sport news Harry Kane does not need to be pitied despite his lack of trophies at Tottenham trends now
Early on Sunday evening, a few hours before Spurs made their latest admission of failure by parting ways with Antonio Conte and beginning the search for yet another new manager, Harry Kane stood on the pitch, with his wife, Kate, and his three young children by his side, basking in the applause of a capacity crowd at Wembley.
As the England team that he leads prepared to play a European Championship qualifier against Ukraine, Kane was asked to step forward from the line-up to be presented with a trophy in the form of a gleaming golden boot, in recognition of his achievement in breaking the all-time England goalscoring record with his penalty against Italy in Naples last Thursday.
It is a storied record, perhaps the most prized in English football. Sir Bobby Charlton held it for 45 years with 49 goals before Wayne Rooney surpassed it in 2015 and set a new mark of 53.
Now it belongs to Kane and it is likely to belong to him for a generation or more. As Kane held the trophy aloft at Wembley, players from both England and Ukraine applauded him, too.
Some still seek to use the juxtaposition of Kane’s scoring achievements and his lack of trophies with Tottenham as a stick to beat him with as if it will somehow undermine his legacy.
Harry Kane does not need to be pitied for his lack of team trophies after becoming England's all time goalscorer this weekend
Spare me the idea that Kane's lack of success with Tottenham devalues his career
The collision of Spurs’ current woes and Kane’s relentless assault on records held by legends like Rooney, Alan Shearer and Jimmy Greaves has thrown the contrast into particularly sharp relief.
But, please, spare me all the ‘poor Harry’ bleating from supporters of other clubs. Spare me the faux-pity aimed at Kane for being at a club that has not won a major trophy for 15 years. Spare me the idea that his career has been devalued by Spurs’ drought. Spare me the idea his lack of medals is something that will be held against him when he retires if it remains that way. Spare me the idea he is a prisoner at Spurs. It simply isn’t true.
It may be used as a reason to mock him by his detractors but it is tempting to think some fans of other teams hope that mockery may act as a lever to get him to join their club instead.
What Manchester United would give to have Kane in their team. What Chelsea would give to have him. He would improve any side in the Premier League, with the possible exception of Manchester City, so it is little wonder opposition fans want him out of Spurs.
The debate about Spurs and Kane and should he stay or should he go is a cyclical argument that rages and then recedes almost every season.
His detractors use Spurs' drought as a stick to beat him with, but any club would want him in their team
It reaches peaks and then dwindles into troughs and with his contract due to expire at the end of next season and Kane turning 30 in the summer, we are approaching a point of maximum volume. Maybe this summer will finally be the summer that Spurs chief executive Daniel Levy finally decides to cash in.
Kane may well leave this summer. It appeared that he was open to a move to City two years ago but the move never came.
The idea that he has to move to give his career legitimacy, though, is a fallacy. It relies on the one-dimensional idea that success in football is measured purely on how many trinkets you can hang round your neck or how many pictures you have of yourself lifting a tin pot over your head.
Football is a team sport and trophies are the ultimate expression of success and of course they are to be valued and aspired to. But let me ask you this: Alan Shearer is one of England’s greatest ever strikers, too, and what will you remember him for? Winning a title with Blackburn Rovers? Maybe, but I doubt it.
I think of Shearer and I think of the fact that he is the record goalscorer for his hometown club, Newcastle United, and that he will be revered by their fans for the rest of his life. He never won a trophy at St James’s Park.
I think of Alan Shearer and the fact he is the record scorer for Newcastle. He never won a trophy during his time at St James' Park