As a World Cup and two-time Premier League Golden Boot winner, it’s fair to say Harry Kane knows how to find the back of the net.
The Spurs and England forward’s strike rate is quite something, with 108 goals to his name from 151 Premier League appearances. He can score with his left foot, right foot, head and, as the World Cup proved, even the back of his calf if he really wants.
He can net goals home and away, in the Premier League, Champions League and at international level. In short, he can do it all, apart from one tiny thing: score in the month of August.
Incredibly, despite his goalscoring pedigree, Harry Kane has NEVER bagged a Premier League goal during the curtain-raising month. That statistic is made all the more remarkable when you consider in his career he has played in 14 games, totalling 988 minutes and attempted 46 shots during August. And he’s fluffed his lines on every single occasion.
In any striker’s books, that is a dreadful return.
It’s a problem the 25-year-old is very much aware of. Speaking to the media about the issue following a 2-1 home defeat to Chelsea in August 2017, Kane said: “Sometimes the ball does not go in, as it didn’t against Chelsea with one off the post and the few chances I had. It is part of the game, I just need to keep working hard, keep my head down and I am sure the goals will come.”
Well, we’re now a full year on from those quotes, and still no August goal was forthcoming for Kane at St James’ Park as Spurs laboured to a 2-1 victory over Newcastle on the opening weekend.
To find out the root cause of Kane’s August goal drought, we’ve put our detective/conspiracy theorist/wild fantasist (delete as appropriate) hat firmly on. In doing so, we’ve discovered a combination of three reasons which explain everything about his early season struggles…
He’s actually not very good after all
Any old player can have a fluke run of form – just ask Christopher Wreh (remember him? Exactly…). Perhaps, at long last, Kane is now finally being found out as a four-season wonder who just happens to have had a few lucky purple patches from September to May?
Sure, it’s unlikely lightning strikes twice, let lone four or five times, but it would go some way to explaining how one of the world’s most devastating strikers can suddenly go AWOL for an entire month. Right?
He’s trying to give Arsenal a helping hand
It’s well known that a young Harry Kane actually started his career in Arsenal’s youth ranks. It was the club he also supported, with Kane pictured proudly decked out in red and white at the Invincibles’ title parade in 2004. So it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Kane remains fond of the Gunners – after all, how many people genuinely switch allegiances from the club they grew up chanting for?
Subconsciously or otherwise, perhaps the striker deliberately avoids scoring to try and help give the red half of North London a headstart in the league? Lord knows they’ve needed it recently. Admittedly, given Arsenal’s two consecutive finishes below Spurs in the table, that particular masterplan hasn’t gone to plan in the past couple of seasons. But a man can only try…
He enjoys his summer holidays a little too much
When Kane was cut from the Arsenal youth teams at the age of eight, it was because he was “chubby and not very athletic”, according to the then Head of Youth Development, Liam Brady.
People never truly change, so who could blame the chubby kid inside Kane coming out to play over the summer break, with his feet up and McDonald’s delivery on tap?
He’s only human and, to be fair, it’s exactly how we spent our summer as well.
This would perfectly explain why Kane isn’t fully up to speed when a new season kicks-off. It takes a few games to blow away those cobwebs, which explains the immediate goal rush that follows once the calendar ticks over to 1 September.
Tottenham’s first Premier League fixture in September this season comes at Vicarage Road as they take on Watford. The Hornets must be praying Kane will be unavailable for selection, as otherwise they’ll have to contend with a top/flukey striker finally firing on all cylinders.
So long as he’s given up the McDonald’s, anyway.