Roy Hodgson’s team may have made it to the final 16 without having lost a game, but their final performance against Iceland was abysmal. Unfortunately for many fans, this was not a surprise, and England crashed out of the latest European Championships to be surpassed by their Great British compatriots, Wales.
There were several performances from players that were notably poor, and among those was Harry Kane. The 22-year-old striker was far from his best out there and faced many criticisms, which means he now needs to focus forward to the new Premier League season with domestic team, Tottenham.
The hitman had an amazing season which saw Spurs in the fight for the title throughout the whole season, before eventually finishing third behind winners Leicester City and rivals Arsenal. However, this did not quite transcend into the same story in an England shirt.
Hodgson (who has since stepped down) put Kane on corner duty (which angered England fans more than anything) and it did not really go to plan. In the game against Iceland particularly, Kane’s usual finesse with free-kicks just did not exist. The team, and the fans, left Europe disappointed and frustrated.
Last season, Kane scored an impressive 25 goals in the Premier League and earned himself the Golden Boot, ahead of Jamie Vardy of Leicester and Manchester City ace Sergio Aguero. The 22 -year-old also became Tottenham’s highest goal scorer in a single EPL season when he hit 22, and that came with six games left of the 2015-2016 campaign. Many had hoped that with the combined strength of Vardy and Kane upfront for the Three Lions, the England team would be a wrecking ball and storm their way into the final of the Euros.
Spurs will undoubtedly be powered by hunger to beat last year’s performance, as the arrival of Victor Wanyama will give a boost to the already very talented squad. Harry Kane took a little while to get started last year, before scoring a hat-trick against newly promoted side Bournemouth to increase his goal tally. Kane needs to focus on this season for Tottenham and move on from what happened in France – take the mistakes and learn from them. Supporters seem to forget that Kane is only 22, and still has a long way to go until he is the best player he can possibly be.
The presence of Spurs names within the England squad proves how well the North London club did last season, despite the eventual performances at the Euros. Danny Rose, Kyle Walker, Eric Dier and Dele Alli were also in Roy Hodgson’s final group – they will be able to help Kane focus as they will be feeling the pressure too. It is hard being an England player, especially following such a disastrous exit from an international tournament.
The squad that Hodgson took to France was young and had limited experience, which Kane will be able to take in his stride and produce more goals in the domestic league. It was thought that when the young Englishman did not score straight away last year, that his wonderful season in 2014 was just a one-off. Many will doubt Kane’s ability to get back into the swing of things, but with Spurs’ season kicking off with games against Everton on the 13th of August and Crystal Palace on the 20th, it should be an easy transition back into a top team with title-winning chances. Tottenham’s earliest (arguably) difficult opponent comes in the form of Liverpool at the end of August.
If Kane is able to bounce back from the negativity of the Euros with England and reproduce his goal tally of this year, he will grow as a player and take the lesson with him. It will not only be beneficial to Tottenham Hotspur, but also to the England national team when the next World Cup comes around in 2018 in Russia. By then, he will be almost 25 and will have gathered more experience on the international stage, as well as producing good football in the Premier League. If there is one man to help guide a young player like Kane, it is Tottenham’s manager Mauricio Pochettino.