Parents and Grandparents alike are hearing the phrase ‘Let’s see Kane in England’ for the first time in almost 30 years.
Cries of Kane for England aren’t in favour of harsher discipline for children within the English educational system though, calling for the return of the namesake ‘cane’, but for Spurs’ stalwart Harry Kane, who deals a similar amount of punishment to those sides who dare to challenge him, to be given a chance in the England set-up.
In perhaps the biggest challenge in the young English striker’s career so far, all eyes were on Kane as he picked apart Arsenal in the North London derby and single-handedly brought Spurs back from behind, scoring a brace to snatch the three points from the Gunners. This was a contest which asked a lot of questions of the in-form striker after a sublime season so far: could he come up with the goods when it really mattered, when the pressure was really on? The answer undoubtedly was yes.
It is arguable that a ‘proper’ English striker hasn’t been available since the days of Alan Shearer, as this number nine role has become less apparent over the years. This is something that led to the likes of Dean Saunders stating that he himself would be worth tens of millions today, due to the lack of forwards like him. Whilst this is debatable, it is certainly a valid point – one that leaves us asking where Kane would fit in, considering the type of striker that he is. Is he a Messi-esque dribbler? No. Is he an old-school, traditional number nine? Not quite.
One could say that he is a player who has clearly watched his icons from a young age and build his game on the traditional number nine role, but what he appears to have is the luxury of being part of the modern game and appears to have taken key aspects of his continental colleagues’ play and merged them with his own. He can finish, with his feet and head, and dominate the opposition defence, whilst also possessing the skills to come deep to collect the ball, dribble, pass and run at his man without losing his striking instinct.
There is no question that England have a real gem on their hands, but whether he can be used correctly and maintain this form on a bigger stage is something that is yet to be answered.
The past has seen strikers such as Robbie Fowler and Kevin Phillips, who Kane could draw comparisons to, being under-utilised by the national side, due to a wealth of other strikers in their generation. England do not have that pool of strikers to chose from any more, and it is a given that Kane will be called up soon, which leaves it down to him to ensure that he goes further than some of the iconic strikers who have represented England in the past, and perform while wearing the three lions’ shirt, rather than just in the league.
The Sky appears to be the limit for the one-time loan journeyman and he will surely be gracing the international stage very soon. His goals are flowing and his expressions on the pitch suggest that he has the attitude to go to the top.
Let’s hope the Kane is punishing oppositions for many years to come, for both club and country.