When the 18-year-old Harry Kane was saved when he started at Tottenham, nobody would have imagined that he would go on to score 39 goals for the club en route to equaling Jimmy Greaves’ goalscoring record. out.
Here we are, however, almost 11 and a half years on from that defeat to Hearts in a Europa League qualifier, and Kane is Tottenham’s all-time leading goalscorer.
Goal number 267 against reigning League champions Manchester City on Sunday was his 200th in the competition.
Drink that in for a moment. It’s a great achievement. Kane has earned the club record by breaking Greaves’ mark in Tottenham teams of Harry Redknapp, Andre Villas-Boas, Tim Sherwood, Mauricio Pochettino, Jose Mourinho, Ryan Mason, Nuno Espirito Santo and Antonio Conte.
Kane saw great turmoil at Spurs and rode it out every time, enjoying those enduring moments of stability that broke out from time to time, too, and even the occasional moments of ‘glory, glory’.
There were many awards and personal honors; there were no trophies for Tottenham, however.
Here, Stats Perform looks at how Kane overcame a false start, and everything else that comes with playing for the under-performing north London giants, to become Tottenham’s goal king.
Is he really in the same league as Greaves?
This is quite simple to answer. Greaves hit 266 goals in 379 games for Spurs, from 1961 to 1970, while Kane brought up number 267 in his 416th outing. So you can split hairs, but basically there is a precious little difference between their amazing strike rates.
Kane is in the Greaves class, make no mistake. Right up there. Remember his first Spurs games as a raw rookie, but Greaves started his White Hart Lane career as the finishing article, having already impressed for Chelsea before a brief spell in Milan, so he came to start: hat trick first. against Blackpool evidence of that.
Greaves scored 37 goals in the 1962-63 First Division for Spurs, setting a club record that stands to this day.
Kane topped 20 league goals for four consecutive seasons from 2014-15, culminating in a 30-goal campaign in 2017-18, his best in the Premier League. It was a 42-game league season in the Greaves era, as opposed to today’s 38 games.
That 2017-18 campaign saw Kane storm to 41 goals in all competitions, at a rate of 0.93 goals per 90 minutes (0.88 per 90 minutes in the Premier League). He went on to win the World Cup Golden Boot at the end of that campaign. Peak Kane was amazing. Peak Kane may have succeeded, but the current version is still stalled.
But what about the trophies?
Those who want to poke a stick at Kane might be drawn to his goals after giving Tottenham any tangible reward for the trophy cabinet. And, no, the Premier League Player of the Month and domestic Golden Boots awards (three – 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2020-21) won’t count when it comes to big time.
But it certainly makes Kane’s achievement all the more remarkable, because he is so relentlessly prolific in a team that so often appears as a collective group. It is the constant, reliable feature. In a rare personal slump in success early last season, after Kane saw off the prospect of a move to Manchester City, he climbed off his bum and finished the campaign with 27 goals.
His shot conversion rate of 16.07 per cent in 2021-22 was the lowest since 2015-16 (14.58 per cent), but this term he was improving to 18.18 per cent before City’s visit.
Greaves joined Tottenham from Milan for £99,999 just months after they achieved a domestic double under Bill Nicholson, and has never won a First Division title with Chelsea or Spurs.
He did, however, lift the FA Cup twice with Tottenham, in 1962 and 1967, and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1963. Kane continues to go for that gold, even with places in the Champions League today. there according to some as the equivalent of transport. no more weight than a domestic cup victory.
The theory of the best four may be one for the bean counters, but at field level the cup trophies are still a very valuable commodity. Little wonder City benefited from Kane’s head. He knew he could be a serial winner.
What else in Kane’s evolution?
Tributes to Greaves, when he died in September 2021, showed how he changed his game as the defenses became more successful and smarter overall.
Greaves was said to be a predator in the penalty area later in his career, rather than relying on his great pace and trouble to create chances for himself.
We could look at Kane and think that a similar change is happening.
Seven of his 19 goals this term have been forwards, compared to seven in 41 five seasons ago, and he is not slicing past defenders and shooting as often as he used to.
As for Kane’s possession of the ball and tackling defenders before shooting, he attempted 25 such maneuvers in 48 games in 2017-18, but before facing City on Sunday he had just four game in 29 games in 2022. -23 campaigns. It was seven out of 50 games last season, a similar ratio.
Like Greaves before him, and even Cristiano Ronaldo, Kane has lost some of that youthful energy but has found ways to still enjoy great success in the 18-yard box as his career progresses.
With Kane, he’s also helping others channel his energy into and near that zone.
Kane had 28 assists for Tottenham in his first 287 games for the club, but has another 30 since the start of the 2020-21 season. This is the sign of a player who is still developing, still learning where his limits are, as they try to convince their Spurs colleagues that they can follow his example, to convince them that they can get their hands on goods money one day.