Malcolm Gladwell does a great podcast where he takes things that are generally accepted as true and then spends an hour dissecting the subject and trying to take a different slant on it. These are occasionally themed sport (hence the tenuous link to what I want to say!).
In about 20 years time, I can see him doing an episode on Harry Kane’s World Cup 2018. He’s going to win the Golden Boot and he’s going to get plaudits for being a great striker for the rest of time; except I really don’t think he’s had a good tournament. The hype around Sir Harold of Kane has been worse than the hype around the rest of the team.
You can break his tournament up in to two phases:
Phase 1: the group stages. 2 games 5 goals. Can’t argue with that can you….well yes, I can. Two penalties, two headers from 1 yard out where he can’t miss and one deflection that he barely even knows anything about. I don’t think he did much else and the opponents weren’t exactly top of the class.
Phase 2: the knockouts. 3 games, 1 goal (so far). Not so good stats wise, particularly as it’s another pen for the goal. This is because he’s mostly played in this odd, floating, almost centre-mid position for most of those 3 games. If only there was a recent example of a “World Class” attacker who kept trying to play centre mid, largely unsuccessfully, to take as an example. ROOmind* you of anyone? Maybe the reason Raheem Sterling hasn’t been very decisive is because he’s receiving a cross-field ball from a man who should be standing on the penalty spot.
So, Harry Kane’s World Cup summarised as three fortunate goals and three penalties, mostly against cannon fodder, interspersed with some lovely passing from deep that resulted in balls getting put in to an empty box. Arise Sir Harry indeed.
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