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Keane and Kane charged with similar ‘crimes’

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Robbie Keane, pictured above at a 2019 fixture between Ireland v New Zealand, is the Republic of Ireland's record goal-scorer. Picture by Catherine Ivill

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match at the Gtech Community Stadium, London. Picture date: Monday December 26, 2022.© PA

Tottenham's Harry Kane acknowledges the fans at the end of the English FA Cup soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Portsmouth at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)© AP

harry kane© Getty Images

File photo dated 10-12-2022 of England's Harry Kane misses from the penalty spot. But a clash with defending champions France proved the end of the road as they were beaten 2-1, captain Harry Kane equalising with a penalty that saw him become his country's joint-highest scorer, then missing the chance to level again with another spot-kick late on, sending it over the bar. Issue date: Friday December 16, 2022.© PA

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 07: Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspurs shoots at goal during the Emirates FA Cup third round matcvh between Tottenham Hotspurs and Portsmouth at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on January 07, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)© Getty Images

KASHIMA, JAPAN: Irish forward Robbie Keane (L) scores a goal despite German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn during the Group E first round match Germany/Ireland of the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea and Japan, 05 June 2001 at Kashima Ibaraki Stadium. The game ended in a draw 1-1. AFP PHOTO PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP via Getty Images)© AFP via Getty Images

English footballer Jimmy Greaves of West Ham United FC, circa 1970. (Photo by Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)© Getty Images

AL KHOR, QATAR - DECEMBER 10: Harry Kane of England celebrates scoring their goal from the penalty spot during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 quarter final match between England and France at Al Bayt Stadium on December 10, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)© Getty Images

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Robbie Keane of Tottenham Hotspur attempts a shot a goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City at White Hart Lane on October 24, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)© Getty Images

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 07: Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspurs shoots at goal during the Emirates FA Cup third round matcvh between Tottenham Hotspurs and Portsmouth at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on January 07, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)© Getty Images

Kevin PalmerSunday World

ROBBIE Keane will be familiar with the criticism Harry Kane contends with at Tottenham as for many a long year, he faced similar charges.

It remains a mystery that while Dubliner Keane was setting an Ireland goal scoring record that is never likely to be broken, he was constantly accused of being an under-achiever who didn't win enough trophies in his career to be hailed as an all-time great.

Roll the clock forward a generation and the striker filling the No.10 jersey Keane made his own at Tottenham is often confronted with similar 'offences', offered up by those eager to undermine his achievements.

Keane and Kane have been lambasted for lacking pace, for failing to shine in the biggest moments and the justification for the sneers is always their lack of trophy success.

Yet this is a Tottenham and Ireland/England issue rather than a Keane or Kane problem as being the best player in your team is never going to be enough to take you to the game's biggest prizes.

Every champion needs support acts to achieve their ambitions and this is why those who suggest Keane and Kane are over-rated are misguided.

Keane used to be accused of building up his international scoring record against the world's lesser nations, even though he has goals against Holland, Germany, Italy and France on his immaculate record.

The folly of some misguided observers who wanted to banish Keane to the waste bin of International football long before he kicked his final ball for Ireland has been highlighted by the reality that seven years later, he is not even close to being replaced.

Similarly, Kane faces barbs that his England and Spurs goal scoring feats have been boosted by a substantial number of penalties, as he is often singled out for of failing to deliver in the games that matters most.

You only needed to listen to the radio phone-ins after England's group games at the World Cup to understand this under-current of distain, with irate England ‘fans’ flooding the airways demanding Kane should be dropped in favour of Marcus Rashford.

And while he came good with a sparkling performance in the last-16 game against Senegal, the quarter-final against France game gave his critics the fresh ammunition they needed.

As Kane blasted his penalty high over the crossbar to end England's World Cup dream last month, a familiar band of critics were ready to pounce.

Social media channels were instantly filled with comments suggesting Kane was a loser who lacks the pace and quality to cut it with the game's modern giants.

Some of the abuse was wildly unpleasant and if was directed at other players, as it was shamefully after England's Euro 2020 final defeat, it would have created days of headlines.

Yet Kane, like Keane before him, continues to create records despite the sceptics trying to pick holes in his make-up.

Achievement can be measured in so many ways and this is a day that could see Kane secure his greatest moment yet in a Tottenham shirt.

A goal in the north London derby against Arsenal will see him equal the club's all-time scoring record set by the legendary Jimmy Greaves back in 1970.

That remarkable milestone will not be enough to convince some that a player who has yet to get his hands on silverware is anything more than an overrated goal poacher.

It is enduringly hard to fathom why two players who have enjoyed very similar success stories don't get the praise their accomplishments deserve.

After all, making the absolute most of your talents is the biggest success you can have in any sport.

Yet if you subscribe to the misguided logic that trophies are the only barometer to success, Keane and Kane have to be cast as failures.

Try telling that to the hordes of Tottenham fans who will flock to their magnificent home stadium this afternoon for one of the most significant clashes against Arsenal in recent years.

Victory for the Gunners in the 193rd meeting with their fiercest rival will cement their position at the top of the table and with Manchester City continuing to show unfamiliar signs of frailty, the Premier League title could be within their grasp.

If Kane builds on his record as the leading scorer in the history of this fixture, he will not only create a unique moment of history for himself.

Wayne Rooney's success in overhauling Bobby Charlton's all-time Manchester United scoring record back in 2017 was to be commended in an era when players don't tend to stay at clubs long enough.

Now Kane has a chance to overhaul a Tottenham scoring record that was set by the late, great Greaves back in 1970.

This prolific marksman is now certain to finish his career as England and Tottenham's leading scorer and he may also overhaul Alan Shearer's record of 260 Premier League goals in the next two or three years.

So even if he decides he must leave his current club in pursuit of silverware next summer, the 2018 World Cup golden boot winner is one of the greatest goal scorers of his generation and he doesn't need a collection of medals to prove it.

That Keane and Kane achieved so much in teams that lacked players of their calibre makes their achievements all the more impressive.

NORTH LONDON DERBY TOP SCORERS

Harry Kane (Spurs) - 14

Bobby Smith (Spurs)/Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal/Spurs) - 10

Robert Pires, Alan Sunderland (both Arsenal) - 8

Alan Gilzean, Jimmy Greaves (both Spurs), David Herd/John Rashford (Arsenal) - 7

PREMIER LEAGUE ALL-TIME TOP SCORERS

Alan Shearer - 260

Wayne Rooney - 208

Harry Kane - 198

Andy Cole - 187

Sergio Aguero - 184

DID YOU KNOW: Kane has scored more Premier League goals for a single club than any player in history (198).


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