Harry Kane Really (Really) Wants That Goal vs Stoke

Tottenham Hotspur

Fair enough. When you play for Spurs, even the slightest whiff of Silverware is worth chasing hard for. Yet, even with that as a motivating factor, Harry Kane’s determination to claim his goal against Stoke City this weekend is a little, well, bizarre!

With Kane making a Lazarus style recovery from injury to feature in the starting line up against the Potters this weekend many would have backed him to get a bucketful (pundits and Fantasy Football managers alike) to add to City’s misery. Add to their misery he did, but only with one solitary goal… or so he thought.

After the game, the FA’s dubious goals panel (a fantastic title that makes them sound like a CSI-style investigation) decided that the inswinging free-kick from Christian Eriksen DIDN’T brush the shoulder of the England striker and instead awarded to goal the Dane.

No more to say on the subject right? It was an important 3 points, a well-earned win that pretty much secures Champions League football for Spurs next season and that’s what is important. It’s a team game and Tottenham won as a TEAM. Or so you would think.

The FA’s decision caused Kane to begin a campaign of whinging in a bid to have the goal awarded back to him to help with his challenge for this season’s Golden Boot. He even spoke after the game swearing on his daughter’s life and suggesting we “Will have to take his word for it” that it was he who scored the goal.

No Harry, no we don’t. Your word is one thing (when we can understand what you are saying). The undeniable evidence provided by a dozen HD cameras and countless super-slow-motion replays that clearly show NO contact is another thing… and a thing that its almost impossible to ignore!

However, ignore it he has and so have the Spurs management. In a move of “overlooking the obvious thing in front of your nose” of more akin to the manager of that other North London club, Spurs have backed Harry all the way to the bank and appealed to the FA to get the decision overturned. That bank being Real Madrid’s bank, who will no doubt see a few extra Euro’s tacked onto Kane’s asking price should he successfully bag a 3rd consecutive Premier League golden boot.

On other occasions this season, when Kane has made an appeal to an FA official with no real grounds, it has resulted in overwhelming success (see the Penalty awarded vs Liverpool) but you have to hope on this occasion his appeal will fall on deaf ears. If not, who knows where he will stop? Before we know it he will have laid claim to Eriksen’s other goal vs Stoke, Pogba’s weekend brace and Geoff Hurst’s World Cup hat-trick. Even then I’m still not sure he’d catch Salah.

Let’s just remember this isn’t a decision that affected the game in any way. It wasn’t even a red card or a booking that will affect future games. Its a bizarre appeal from a club that would appear to be bending over for their superstar player in an attempt to boost his ego (and no doubt that eventual transfer fee).

Personally, I hope that the FA don’t cave in and give Kane the goal, maybe in some misguided hope that it may inspire him to greatness at this summers World Cup Finals. Although, I’m sure the likes of Danny Welbeck and other misfiring strikers would be delighted with the news that one can simply “lay claim” to other peoples goals in order to improve your personal strike rate (even Andy Carroll might get a few that one). I don’t think this spoilt, child-like behaviour should be rewarded.

It’s one thing wheeling away in celebration when the back of the net bulges in the heat of battle. It’s another entirely banging on about it afterwards and trying to curry favour with tweets to TV pundits in an attempt to back up your claim.

I’ve always liked Kane but this move is symptomatic of the individualism creeping into the modern game: The quest personal glory that leads to bigger wages, better transfer deals and personalised emoji’s. It’s not just vanity, it can stop a player reaching their full potential.

I find it hard to imagine Lionel Messi or even king-ego himself Cristiano Ronaldo going after such personal riches over their team’s success. It’s the kind of self-promotion that has contributed to the once-titled “Best midfielder in Europe” Paul Pogba capitulation at Old Trafford. It would be sad to see Kane go down the same road.

Eriksen, to his credit, says that Kane can have the goal if he wants it. You know what, if it teams he gets back to scoring proper goals and focusing on his clubs (and countries) success, he can have that too.

But remember the old saying; There is no I in team… but there are several in whinging primadonna. Want to hear more from Jim? Check out his satirical football podcast On The Left Side. Find the latest episode here.