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Whose Name is Harry Kane?

5 min read
by Patrick Sidwell

The whole saga has led a lot of fans to ask questions of Kane’s loyalty to Spurs, and his true feelings for the club. How COYS is he really?

Oh no, another Harry Kane article?! Don’t blame me – you clicked on it.

Many Spurs fans will have you believe that we’ve been here before. Carrick, Berbatov, Modric, Bale – they all got their way in the end. But this time, it feels different. There is something vicious and visceral about the reaction towards the Harry Kane saga. It would be easy to blame this on social media, which is hardly a hub for messages of endearment, but there is more to it than that. We feel betrayed by one of our own. It wasn’t supposed to end like this.

Through the bitterness, there are positives to take. For most of us, we grew up with Spurs as a loyal friend, a devoted ally, and an absolute bastard that was by our side. It was put there before we had the cognitive capacity to make this terrible decision for ourselves – some relative probably bought you a Spurs shirt before you’d even been weaned off breast milk. Growing up with Spurs could feel like a curse or a blessing – it was a shining light, or a dark cloud, always watching, always there.

Over the past few weeks, something has become clear to a lot of Spurs fans: Harry Kane has not always been there, and will not always be there. He could wear lilywhite until his glass ankles finally crack for the last time, but even then, a day will come where he is not in the starting XI. When that day comes, we will still be there, and so will Spurs.

Let’s wind the clock back to a few of former players who managed to force their way out of the club. When Carrick, Modric, Berbatov, and Bale moved on, there was an impending sense of doom that permeated through the fanbase. What will we do without them? How do we replace them? Some could even ask: ‘what is the point?’

But this time, it feels different. The frustration felt towards Kane has brought us together as a fan base, as collectively as few things have done in recent memory. We typically argue over a lot, us Spurs fans. We argue about whether Dele can make a comeback, if Lloris is past It, or if we could beat Ndombele in a footrace, but we aren’t arguing here. If City pay the money, thanks for the memories, but off you pop up the M6.

Of course, some of the reaction has been over the top. Charlie Kane, Harry’s brother and agent, has received an unfair amount of online abuse for someone whose only crime seems to be swimming beyond their depth – in reality, he is hardly the first agent to be shown up by Levy. The whole saga has been handled badly on both sides. For Kane, it has turned into a PR disaster: there was the interview with Neville; he followed reports of missing training with days of silence before publishing a waffly statement; and it now looks as if there might be an attempt to sweep it all under the rug. For the fans, we’ve been quick to jump onto one of our greatest ever players, berating him before truly hearing his side of the story. We are lucky to have one of the world’s best number nines, and who knows when that will be the case again. Tempers flared, but it’s not like football fans to be unreasonable, is it?

However, this goes beyond a petty grievance among fans. In characteristically uncryptic fashion, Eric Dier said that “we are more than one player” after the season opener against Man City. Japhet Tanganga was caught retweeting Micah Richards’ damning indictment of Kane’s behaviour on SkySports, before quickly deleting it. Similarly, Heung-Min Son liked, and soon after unliked, an Instagram post criticizing Kane’s actions. It seems as if the fans aren’t the only ones who are annoyed.

But we have a right to be annoyed. Harry wants trophies, apparently, and has not won any at Spurs. If you listen to the pundits, he never even had the chance to win one with Spurs, which is true if we choose to ignore the Champions League final, two Premier League title challenges, two EFL Cup finals and two FA Cup semis. Let’s not forget that he was handed a Champions League final on a plate, after missing the semi-final tie against Ajax and the away leg against Man City in the quarter-final. No player has a right to win trophies. Kane has had the chances, and he has contributed towards failing to grasp those chances. City are supposedly guaranteed to win trophies, but they have only reached one Champions League final themselves, and look how that went.

The whole saga has led a lot of fans to ask questions of Kane’s loyalty to Spurs, and his true feelings for the club. How COYS is he really? Has he ever really said how much he loves the club? Or shown it? Son put pen to paper this summer, saying that Spurs “feels like home” – I don’t’ remember Kane ever saying anything along those lines. He hasn’t shushed the gooners like Van der Vaart or Eric Dier. He hasn’t squared up to Wilshere, like Lamela, or even Bale. Has he kissed the badge like Lucas Moura? Celebrated like Winks? Or cried like Pochettino? There are those who get it, and those who don’t. Is Kane a fan of Spurs? Or is Kane a fan of Kane?

Whatever happens, I ultimately just feel a bit sad for Harry. If he leaves, I don’t know if he will ever feel that love from a fanbase again. Even if he stays, is his legacy tarnished? There are more questions than answers at this point, but there is one thing we can all be sure of: players come and go, and managers change, but Tottenham will always be there. Through the highs and lows, fingernails will be chewed, limbs will fly, and the odd tear will even be shed. For the players, it’s a job, but for us, it’s our club, our one and only club.

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