Everybody is talking about Harry Kane at the moment and most of them are the wrong sort of people. I’m talking about the press, or more specifically, football pundits on television. Let’s just state some facts first. I have been a Tottenham fan since 1987 and I am really enjoying what Harry Kane has been providing us this season. He is young, passionate, very hardworking, grounded, committed and scoring for fun. But pundits are beginning to talk total nonsense, much like they do about England’s chances every time the World Cup comes around. I’m a Kane fan, but all he has had so far, is half a good season in a Spurs team that is at the beginning of it’s growth cycle. Now is not the time to be burdening him with International expectations or heaping any more pressure on him than what strikers already inherently have.
Take this past weekend on BBC’s Match of the Day. The two pundits were the Weetabix Danny Murphy and the ‘Powder Puff’ Jermaine Jenas. It seems these days that the only prerequisite to becoming a pundit is that you are an ex player. Murphy could not hold down a regular place in a very mediocre Spurs side 9 years ago and only won 9 England caps in a 20 year playing career. Jenas is only 31, but appears to be either too lazy or too crocked to find a club. Inexplicably he managed to win 21 caps for England. Neither are qualified coaches and neither have been managers. Hardly great credentials to pass judgement on a young player’s potential and development are they?
I think the worst thing that came out of Murphy’s mouth was, “build the team (England) around Harry Kane.” This is absurd. Give the kid a break. It has taken him years to get to this point and several loans to other clubs as well. He has had to either work much harder than other players or be a late developer, because players like Rooney and Giggs burst on the scene at 17. Kane is 21 but closer to being 22. This kind of ‘knee-jerking’ idiocy infuriates me. The same kind of idiocy that accompanied Andros Townsend this time last year. He scored a couple of goals and ran about quite fast which caused some ‘experts’ to claim he was filling Gareth Bale’s boots adequately and was a ‘shoe-in’ for the World Cup. Where is he now then lads? Yep, he is in the Tottenham ‘C’ Team, also known as the Europa League squad. Once Harry Kane has been knocking in 20+ goals a season for 3 or 4 years and has some silverware then let’s have the ‘England chat’ yeah?
Let me remind you of a few ‘flavour of the months’ you might have forgotten :- Gabriel Agbonlahor 3 caps, Dean Ashton 1 cap, Jay Bothroyd 1 cap, Fraizer Campbell 1 cap, Stan Collymore 3 caps, Brian Deane 3 caps, John Fashanu 2 caps, Franny Jeffers 1 cap, David Nugent 1 cap and Michael Ricketts 1 cap. Tangible proof that anyone can get a call-up these days. Not to mention those strikers who were prolific at club level down the years but were unable to make the step up to International class, such as Andrew Cole, Tony Cottee, Darren Bent, Kerry Dixon, Robbie Fowler, Peter Osgood and Matt Le Tissier. As you can see, nothing and no-one is guaranteed success at that level.
If Harry Kane looks after himself and is protected by his club, he is looking at at least another 15 years in the game. Why add unnecessary miles to the clock by playing International matches? He could suffer burnout or much, much worse, a debilitating injury in a friendly against Andorra, or some other equally pointless football nation. Why risk your ‘bread and butter’ and any possible club legacy by flying thousands of miles all over the world and playing in violent, racist countries? It’s extra work and wear and tear on the body that he just doesn’t need.
By far the biggest reason I can think of as to why he should boycott England, is because they’re shit. In 143 years of International competition, England have won just one World Cup, ( on home soil ), and never made it to a European Championship final. In my lifetime they have failed to qualify for 2 World Cups and 2 Euros. It is well documented the pressure that gets placed upon the shoulders of England players and managers. Harry really doesn’t need a vegetable superimposed on his forehead by a British tabloid newspaper. International football is the most corrupt of the lot, FIFA is riddled with corruption and it goes all the way to the very top. Nations like Angola, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, San Marino and the Faroe Islands etc. are all a pathetic waste of playing time and shouldn’t get anywhere near Wembley.
Another strong reason to ignore a call-up, is the general apathy a typical fan of a Premier League club has towards the England team. England have let down their fans for generations, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory and being completely retarded when it comes to winning a penalty shoot out. The average fan cannot relate to the average Premier League footballer. In the 1960s they would drink together in a pub near the ground, they would even take public transport together. It has been well documented by surveys that given the choice of their club doing well or England doing well, most fans would pick their club. It is also well documented that the majority of travelling England fans are supporters of lower league and non-league clubs. The players that currently populate the England squad earn millions of pounds a year and wouldn’t be seen dead in a local fans pub. This ‘Big Time Charlie’ attitude has alienated fans and the general lack of success and perceived effort only serves to compound this.
So I will finish with this Harry; think very hard about things before you make a decision. The pundits and journalists that are praising you now and clamoring for your inclusion for the pointless friendly against Italy next month, will be the same pundits and journalists baying for your blood if it doesn’t go well. These people exist to build you up so they can knock you right down. They are fickle ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’. The only pundits you can trust are Sam Wallace, Gary Lineker, Gary Neville and me!