Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane scored his Premier League best 18th and 19th goals today in a 3-2 home win over Everton, including a 30-yard screamer past Joel Robles. It’s his fifth goal in his last two games, and 12th in his last ten.
Finishing like that is a product of talent, but it’s also one of incredibly hard work. Before the Everton match, Kane’s manager, Mauricio Pochettino, revealed how he sometimes has to practically drag Kane off the training pitch in order to get him some rest, recuperation, and time away from football.
"Sometimes he's upset because sometimes he wants to do finishing on the afternoon and we say 'no, it's not the moment, tomorrow.’
"He says, 'no, but I want to today in the afternoon. I want to do double session'. I say, 'Harry, no. Harry, no.' He says, 'Oh gaffer, come on, I feel good, I am not tired.' I say, 'No, but it's not good for you.'
"Then it was, 'okay, at the end, maybe half an hour finishing' - even though we needed to call two or three keepers from the academy. That shows his determination and character."
They have a word for players like Harry Kane in the American basketball vernacular: a gym rat.
These are the players who come in early to shoot free throws for two hours before practice starts, and who stays on the court afterwards practicing their shooting until the custodian kicks them out of the gym. Coaches often try to dissuade them from coming in, and then eventually give up and just give them keys to the gym. They’re the kinds of players that get the most out of whatever ability they have out of sheer determination and drive.
That’s Harry Kane. Kane has a mammoth amount of talent, but he also loves the game so much that wild horses (or Argentine Premier League managers) can’t drag him off the pitch. That’s how much he wants to get better. That’s why he’s the first Tottenham striker since Jimmy freakin’ Greaves to score 20 goals in three consecutive seasons.
That’s also the reason that Kane himself might be the one striker in his generation of footballers who has any chance of catching – or exceeding! – Alan Shearer’s Premier League goal record of 260. Kane’s currently on 68 goals... at age 23.
He’s a “training pitch rat,” and to me that’s high praise. He’s amazing. And it’s why everyone loves him.