Football fans rarely agree on things but few, regardless of allegiance, could argue that this season’s breakout star has been Harry Kane. The Spurs striker burst onto the scene due to the impotence of Roberto Soldado and has taken to the Premier League like a duck to water that isn’t as good a quality as it thinks it is. He has scored 26 goals in all competitions and as such there have been widespread calls of “Call him up Roy!” from England fans up and down the country.
It’s easy to see why. The guy has the whole package – good in the air, decent touch, an eye for a pass, looks like an extra Blackadder Goes Forth, as well as the ability to shoot when people don’t really expect him to. Despite this, some have questioned the usefulness of calling him up when he could be left to play his football for his club and continue undeterred for the rest of the season. There are also the concerns that if he comes into the national team and doesn’t immediately begin scoring, the pressure and expectation may become a toxic burden – just like it has for many before him.
But the England national team manager, Roy Hodgson, is not having any of it, “I’m really happy to be able to welcome Harry into the squad,” said the former Fulham coach. “He’s been in fantastic form this season and I’m really looking forward to that coming to an end. We here in the England set up have a rich history of helping to stunt development and if we can do the same for Harry I’d be delighted.”
Asked whether Kane would be better served staying out of the senior set up until after the summer, during which time he could get tournament experience with the under 21 side, Hodgson scoffed. “I really don’t see the point in allowing him to play tournament football with his peers in a comfortable environment which could get him used to winning trophies internationally,” he said with not even a hint of irony. “My job is to take care of England, and that’s exactly what I plan to do.” If nothing else, Hodgson’s undying commitment to rushing players into no-win situations must be commended. He truly is the perfect England manager.
Elsewhere, Kane’s former coach Tim Sherwood unusually had something to say on the issue. “I remember playing against Lithuania alongside Harry’s father back in 1996. If he plays half as well as his old man did that day he’ll be doing alright,” stated the Aston Villa manager.
When pushed on the fact that not only have England never played Lithuania at senior level before, but also that Kane’s father was not a professional footballer, Sherwood just smiled and stared into space.
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