Roughly one hour after the final whistle last night, with the chaos beginning to subside, Harry Kane was doing his rounds with the broadcasters pitchside. The captain was heartbroken but performing his mandatory duties, speaking from the heart as he rued another one that got away, when a stray supporter climbed over the advertising boards to try and get to him.
Kane’s reaction was calm, to continue speaking into the long microphone held in front of him while also gesturing for the fan to calm down and just wait. He was eventually bundled away by a member of security as Kane kept reflecting on the most disappointing evening of his career.
It was a neat if indirect encapsulation of his tournament. Kane shouldered such pressure and responsibility, absorbing the criticism follow a slow start, for an entire month but dealt with it all stoically. Both when things were going against him and in his favour.
But ultimately the questions over him being a nearly man, a player unable to get over the line and lift a piece of silverware, will persist. It is easy to see why this was considered his best opportunity of adding a major trophy to his remarkable individual feats.
Tottenham Hotspur’s current position for a man who turns 28 this month and remains locked into a long-term contract rubs salt into the wounds but the time for pondering his future is not right now.
This was a tournament billed as an opportunity to cement his status as the world’s best No9 but what transpired was a little more nuanced. In only one game did he shine as a traditional No9 and despite ending up with four goals it was overall a mixed bag.
Having started well before fading in the World Cup three years ago, the plan here was to peak at the right time. Whether the captain achieved that will remain up for debate.
While there was clear evidence of him hitting top form against Ukraine (where he scored twice) and in the semi-final win over Denmark (where he scored the rebound from his saved penalty but chiefly operated as a creator), the fact he did not have a touch in Italy’s penalty area last night cannot be ignored.
It was not necessarily Kane’s fault. He found plenty of early joy from dropping deep, most notably finding Kieran Trippier with a pre-assist for the goal, but England’s conservative game plan negated his influence as a scorer.
The reaction to his performance against Scotland, or even Germany before finally scoring, seemed way over the top and yet there were moments when even hardcore Kane fans may have been concerned by those early games when he was barely involved.
He came good when it mattered more, only to fall short when it mattered most.
Rating 7. Minutes played 646. Goals 4. Assists 0.
Source by Football London