Harry Kane has dismissed criticism of his Euro 2020 form, pointing to the fact that “people were raving about” him just weeks ago when he won the Premier League Golden Boot.
The England captain failed to score in the group stages and has looked a shadow of the player who ended the club season so well with Tottenham.
Having won the Golden Boot and the Premier League Playmaker award for the most assists, Kane was expected to be among the leading scorers and best performers at the Euros this summer – but things simply haven’t worked out.
However, there is still time for Kane to make an impact as England prepare for Tuesday’s last 16 clash with Germany.
And the 27-year-old has reiterated his focus is on turning his international form around, rather than ongoing speculation about his Spurs future or his club’s search for a new manager.
“It’s definitely not the first time people have doubted me in my career, that’s for sure,” Kane said (via the Guardian). “That’s part and parcel of it. I’ve said all along as a striker that you go through some great spells where you are scoring every game and everything you touch turns into goals and then there are some where things don’t fall your way … and that’s probably the way it’s gone in this tournament so far.
“People are quick to change their minds. It wasn’t too long ago when I won the Golden Boot and I was the best thing in the world, people were raving about me. You can’t get too high or too low, you just have to have that neutral mode. Self-belief is a huge thing and I’ve always believed in myself. I could go 10, 15 games without scoring but, give me a chance, and I’d back myself to score it.”
He added: “It is about trying to peak at the right time and the right time in tournament football is the knockout stages,” Kane says. “The first two games weren’t my best games, I definitely could have improved on them, but I felt a lot better in the third game. I had a lot more involvement, not just with the ball but without the ball … holding it up, too.
“I’m in a good place. Going into Tuesday, physically, I’m in the best shape of the tournament so far, and that’s what I wanted. In Russia, I started on fire, scored loads of goals and then maybe didn’t have my best performances in the quarters and semis. The most important thing is that I’m calm, the team are calm and we’re in a controlled place going into the big match against Germany.”
Asked about his future, Kane said: “When I come away with England, I’m just fully focused on England. My brother is my agent but the only time I’ve spoken to him over the last few weeks has been: ‘Good luck, let’s get a win and let’s take England all the way.’ I’ve got enough on my plate [with England]. When you’re not scoring as a striker, people look for every little angle and that’s probably the case at this tournament.”
And on Tottenham’s drawn out search for a new manager, Kane added: “I don’t really read anything, no media. The only thing I normally go on is Instagram and I don’t really see anything on there. It’s more pictures, things like that.
“I keep myself to myself. I watch my series. I’m with the boys playing pool or table tennis. I just try to stay away from it all. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught away with other stuff but the experience I’ve had in previous tournaments is to focus on this, do what you can do in the moment and leave no regrets.”
It’s unlikely Kane’s lack of goals will put off his suitors this summer, so there aren’t really any positives to take from his poor form from a Tottenham perspective.
With that in mind, Spurs fans will be hoping he can get back on the scoresheet soon and take that form into next season – if he stays.