Harry Kane played literally 300 minutes of football last week and then immediately reported for England international duty during a week in which the Three Lions will play three more matches.
Sound like a recipe for soft tissue injuries? Yep, that’s what I think too. Thankfully, England manager Gareth Southgate has come out and said that he’s planning on carefully managing the minutes for Tottenham Hotspur’s iconic striker and England’s captain during the next few weeks to hopefully make sure nothing bad happens to him.
Southgate also said that the decision on whether to play Harry is up to him, and that at some level he’s protecting Kane from Harry’s own decisions.
“If I allowed Harry to make [the decision on when to play], he would play every minute. That won’t be happening. But, look, it is brilliant we have a captain who wants to play every minute of every game. We have got to be mindful he had extra time last Thursday and another high intensity game last Sunday, so we have got situations with a lot of the players, really, and we have got to make sure we manage the fixture correctly.
“We have done that through training this week as well and we need to be just as fresh with the games against Albania and Poland as we do tomorrow. So, that is not an unusual challenge for us as a coaching team and as a medical team and our physical performance team. But we always communicate well with the players and I think we are in a good place going into the game tomorrow.”
It certainly helps that two of the three World Cup qualifiers England play this week and next are against San Marino and Albania, neither of which are exactly international football powerhouses. If England are going to rotate and give other players a chance, those are the two matches in which to do so. The third match is a tougher affair against Poland next Wednesday.
So thanks Gareth Southgate for protecting Harry Kane from himself and for doing just about everything he can to make sure that Kane reports back to Tottenham next week healthy, if not slightly rested.