Football News

Kieran Trippier: Criticism of “unbelievable” Tottenham striker Harry Kane gets to me

By Harry Edwards

Published: 17:06, 24 February 2022 | Updated: 23:59, 20 September 2022

Former Tottenham Hotspur full-back Kieran Trippier has hit out at the criticism Harry Kane has received this season, praising the English striker for his unbelievable performance against Manchester City.

A lot has been said about Kane’s performances this season after he failed to seal a move to Manchester City last summer, and the Englishman has struggled to match the incredible high standards he has set himself in previous campaigns. After missing the opener against Man City, due to his links to the champions, Kane did not start for Tottenham in the league until their third match of the season – just before the summer transfer window closed.

But while Kane had returned to the pitch, his goalscoring hadn’t and it took the Englishman seven matches to score his first Premier League goal of the season, in Tottenham’s 3-2 win over Newcastle in mid-October. Another six-game drought followed but Kane started to re-find his form around the Christmas period.

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Kane scored three goals in three matches against Liverpool, Crystal Palace and Southampton, before adding another against Leicester after a long break from league action. But his best performance of the season came last weekend against Man City.

In a real “here’s what you could have won” evening, Kane scored twice to put Man City to the sword in a 3-2 win for Tottenham, boosting their top four hopes while also opening up the Premier League title race. And Trippier, who has played with Kane for both club and country, believes the criticism Kane has received across the season has been slightly unfair.

“It gets to me a little bit when people are criticising him because Harry’s a goal scorer, he always will be,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live on their coverage of Burnley vs Tottenham.

“I’d back Harry to score so many goals, like he has shown throughout his career.

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“He was unbelievable against City, not just his goals but the way he plays when he’s dropping deep and bringing other players into it, he’s got everything.

“I played for him for many years at Tottenham, even in the Euros when he was getting criticised and I did a lot of interviews about it and I just feel ‘be patient, Harry will score goals’.”

It was only last season that Kane won the Premier League Golden Boot and Playmaker Award, scoring 23 goals and recording 14 assists in a struggling Tottenham side. Only one other player has managed to finish a Premier League season with the outright most goals and most assists, with Kane joining Andy Cole’s 1993/94 campaign.

He has also hit double figures for goals in the past seven seasons, only needing three to make it eight in a row, and has reached the 20 mark on five occasions. But despite the quality being there for everyone to see, Trippier feels Kane has to keep proving himself against his doubters.

“Everybody knows he’s a goalscorer, he scores a lot of goals, but it’s like he has to keep proving people wrong,” he added.

“Harry doesn’t let it get to him, he’s a top professional, he believes in himself and I believe in him, it’s no surprise for me that he comes up with that performance against City. Harry’s probably the best professional I ever played with, he’s perfect captain material.

“He feels no pressure when he doesn’t score, I’ve played with him in games for Tottenham where he’s gone through a spell of not scoring.

“I’ve always believed in him, if he gets chances, he’ll score.”