Spurs star Harry Kane’s pleased to silence critics after breaking his duck against Man City
Harry Kane was pleased to silence his critics after scoring his first Tottenham goal of the campaign, having been frustrated by early suggestions that he is a one-season wonder.
The 21-year striker enjoyed a fairytale breakthrough year in 2014-15, netting 31 times for Spurs. But, while he was on target twice for England earlier this month, he was unable to find the net for his club in their opening eight games of the current term.
That much-publicised ‘goal drought’ was ended on Saturday as Kane put the Lilywhites 3-1 up in their 4-1 home win over Manchester City – and he is keen to go on a run now and keep proving his doubters wrong.
“Maybe it shut a few people up who have been talking over the last few weeks,” he said. “It’s only been eight games and a few people were saying ‘one-season wonder’ already. People can judge me at the end of the season. I just tried to stay focused but it’s great to score.
“When you’re scoring, like I was last season, it’s like a drug and once someone takes it away from you you want to get that back and you want to score again, and it was a good feeling.
“Do the ‘one-season wonder’ comments hurt? It’s frustrating, I kind of use that to get my juices flowing and try to prove these people wrong.
“I’ve had to prove people wrong throughout my whole career to get where I am now - it isn’t always easy coming through as a youngster. It always makes me want to do better so the more people say it the more it will make me want to prove them wrong.
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“Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, that’s football. People are going to try to big you up when you’re doing well and when you’re not doing so well they’ll be the ones who are talking you down. But you’ve got to try to stay focused.
“It’s a long season, there’s a long way to go. Even though I’ve scored now I’m not going to get carried away. I know I’ve got to do it as regularly as I can and just do my best for the team - and hopefully we keep winning.”
Kane had gone close to breaking his duck for Spurs on a number of occasions, including a spectacular scissor kick in the previous game against Arsenal on Wednesday that beat the goalkeeper but was headed off the line.
In the end his elusive goal came fairly easily on Saturday. Christian Eriksen’s free kick hit the woodwork and, with City’s No2 goalkeeper Willy Caballero out of position, the ball fell to Kane, who directed it back towards goal and watched as it bounced just inside the left angle of post and crossbar. Replays showed he had been offside when the initial free kick was taken – but few will disagree that he deserved his slice of fortune.
“It was a harder chance than it looked,” said Kane. “It was a half-volley so I just thought ‘get good contact on it’. It came quite quickly and it seemed to be slow motion and it just managed to creep in that top corner, so of course I’m delighted.
“Sometimes you need a bit of luck, I probably haven’t had that yet this season. That’s what it’s like as a striker, sometimes you’ve got to ride the wave. Sometimes it doesn’t go for you and fortunately this time it did.
“Hopefully I can build on this and keep scoring but the most important thing is that we’re winning games as a team and it was an unbelievable performance. Every single player, [even] the ones that came off the bench, was just on their game and we showed what we can do.
“We’re scoring goals from all positions and that’s important throughout the whole season, people chipping in goals here and there. With the players I’ve got around me we’ll always create chances and we showed that against City. We won 4-1 and we probably could have scored a couple more as well.”
Tottenham have now beaten Chelsea, Arsenal and Man City at White Hart Lane in 2015, and Kane feels the latest victory proves they are a force to be reckoned with.
“It sends out [the message] that we can be a top club and we are a top club,” he said. “We did it last year here against Chelsea and Arsenal but we’ll try to do it on a more regular basis this year. It can’t be the case that we win this game and lose against the rest of the big teams.
“But it shows there’s no reason why we can’t be up there and this will give us a lot to [build] on. We’re not going to get carried away. We’ve got a tough game in the Europa League in midweek [away against Monaco] and then Swansea away, which will be a very difficult game. But we’re winning games and that’s the most important thing.
“We know we can beat any team in the league if we’re on our game, it’s just about doing that on a more regular basis.
“Time will tell if we do or not but, for a lot of our players, last year was their first year in the Premier League – the likes of me and Eric Dier.
“We’ve learned from last year and that’s what we’re trying to do, we’re trying to get better and better, and we can’t fade off for the next few games. We’ve got to keep our foot on the pedal and try to win games.”
England manager Roy Hodgson is becoming a regular attendee at White Hart Lane these days – and with good reason, as Spurs finished the game against City with five Englishmen on the field in Kyle Walker, Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Tom Carroll and Kane.
“It is rare and I think that’s credit to the manager [Mauricio Pochettino] and the staff and the club itself bringing the players through and not being afraid to play them either,” said Kane. “It’s great to share that with the English players but everyone’s great in our squad, everyone’s focused on what we need to do. I’m sure the England boss is delighted to see it in the Premier League and maybe it will give him a headache for his selections.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs