The English national side can’t boast too proud a squad these days. What it can boast, however, is a historic list of icons that have graced the footballing annals with plenty of style, skill and substance.
Think Bobby Moore and Bobby Charlton, Keegan and Robson; Lineker, Gascoigne and Barnes. Later on they had the likes of David Beckham, Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard. All icons in their own right and the list, really, is endless.
But ever since the Golden Generation fell short of expectations, England have hit a drought.
They’ve struggled on the world stage and not since the burden of success lay on the shoulders of an 18-year-old Wayne Rooney have England laid claim to a genuine candidate for a future legend.
The legacies of earlier proud Lions have seemingly come to a sudden end. Step forth Harry Edward Kane…
For the first time this decade, England have someone to truly entrust with their faith. After all, Kane is the ultimate English icon; passionate, talented and endearingly a bit thick.
The bloke screams England louder than a patriot in Wetherspoons. It goes beyond that, however because Kane is prolific and he’s hungry.
The notion that the 24-year-old was a one season wonder has now long been dispelled and it’s not hard to see why. The fella has scored over 20 goals in his last four Premier League seasons, bagging an astonishing 29 from 30 in ‘16-17.
For England, he’s netted 12 times from 23 games; more than a goal every two matches.
That’s a better record than the likes held by Shearer, Owen and Rooney. While, of course, they all played in different eras and against different opposition – it still goes to show the kind of calibre that Kane has to offer. Just being compared with names like that is praise enough.
The man is a diamond in a pretty rough ruff; fitting best, it would appear, into squads where he stands head and shoulders above those around him. But, while England’s squad may not be anything like the ones exhibited during his predecessor’s years; Kane does have a lifeline when it comes to his future.
Tottenham Hotspur are presently going full 1966 West Ham United.
Much of England’s squad revolves around Spurs’ key players and Kane’s ability to link up with and rely upon the likes of Dele Alli and Eric Dier – with Danny Rose up and down the flank – may prove imperative to his international success.
One clear asset to England’s game is the density in which their squad comes from the same league.
So long as Kane remains in England over the forthcoming years – or indeed doesn’t move at all – he knows he will constantly be developing an essential bond with players who will undoubtedly play alongside him on the world stage.
For a goal-hungry, cut-throat striker, having those relationships is crucial stuff.
With a clear, first choice forward not evident in his absence, Kane also adds a focal point to The Three Lions. He brings height, prowess and a knack for instinctive goals where others may lack in any of these categories.
Best of all, he’s got a good eight years at least left in the Three Lions’ jersey and so has plenty of time to cement his status as an England legend.
Having been so regularly let down before, we’re sure that – more out of self-protection than anything – the English won’t jump at this suggestion, but there’s substance to it and daring to dream may well be something lost by the nation of late.
Placing hope and faith in a talisman hasn’t worked this whole millennium and that’s taken a great deal of pride and confidence from the core of English football.
Trophies have always been absent or mere pipe-dreams for the country, but even so they’ve had icons and they’ve had heroes and football felt glorious for a while.
The trophies are still missing, yes, but now so are the heroes.
Whilst Kane may be no shining embodiment of all that is revered by the English – à la Bobby Moore – there is certainly a case to be made for his potential canonisation within the next decade or so. Even if we’re wrong, it’s English nature to get overworked by a glimmer of hope and talent, so there’s no harm in us starting the fun early.
You heard it here first: Harry Kane for the 2018 World Cup Golden Boot and a place in the all-time England XI. That is, of course, if he hobbles out of the sick bay.
Painful images of Michael Owen and an ever present Tubigrip abound…