I saw, through the fire and flames, many a Twitter user slag off The Second Coming during the international break. Its not something Ive been able to get out of my head.
By The Second Coming, Im obviously referring to Harry Kane.
The Tottenham striker comes in for a lot of flak, mostly from rivals fans and, somewhat surprisingly, England supporters.
There was a moment in time, during a World Cup semi final against Croatia roughly a year and a bit ago, where Kane had the chance to square a pass to strike partner Raheem Sterling to give England a two-goal lead.
He didnt, and England ended up losing 2-1.
But one missed opportunity, albeit a generational opportunity, shouldnt be used as a stick to beat one of the best players these shores has seen in the last 25 years with so consistently, especially given his performances in Englands recent fixtures and his record since his debut back in 2015.
Instead, we should be looking ahead, and to what the Tottenham striker can lead the Three Lions towards.
There were calls for Chelseas Tammy Abraham to lead the England frontline ahead of Kane, and those suggesting the wildcard shout werent without their reasons. Abraham has been in sizzling form during the first few months at club level, while Kanes Tottenham are in somewhat of a rut, if you hadnt heard already.
But what we saw during the loss to the Czech Republic and the win in Bulgaria is exactly what Kane brings to this vibrant England side. In the Premier League, few strikers can match Kane as a playmaker. Liverpools Roberto Firmino is certainly up there, while Alexandre Lacazette has his admirers.
What England now have, which has become more evident in their Nations League games and European Championship qualifiers, is a double threat up front.
Kane and Sterling. Its where its at, frankly.
Sure, England didnt play very well against the Czechs, but Kanes pass put Sterling through on goal for their early opener, leading to the penalty which Kane dispatched."Penalty merchant!"
"Hes selfish! Get im outta my team."
These are all views which deserve no recognition and certainly no respect.
Because everything that Kane did on Monday night was brilliant. Whether that be on the pitch with his all-round skill set, or his leadership in what was a disgraceful environment as Englands players were subjected to a torrent of racist abuse.
His interplay with Sterling led to Ross Barkleys first goal of the night, before he then set up the Chelsea midfielder to head home with a floated cross. More assists followed, as he fired a ball across goal for Sterling to tap in, before he again teed up the Manchester City star with a simple but well-weighted pass.
His own shooting skills seemed lacking throughout the evening, but he eventually notched his eighth goal in qualifying, and his 28th international strike overall, with a trademark finish.
Patchy form? Bah humbug.
Whether Kane can help turn things around at club level remains to be seen: he cant play as a goalkeeper, central defender, playmaker in midfield and a striker extraordinaire all at the same time.
"Im hurt because my friends have to go through it."Englands Harry Kane says he is proud of the togetherness shown within the squad, after their Euro 2020 qualifying win in Bulgaria was marred by a torrent of racist abuse directed at England players: https://t.co/qD1F1LST5Z pic.twitter.com/2H0FE7RfCT
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) October 15, 2019
But he undoubtedly has a more settled set-up to enjoy whenever he plays for England, one where hes free to drop a little deeper and take the goalscoring burden off himself, such is the talent of Sterling.
His involvement in Tottenhams build-up play has dropped and Kane has been isolated for longer periods up front than most fans are used to, but his last two performances for England show he may have turned a corner.
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