Is Harry Kane a flat-track bully? Examining accusations of stat-padding

Harry Kane was back on the scoresheet in a big way on Monday night as he hit four goals past San Marino in England’s 10-0 rout.

The win confirmed the Three Lions’ place at next year’s World Cup – and in some style, too. Harry Kane looked to be in the form of his life and managed to improve on his hat-trick against Albania with four of the best to help England book their ticket to Qatar.

Alas, there will always be critics out there, especially for someone as high-profile as Harry Kane.

There have been accusations that he’s merely a flat-track bully who can only get it done against the minnows. Today, we’re going to try and work our way through that theory.

How has Harry Kane fared for goals in 2020/21 so far?

The Manchester City debacle, combined with the management of Nuno Espirito Santo, seems to have really harmed Kane on the front of domestic goals. He’s scored one in ten for Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League, one in two in the League Cup and five in four in the Europa Conference League.

By contrast, his England form is staggering.

Kane has scored ten goals in six appearances just in the 2021/22 season alone. Plus, he’s also broken the record for most England goals in a calendar year with 16.

You’d have to imagine that with Antonio Conte coming through the door in North London, his confidence will continue to grow with the Italian’s relentless management style.

When could Harry Kane break the England goals record?

Harry Kane is now level with Gary Lineker on 48 goals for his country. The only men standing in his way of the record are Sir Bobby Charlton, on 49, and Wayne Rooney, on 53.

The next international breaks are currently scheduled for January/February 2022 and March 2022. Across those two intervals in the domestic campaign, it’s not unthinkable to picture Kane scoring six and breaking the record by the time Q1 is over.

Is Kane a flat-track bully for England?

In a word, no.

The best way to figure out this equation is by comparing his rise to that of Wayne Rooney. Throughout his England career, Kane has scored five goals in friendlies. Rooney, on the other hand, hit 16 of his England goals in a friendly environment.

Kane (10) also has more goals at international tournaments than the former Manchester United man (7).

We don’t think the argument holds weight when considering how many “smaller” nations Kane has scored past. Sure, he’s got a combined eight goals versus San Marino, Andorra and Malta, but the overall scope of his run proves that he can show up in the big moments.

He’s not delivered the goods in some big games in the past. Even so, “flat-track bully” feels a bit extreme.

Featured Image Credit: Getty