perhaps Kane was going to be another one of those ‘one season wonder’ players as he struggled to score and find form, prompting a number of rival fans to write him off. It took Kane until late September to get his first league goal of the season and it wasn’t until a month later against Bournemouth that his scored his next and added two more for a hat-trick. From that point on, he was regularly on the scoresheet again and finished the season with an excellent 25 Premier League goals and ended up with 28 in all competitions for Spurs. He’d proved the doubters wrong by doing it again and became a regular in the England team in the process.

What followed was the Euros and the huge amount of expectation that suddenly fell on his shoulders; he was the man expected to score the goals for England. Instead, he failed to register a single goal and looked anonymous, cutting an often isolated figure. His poor performances will probably be remembered most for a series of terrible free kicks and him bizarrely taking corner kicks. There’s an argument to say Spurs’ 2015/16 campaign had taken its physical toll on him and it’s certainly fair to say he wasn’t the only poor performer in a dysfunctional England attack. Roy Hodgson should take his share of the blame for the shape and tactics in an unbalanced side that didn’t do too much to help Kane.

A striker’s breakthrough season can sometimes be a surprise and aided by opponents being unaware. That’s not to denigrate any players’ breakthrough season, but many have had one good season and never replicated it, so to have a good season is one thing, to follow it up with another is something else. To back a good season up with another is a test of a players ability to consistently perform at a high level as opponents are more aware and prepared. The other side of that is that if there was no expectation in Harry Kane’s breakthrough season, in some respect there wasn’t too much for his second as many didn’t expect him to be able to do it again. However, his back-to-back successful seasons have now brought a new level of pressure from much higher expectation. Opponents are now not only aware, but will also target him and the expectation for him to score over 20 Premier League goals very much exists.

On top of the pressure of expectation for Kane, he will be the figurehead of the Spurs attack in the Champions League. All of this coming on the back of such a disappointing summer of international football and last year him taking a couple of months to get going means Kane will soon be embarking upon what could be the most important of his career. To repeat his goalscoring feats would surely put him amongst the Premier League’s current elite; to achieve it is far from a foregone conclusion. With a different set of pressures and demands, this coming season is a test of Kane’s quality and a chance for him to show the Euros were just a personal blip.

Andy Wales
Andy Wales
Football writer and podcaster. Family man and Liverpool fan.
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5 COMMENTS

  1. Wishful thinking from rival fans. Heard it all last season, ‘he’ll be a one season wonder’

    Now it’s ‘he’ll be a two season wonder’

    Give it 4 years and you’ll have these same people clutching at straws asking ‘is Harry Kane a 6 season wonder?’

    I’m interested as to who you will rank him “alongside” in the current Prem League if he manages to have another good season? As of right now the only striker in the premier league who can be ranked above him with any kind of genuine argument is Sergio Aguero.

  2. Very enjoyable read. In the middle of the transfer window it’s nice to find an article like this. If he has another 20+ goal season this coming season he really will silence any doubters and show the Euro’s were just a tired blip.

  3. The WHOLE England team were poor due to the terrible tactics,shape and lack of belief from a manager well past his sell by date.Kane will thrive again this season and the addition of Jansen will take some of the pressure off his shoulders.Kane was told to take corners and free kicks for England,but was made a scapegoat because of this and being singled out for not getting a goal! Kane,Ali,dier etc don’t become bad players overnight!! It just proves the England manager and staff were lame and this reflected on the players performances.Kane is a natural goal scorer and has a knack of scoring from anywhere,I have no doubt he will be at the top of the goal scoring charts for the foreseeable future.HURRIKANE WILL WREACK HAVOC THIS SEASON!!!

  4. You can pose the question.

    But you have left a fair bit out:
    For instance, the summer before this, he played (at his own insistence) for England under-21’s. Meaning he had little rest before the start of last season, too.
    Regular watchers weren’t as concerned by his early season goal drought as the rest of the World (apparently). His game is about more than scoring goals. He was still working hard, holding the ball up, linking play, closing down, etc. And he certainly wasn’t hiding or moping about like strikers who’s whole game is goals might do.
    He did look tired at the Euros – which may just get the question. I N regards to being isolated, I would be looking to the players behind him and the manager, TBH. And don’t forget, but for an (accidental) hand-ball against Wales he would have scored, and he produced a stunning volley against Iceland that required a finger-tip save. That could just have easily been two goals from four games from a tired player who wasn’t being supported properly by the players behind him and misused by his manager.

    You overlook the possibility that he use the summer’s disappointment as additional motivation. And you overlook the fact that he finally has proper cover. Not only is there scope for this to ease the pressure on him, but the added competition for places can also be an added motivation to him.

    Fortunately for me, by applying logic I got him to win the Golden Boot last season – at 16 – 1 ?