Convenient timing of comments from Guardiola, Kane in Tottenham Saga

England's forward Harry Kane gives a press conference at St George's Park in Burton-on-Trent, on June 25, 2021, during the UEFA EURO 2020 European Football Championship. (Photo by Nick Potts / various sources / AFP) (Photo by NICK POTTS/AFP via Getty Images)
England's forward Harry Kane gives a press conference at St George's Park in Burton-on-Trent, on June 25, 2021, during the UEFA EURO 2020 European Football Championship. (Photo by Nick Potts / various sources / AFP) (Photo by NICK POTTS/AFP via Getty Images) /

After the deafening silence of almost a week, Harry Kane finally published a statement, after Pep Guardiola had reinforced his desire for the Tottenham striker. 

Is Pep tampering? Was this all a big misunderstanding? Did Messi go and mess everything all up? All these new questions from the same old story regarding Harry Kane and his footballing future. Five days into his ‘absence’ from the training ground, Kane finally made a ‘statement’ via social media letting us know how important we are as fans but how disappointed he is in some of our remarks. The funny part is, that is kind of how we feel, disappointed by your remarks.

Timing of comments is everything

The timing of all of this is very important as this mess has been ongoing since Monday morning when Harry Kane was reportedly supposed to show up for training but never did. Whether he truly was a no-call, no-show, or not we likely will never know but it is clear the two sides were interpreting things differently.

Following the midweek draw with Chelsea, Head Coach Nuno Espirito Santo was commenting about the problem and how they were planning to deal with it internally and not through the media. Santo’s comments about it being a problem were a clear indication that something was truly amiss.

The fact Nuno had still not yet spoken to Kane was another sign that things were not all copacetic at N17.  Importantly a few things happened between Nuno’s comments and today, starting with a different big transfer and then the news of the year.

Other moves complicating transfer situation

First, there was Manchester City signing Jack Grealish who was going to take a number – not 10 – presumably saving it for Harry Kane. But as Grealish was announced there he was wearing that bright and shiny #10 for City.

The fact that the Cityzens had just paid £100 million for Grealish was starting to make the possibility of a Kane transfer seem unlikely. Then came the really big news as Barcelona announced that Lionel Messi would no longer stay at Camp Nou. Did this mean Kane’s move was off?

Given the history of Messi and City boss Pep Guardiola, alarms were going off everywhere as suddenly a player the team had been after for years was available on a free. Before too much could be made of the connection with City, here came the boss throwing water on the fire and reiterating his desire for one Harry Kane.

Guardiola made it clear, City was not in for the Argentine but, Manchester City, “like many clubs in the world” would like to try to sign Harry Kane. Then Guardiola did something interesting and said the only reason they had not signed Kane was Tottenham “don’t want to negotiate” and that if they would not negotiate it would be finished.

So Grealish, who we know Kane wants to play with moves, then the coach says we do not want Messi, we want Kane if only Tottenham will play ball. The signals were clear to everyone, even if not UEFA, this is tapping up at its finest and Pep was trying to put the ball in Kane and Tottenham’s court.

So Kane finally clarifies things with Tottenham, ah no

Now, with Grealish secured, Messi out of the picture, and Guardiola reiterated his desire for him Kane finally breaks his radio silence. Unfortunately for Kane and his team, many are not buying his statement.

Using the sandwich technique, where you say something kind of nice with the criticism in between, first Kane thanks the fans, then he took a little stab at fans for hurting him with their comments questioning his professionalism, and then he followed that up with the fact he did not and will not skip training and will return, Saturday, – “as planned”.

The problem of course with this is the only reason he even received any criticism was for waiting five days to comment, to begin with. Presumably, Kane, or someone in his circle, knew what was going on in the media, and a simple statement on Monday that you are still on holiday would have ended things.

Instead of being proactive Kane continues to show his play is far better than the advice he receives. To wait five days to respond to the narrative is equivalent to signing a six-year contract without a buy-out, just dumb.

Further, at no point in the statement did it say he was sorry for any confusion, he was excited about the season, or that he was committed to Tottenham. It is not about the relationship with the club but the relationship with the fans as it is clear what Kane wants to do. Essentially, we got a statement of someone worried about his legacy as he walks out the door.

Ultimately, I have no problem if Kane wants to leave but there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it. The right way would have been having a buy-out in his contract, to begin with, but absent that, it would be showing up every day as a professional and putting your head down to work. That is what Grealish did and we expect the same from a lifelong Tottenham player and fan.

However, it is likely too late for that, as we already had the five days of silence followed by the sad statement that was as accusatory as it was anything and only flamed the fires of discontent for a large portion of the fanbase. And now, even if Kane is back he will train in isolation, another sign of a player on the way out.

The problem is City, not Tottenham

The real problem here is Manchester City and their inability to actually put in a real bid for Kane.  The latest reports say that Kane already has personal terms agreed with City – interesting for a player under contract with another club – yet the offers are still not coming.

Guardiola can talk about negotiating but a negotiation starts with a bid and then goes from there. There is no chance Levy or Paratici pick up the phone and call City to ask about interest.

A single, far undervalue bid from two months ago is not the way to do it. Rather, if City really wants Kane and Kane wants them, it is time to be a real club and come and get him.

Maybe if City does not have the ambition to actually come to get Kane, Tottenham should just go get Kevin De Bruyne. I mean not just Tottenham but many teams in the world would want to have Kevin De Bruyne but it is up to Manchester City to negotiate. If City will not negotiate it is finished.  Now, where have I heard that before?

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