Harry Kane and managing expectations over the next 12 months

Despite Tottenham’s underwhelming 2014-15 campaign, one of the few plus points at White Hart Lane has been the emergence of Harry Kane.

The striker’s rise from a fringe figure at the North London club to become one of the most feared centre forwards in the Premier League has been nothing short of spectacular, with international selection following suit.

Although the sky is the limit for the 21-year-old and the Spurs faithful will hope they have another homegrown legend in the making, expectations placed on Kane need to be managed.

A return of 30 goals in a single season is an impressive feat for any attacker, nevermind one in his breakthrough campaign, but there should not be an expectation of the same output next term.

Kane is still improving and his game is still developing; it is easy to forget that the current Spurs idol has not played a lot of senior football and as such cannot be deemed as an instant world-beater.

A debut goal for England only minutes after coming off the bench added to the hype, but since then the Tottenham man has struggled to some degree in replicating the purple patch from the early months of 2015.

The Spurs star’s goalscoring feats have tailed off, which has coincided with the North London club slipping out of contention for a top-four finish.

With the rock-bottom confidence of Roberto Soldado and the off-field distractions of Emmanuel Adebayor, Spurs are already too reliant on Kane to lead their line and get the goals needed.

As such, Mauricio Pochettino would be best advised to ensure the club have more comprehensive options in the final third ahead of next season to remove some of the building pressure from Kane’s shoulders.

Although Kane will have thoroughly relished the whirlwind journey over the last 12 months, continuing at the same trajectory over the next year will be nigh-on impossible.

Opposition defences will have examined his style of play and be instructed to pay close attention to him, while the burden of expectation could well take its toll.

There is also the risk of burnout, as Kane will be part of the Tottenham contingent travelling to Malaysia and Australia for a commerce-driven post-season tour, before stepping out for England under-21’s this summer.

Harry KaneWith the inclusion in Gareth Southgate’s group for the European Championships, Kane will again be expected to set the world alight and be at his best as England look for glory in the Czech Republic.

This tournament will potentially be a dry run ahead of next summer, where England and Kane will contest Euro 2016.

There are real questions over the sheer amount of football Kane will have to play and despite having youthful exuberance on his side the physical burden must also be taken into account.

As a Spurs fan, the emergence of Kane over the last six months in particular was been nothing short of breathtaking, with the young striker the player that the club have lacked in recent memory.

The forward has all the attributes to be a top striker for Tottenham for years to come, and despite links to the contrary, Kane has stated recently that he will not be leaving his boyhood club any time soon either.

Spurs are right to build a team around Kane and a number of the other promising youth-team graduates, but expectations must be kept in check.

Tottenham have a reputation as a club of impatience, especially when it comes to managers, as Champions League qualification is the be-all and end-all ; anything else is nowhere.

Kane has the ability to fire Spurs back to a place amongst Europe’s elite if surrounded by the right players, but to expect him to do it straight away is asking too much of the starlet.

By
I am a freelance football journalist from Northern Ireland living in Broome in Western Australia. I have worked for top media outlets such as FourFourTwo, goal.com, Soccerlens, Football Fancast and Here is the City. I am a lifelong and long-suffering Tottenham fan. Follow me on Twitter at @90MinsOnline
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