Last night saw England suffer their most humiliating defeat at a tournament since losing to USA in the 1950 World Cup, as Iceland beat Roy Hodgson’s side 2-1.
The entire team were terrible but it’s probably fair to say that our own Harry Kane was the most ineffective England player on the pitch. He could do nothing right, which included – bafflingly – taking every set-piece for his country.
The decision to put Kane on free-kick duty, despite the fact that he rarely takes one for Spurs, was an example of how Hodgson did him no favours during the tournament.
There was talk of Kane being tired, but while that may have been a factor in his poor form, a far bigger problem was how isolated he was in England’s attack.
At Tottenham he’s used to getting the ball and having the trio of Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela in close attendance, while Kyle Walker and Danny Rose bomb forward to provide width. As the lone striker in England’s 4-3-3, Kane had little support from central midfield or the wide players, as Hodgson’s team toiled in static lines.
What’s important now is that Kane is able to start next season for Spurs, free of physical fatigue and any mental hangover.
Kane had a brilliant season to finish as top scorer in the Premier League, but the last few months ended in disappointment as Tottenham’s title challenge petered out, followed by a Euro 2016 campaign that was unsuccessful on both a personal and collective level.
We saw Kane struggle at the start of last season, as a combination of a busy summer, a pressure to prove that his debut campaign wasn’t a fluke and the fact that Tottenham failed to sign any strikers, took it’s toll.
Kane had the yips in front of goal for the first few weeks of the season. Had he hit the ground running then it’s quite conceivable that Spurs could have won the Premier League.
We cannot make the same mistake. It is imperative that that the club sign at least one striker and soon. Kane needs occasional rest from both playing and the sole-responsibility of having to score the bulk of the team’s goals.
The club’s mission is clear. Stop mucking about, pay what’s being asked to land the strikers that Mauricio Pochettino wants and give Kane the chance to put a draining summer behind him.