Harry Kane admits England Euro 2020 agony and Man City transfer talk ‘has taken its toll’ as he struggles for top form

3 weeks ago 46

HARRY KANE has opened up about the mental and physical fatigue he suffered after a double whammy of misery this summer.

The England captain has been struggling for goals at Tottenham since experiencing the heartache of a penalty shootout defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final and then his bungled attempt to force a move to Manchester City.

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Harry Kane accepts it’s been tough to battle back from summer disappointments[/caption]
Richard Pelham / The Sun
England skipper Harry Kane has held his hands up to suffering burnout and insists he does not believe he cannot be dropped[/caption]

Kane found himself under intense scrutiny during a difficult start to the season, in which he has scored just one Premier League goal and seen Spurs sack boss Nuno Espirito Santo after just four months in charge.

And the 28-year-old striker admits he struggled with burnout following a summer ‘whirlwind’ which left him with no real pre-season, while speculation raged over his club future.

Ahead of Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Albania, Kane said: “A lot of people talk about what tournaments take out of you physically, and pre-seasons, and going straight back into a season, but I think mentally as players you go through a lot as well.

“And it’s important for players to talk about that.

“You go through the highs and lows of a tournament, coming so close to a dream and it being taken away from you in such a quick moment.

“And then it was my first summer of transfer speculation, having to deal with those situations.

“So of course it takes a toll mentally — but I’ve always had good friends and family around me.

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“When things are difficult, it’s important you talk to people you trust and not just hide it and suck it up. I came off the back of a tournament where you’re physically tired, mentally tired and all of a sudden three weeks later the Premier League has started and you’re straight back into it.

“We’ve had to deal with that as players more and more but it’s never easy to switch that mode back on and start firing on all cylinders again.

“The last two major tournaments we’ve had — semi-final, final — it takes a lot out of you. Not just physically but mentally.

“Then all of a sudden you’re back playing in the Premier League. You never really have a chance to take it all in and learn from what happened. It becomes a bit of a whirlwind.

“We play a lot of games. There’s not much time to recover and reflect.

“That loss was tough. Losing a European final with your country, at Wembley, that will stay with me probably for the rest of my career. You never really get over those things, unless we hopefully go and win some major tournaments. That always stings.

“Then there was a lot of speculation over the summer, the first real time that’s happened to me.”

Kane was particularly injured by criticism of his brother and agent, Charlie, who became public enemy No 1 with a large section of Spurs fans over his efforts to force a move away from the club.

Whenever there is stuff written about your family, it’s difficult to take, especially when negative. But that’s when families come together.

HARRY KANE

The player publicly asked for a transfer, reported back late for pre-season training but after a £100million bid from City was turned down, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy held firm and the champions did not return.

And Kane said: “Whenever there is stuff being written about your family, it’s difficult to take, especially when it’s stuff that’s negative.

“But that’s when families really come together.

“I’m very close to my brother and parents, my wife, her family, so there’s plenty of people that I trust and am able to talk to.

“In the summer, there was a lot of stuff about my brother being my agent.

“I know what he does for me as an agent, I know what he does for me as a brother and that’s all that matters. The rest of it is just noise from our point of view.”

Kane admits to being disappointed with his start to the season and says he is relishing the chance to work with new Spurs manager Antonio Conte, whose arrival seems to have quelled much of his restlessness for a move away.

He said: “It’s been a disappointing start personally and as a club. We all know there’s a lot of work to be done there but I know my form will come.

“There’s plenty of games to go. We have a new manager and that will bring a new energy and spark to the team, so I’m looking forward to working with him and getting to know him.”

And the Three Lions skipper is adamant that he never regards himself as ‘undroppable’.

He said: “My attitude has always been to fear for my place, for club or country.
“You should always feel there is somebody trying to take your spot.

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Harry Kane says he’s had a ‘great year’ overall at international level[/caption]

“Every time you’re not on the pitch, it’s an opportunity for somebody else to take your place.

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Tottenham striker Harry Kane is still upbeat about his own game and England’s[/caption]

“If you get too comfortable and complacent, all of a sudden somebody takes your place and you are sitting on the bench wondering what happened.”

But Kane claims he suffered overly-harsh criticism after he was substituted in the 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw against Hungary at Wembley last month.

He added: “I guess from the media point of view that game was a low point.

“But I had scored in 14 or 15 straight qualifiers for England and it was the first game I had not done so.

“I want to score in every game — every minute I play.

“I guess, with the standards I’ve set over the last seven years I’ve been playing for Tottenham and England, the consistency has always been there.

“It is the first time I’ve gone more than three games in the Premier League without scoring for a long time.

“That Hungary game we did not play well as a team — and sometimes you are at the forefront of that.

“But from an international point of view, it has been a great year and if we can finish these two games strongly, that puts us through to the World Cup.”

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