Sport World Cup Journeys: Harry Kane is England's great hope, but can he erase 52 years of hurt?

10:57  17 may  2018
10:57  17 may  2018 Source:   msn.com

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Michael Keane and Harry Kane . The build-up to England ' s attempts to end 52 years of hurt in Russia this summer is well and truly on. Gareth Southgate's men will walk out in Volgograd to face Tunisia in their opening game at the 2018 World Cup on June 18 with the hopes and expectations of a nation

Michael Keane and Harry Kane . The build-up to England ' s attempts to end 52 years of hurt in Russia this summer is well and truly on. Gareth Southgate's men will walk out in Volgograd to face Tunisia in their opening game at the 2018 World Cup on June 18 with the hopes and expectations of a nation

  World Cup Journeys: Harry Kane is England's great hope, but can he erase 52 years of hurt? © Reuters

Harry Kane is the sort of footballer the modern game is supposed to have left behind.

With no discernible physical advantages and five clubs to his name before his 21st birthday, his story is far removed from that of your typical starlet, manicured and mollycoddled into the big league before their time.

In an age of analytics and primary school talent identification, Kane had to go the long way round, only to emerge as a complete striker, a goal-feasting juggernaut that has the world's biggest clubs licking their lips and England fans dreaming of breaking a 52-year trophy drought.

Famously, the Harry Kane story begins with rejection at Arsenal at age eight. The relatively chubby London lad with an obvious love of the game was released from the Gunners' academy after just one year — an oversight that still frustrates youth coaches and left Arsene Wenger "a bit angry" when he found out more than a decade later.

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Graeme Souness says Harry Kane is England ’ s only hope of enjoying a successful 2018 World Cup . The legendary former Liverpool, Rangers and Scotland star claims the current Three Lions squad is the most ‘modest’ he has seen in his 50 years in the game as a top player, manager and

The build-up to England ' s attempts to end 52 years of hurt in Russia this summer is well and truly on. Gareth Southgate's men will walk out in Volgograd to face Tunisia in their opening game at the 2018 World Cup on June 18 with the hopes and expectations of a nation weighing heavy on their

But the boy clearly had talent, and after a brief stint on trial at Watford, Tottenham would move to give an 11-year-old Kane a chance.

Even at this age, and right through his youth career, Kane compensated for his lack of size, strength and speed with an insatiable work ethic, on and off the pitch.

It was enough to see him rise above the kind of young players the scouts would have considered more talented, and eventually secure a professional contract at Spurs at 17.

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It’ s the busiest time for all of those involved with the sport and that includes the bookmakers who will see millions of pounds traded on this summer’ s World Cup . England may not be favourites for the win and few people actually expect Gareth Southgate’ s side to come close to ending 52 years of hurt in

Harry Kane hailed an unforgettable week after taking his England bow and becoming the youngest captain in the Premier League this season - but he will want to erase the memory of Tottenham' s goalless draw at Burnley.

In Kane's eyes, the path was clear for him to take his place at the top of Tottenham's attack. But Spurs had other ideas.

The next four years would see Kane face the toughest tests of his young career, succumb to uncharacteristic bouts of self-doubt and contemplate walking away.

His long loan voyage began at Leyton Orient in England's third division, training on Sunday League pitches and plying his trade miles away from the bright lights of White Hart Lane or Wembley.

Next up would be Millwall, the destination that — at least in Kane's own telling of his story — appeared to be the making of the man.

Seven goals in 22 appearances was a fine if unspectacular return, but it was The Den where Kane learned what football meant to the people — to the journeyman players battling relegation at a financially-deprived club and to the infamously fanatic Millwall supporters on the terraces.

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Fans are booking their flights, the players are fighting for their place in the squad, and Gareth Southgate is dreaming of becoming the man to end 52 years of hurt . Tottenham striker Harry Kane scored the goal which ensures England are heading to Russia.

Getty. Now England have scraped through to the 2018 World Cup finals, will the team Gareth Southgate has created be the one that can end 52 years of hurt ?

Still, Spurs weren't convinced, and the loan market again beckoned. A brief, goalless spell at Norwich was followed by a stint on the bench at Leicester, at the time still a Championship team.

Alone in the midlands, struggling for game time in the second division, Kane felt for the first time he might not be up to Premier League standard — or, as he described his own thought process at the time, "if I can't play for Leicester in the Championship, how am I supposed to play for Spurs in the Premier League?".

So at the start of the 2013-14 season, Kane made a decisive move. When manager Andre Villas-Boas revealed plans for yet another loan move, Kane refused.

He was going to crack the first team, Kane told his boss, and he would stay at Tottenham and train until he did.

Villas-Boas may not have fancied the still slightly overweight (by professional football standards, of course) striker, but when he was let go late in the season and Tim Sherwood took over, Kane got his chance.

And he hasn't looked back since.

One hundred Premer League goals later, Kane is England's best striker and is fast moving his way up the list of the world's very best footballers.

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Of course it had to be Harry Kane , England ’ s captain on the night, the so-called “one- year wonder” who has been defying skeptics with an unending deluge of goals for about three years now, his home nation’s one true world -class player Harry Kane Doesn't Look Like A Great Player, And Yet He Is.

Harry Kane still believes in England but Gareth Southgate knows the issue for the Three Lions is Harry Kane remains positive England can challenge for the 2018 World Cup The Tottenham striker remained upbeat following the recent defeat by France This year , England have won a World Cup . It was at Under 20 level but, still, it is the first for 51

He's called an "old-fashioned striker", whatever that means, and has honed his craft to become an art form. But what makes him so good?

Even still, Kane is not particularly quick or strong.

He's tall and agile, but no more so than any number of athletically-gifted but far less successful players.

What Kane possesses is an innate ability to read the play, react to opportunities before they have even begun to form and finish them with clinical accuracy.

He's one of those players that casual observers would say "is always in the right place at the right time", a tag that is often cast off as good fortune, but is really a rare and nearly unteachable skill.

Note the timing of his runs the next time Dele Alli or Christian Eriksen picks up the ball in Spurs' midfield, and see how they often come before the midfielder has even settled on the ball, and long before a defender is anticipating movement.

He creates chances with his movement alone, something only the very best strikers can do, and finishes them with deadly precision.

These are attributes which England desperately hopes can translate to the international stage, and Gareth Southgate will give Kane the best chance possible to thrive by loading the side with his Spurs teammates.

Twelve goals in his first 23 England appearances is a terrific start, but a poor showing at Euro 2016 — where Kane made more headlines for his woefully taken corners than his work in front of goal — proves there are no guarantees club form will be seamlessly taken to an international tournament.

If the Harry Kane of Tottenham turns up and dominates at this World Cup in Russia, his reputation would skyrocket to the point few could argue his standing in the global game, and England could well pull off a surprise.

But if he flounders, those same doubters who have followed him through his whole career will again have something to crow about.

It's all in Harry's hands.

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