Connect with us

English Premier League

The Harry Kane pile-on is unjust but lessons can be learned

Jermaine Jenas has come under fire for immediately questioning Harry Kane’s contribution in big games following England’s defeat to France in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Speaking on Rio Ferdinand’s Fibe with Vibe podcast, Jenas was uncompromising on his view that Kane delivers very little for both club and country when it matters most.

In times of such black-and-white takes, it’s always worth considering for a second what the narrative would have been if Kane had scored the penalty and England had ended up progressing to the semi-finals. Of course, he didn’t and tellingly, France are now the outright favourites in the latest World Cup 2022 betting tips after being priced at 11/10 to go all the way in Qatar. Indeed, this quarter-final tie was seen by some as the unofficial final and in many respects, it’s hard not to feel like a golden opportunity has gone begging for England with Morocco lying in wait in the semi-finals. 

Naturally, an overwhelming sense of disappointment is always going to bring out strong opinions which is why it should be no surprise that Jenas has become the first ex-player to publicly criticize Kane.

Is there any truth to what Jenas is saying?

So, as difficult as it is to hear, does the former Spurs player have a point? 

In terms of purely scoring goals, Jenas isn’t wrong about Kane being not as effective in knockout games. Yes, the England captain did score against Columbia in the round of 16 fixture during the World Cup in Russia in 2018 and indeed against France in 2022 during the quarter-finals, but, crucially, both of those were penalties. To paraphrase somewhat, Jenas’ point is that the remarkable solo goals that Kane scores for Spurs in the Premier League are missing when his country needs them most. 

Kane’s role is evolving all the time

With this in mind, you do begin to lean towards what Jenas is saying and even agree up to a point. However, it’s been well documented that Kane has for a few seasons now, been dropping deeper and deeper in a bid to get more involved in the build-up play. So even if the stats do back up the point that Jenas is trying to make, it is still a misleading take given that Kane’s role is an integral one when helping England and Spurs get on the front foot in big games. In fact, Kane was remarkably influential against France and played a key role in helping the Three Lions dominate possession against the reigning world champions. 

Yes, he will always be judged on the goals that he scores but to base the entire debate on his effectiveness on numbers alone is to be found wanting of all the facts when assessing Kane’s overall contribution for both club and country. 

Criticism will only spur Kane on 

Encouragingly for England fans, however, these ruthless takes on what Kane doesn’t offer his country in big games are likely to light a fierce fire in the forward which will only benefit the Three Lions in major tournaments going forward. At least, that is the challenge that awaits Kane given that he still has time on his side in the quest to change the narrative around what he gives his nation in their hour of need. 

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in English Premier League