Whether it was the protracted summer playing for England, or it was the failed move to Manchester City, or it was the uninspired hiring of Nuno Espirito Santo; Kane did not hit the ground running for Spurs this season. Likely the issues were some combination of the three, where you have a disappointed and tired player not performing up to his best, and that kind of summarizes things for Kane this season.
Conte, commitment, and Kane at Tottenham
After seemingly sleepwalking through most of his first 1000 minutes with Tottenham this season, Harry Kane has looked a bit different in the last couple of matches. Since the hiring of Antonio Conte, Kane is again smiling, posting on social media, and seemingly committed to the Tottenham cause.
Kane has not even had a week under Conte but his effort and intensity in 180 minutes under Conte showed a player who can still get it done and has a lot to give. More importantly, those minutes and that work seemed to lead to the best Kane we have seen in some time on Friday against Albania.
Kane back to his best for England
The last time Harry Kane played for England, it seemed like his poor Spurs form had finally caught up with England’s talisman. Kane finally stopped scoring in qualifiers and questions were popping up about how long Kane could perform for just one team.
With Conte in the fold, however, Kane seems to have come back to being, well Harry Kane and Albania felt it on Friday.
Kane scored a perfect hat-trick in 47 first-half minutes, helping lead England to a 5-0 lead in the qualifier. Kane headed home from a Jordon Henderson cross, before turning provider for Henderson, playing a nice one-two with the Liverpool midfielder.
Then as England was looking to step on Albania’s neck, Kane came through like we know Kane can. First Harry had a left-footed blast to put the Three Lions up 4-0, then right before the half Kane hit a worldie.
Just before the half, England had one last corner and as the ball hung just above the penalty area, Kane went flipping up and hit a wonderful right-footed scissor kick into the net. It was an excellent goal on an excellent night for Kane and England.
With the three goals, Kane made history, becoming England’s all-time leading scorer in competitive matches, tying and surpassing Wayne Rooney on the night, now with 39 competitive goals for the Three Lions. When you add in friendly matches, Kane is now joint 4th all-time for England, tied with fellow Spurs legend Jimmy Greaves at 44 on the all-time England list.
With England only a point away from securing passage to the World Cup next winter in Qatar, things are shaping up well for the Three Lions. For Tottenham, seeing Kane firing like this is another positive in the push to get back to where Spurs should be. Now the question is if Kane can take this form and continue it at N17, which is something Tottenham fans and surely Antonio Conte want to see.