Harry Kane doesn’t deserve the ridicule he’s getting

Credit: Financial Times
Credit: Financial Times

Harry Kane is already a legend for both Tottenham Hotspur and England. Kane has already become Spurs’ all-time top scorer and in the most recent International Break, he’s also achieved the same feat for the England National Team.

Kane is a deadly goalscorer and has been so for most of the last decade. Despite this though, the lack of a major trophy to his name still haunts England’s number nine. Due to that, the England captain has been the butt of many jokes online.

Here’s why Kane will go down as one of the best strikers to ever grace the English game when he eventually retires.

Everyone’s a critic

Before diving into the stats, let’s get one thing out of the way. The majority of current and former professional players and managers have rightfully lauded Kane after he became England’s all-time top scorer against Italy last week.

People are also entitled to their opinions, however ludicrous they may be.

However, a very vocal minority of fans have taken the opportunity to take as much shine off of Kane’s achievement as possible. It’s often said that there are three types of lies; Lies, damned lies, and statistics. There’s ironically more than a kernel of truth to that statement, especially when it comes to stats in sport.

Credit: The Times

Something that is true is that Kane has never won major silverware in his career so far. It’s not like his efforts have gone unnoticed though, as he’s won three Premier League golden boots, has been named both PFA Young and PFA Player of the Season as well as England’s Player of the Year.

On the club front, the man whose all-time Premier League scoring record Kane is chasing down, Alan Shearer didn’t see much success either on the trophy front. Shearer never won a trophy with Newcastle United, and only one with Blackburn Rovers before that.

Shearer is rightfully lauded as one of the best players of the Premier League era, and so should Kane.

An England legend

One common criticism of Kane’s England career is that he hasn’t taken the Three Lions to glory yet. However, no England player has outside of 1966 and Kane’s efforts on this front have been impressive, claiming the Golden Boot at the 2018 World Cup.

One of the most laughable memes that has been shared is that if you take away Kane’s penalties and his goals against “non-decent” countries, he’s only scored four goals in “decent” games. A ridiculous assessment, given that seven of Kane’s goals have come against Germany and France alone.

If you look at Cristiano Ronaldo’s international goals in the same negative light, you could make the same conclusion.

Image credit: Sky Sports

Ronaldo’s over 100 goals for Portugal include 11 against Luxembourg, seven against Lithuania, six against Andorra and five versus both Armenia and Latvia. Does that mean the vast majority of Ronaldo’s goals don’t count? No, they absolutely do.

Kane has scored eight goals in the World Cup finals, with another four in the Euros taking him to twelve tournament goals. For comparison, Rooney has seven (1 WC, 6 EU) and Sir Bobby Charlton has five (4 WC, 1 EU).

Gary Lineker is the only England player that comes close in this regard, with 10 World Cup goals to his name. Football is a team sport, great individuals don’t necessarily make a great outfit by themselves.

Record-breaker

Kane scored his 54th goal – a penalty – against Italy in Naples to help The Three Lions on their way to their first win in Italy in over 60 years. This put him one ahead of Wayne Rooney’s tally and a 55th against Ukraine followed on Sunday.

Harry Kane passed his former England teammate Wayne Rooney's goalscoring tally this week. Image: The Mirror

If Kane plays in the Premier League for three more seasons – which at 29, he’s likely to do – he’ll probably break Shearer’s all-time Premier League scoring record. If he joins Manchester United, which has been heavily rumoured, it’ll be almost a foregone conclusion.

Fans can have banter online, of course they can, it’s a part of the game. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t call out bad takes when we see them though, and Kane being derided for being loyal to Spurs and falling just short for the Three Lions is pathetic.

Despite what some people will have you believe, Kane’s penalty miss against France won’t define his national career. As it stands, his standout performances in both the 2018 World Cup and 2020 Euros will be what we remember him for. And, he’s not done yet!

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