It’s the day Spurs fans have feared most. More than Arsenal winning another title, more than Chelsea finding a new way to mug Tottenham off, more than Sol Campbell succeeding in any way, shape or form; Harry Kane is going on strike.
Well, ‘strike’ may be pushing the boat a bit. He didn’t show up for training on Monday as he looks to force through a move to Manchester City. What’s for certain is he isn’t committed to Tottenham anymore.
The news hasn’t gone down well with Spurs fans, who have immediately done a 180 on their stance of defending him to the death. There’s been little to cling on to for these supporters in recent years, coming away from Tottenham’s worst season in over a decade with only Kane’s individual awards to brag about. The club has hardly radiated pride in the last 18 months.
The top brass at Spurs only have themselves to blame. Tying Kane down to a six-year contract in 2018 seemed like a full-proof method of keeping him regardless of on-pitch fortunes, but they failed to realise that he could still kick up a fuss and bring the club into the spotlight for the wrong reasons. Almost every major decision made by the board ever since that deal was agreed has been the wrong one.
Not backing Mauricio Pochettino in 2018, failing to rebuild post-Champions League final, replacing Pochettino with a clearly past-it Jose Mourinho, letting the Portuguese tear the club down from the inside, the furlough scheme, the Super League… It’s all been too much – and this doesn’t even scratch the surface of gripes with the club even when Spurs were competitors.
Kane has often said in interviews that he would love to stay at Spurs as long as they were competitive, and when he signed that contract in 2018, it was easy to believe that would still be the case three years down the line. For it not to be is testament to what a resoundingly poor rebuilding job the club have done.
Does that excuse Kane’s behaviour from a club and supporter point-of-view? Of course not. He signed the contract and should honour it by showing up for work. But the circumstances of which this saga have come about lead straight back to Daniel Levy.
Kane is still within his rights to do what he can to aid his career, to ensure he has a better chance of hoovering up team honours as well as individual ones. Tottenham are within their rights to demand whatever fee they like for one of the best players in the world with three years left to run on his deal.
But the genie that can’t simply be put back in the bottle is that Kane is no longer one of Spurs’ own, irrespective of where he’s playing come September.