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‘What have they won?' – Critics of Harry Kane and Robbie Keane miss the point

Keane and Kane have been lambasted for lacking pace, for failing to shine in the biggest moments

Harry Kane scores the goal to equal Tottenham's all-time scoring record© Getty Images

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Robbie Keane will be familiar with the stinging criticism that continues to flow in the direction of Harry Kane.

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 because 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.

Robbie Keane of Spurs Legends celebrates scoring a goal during the Legends match between Tottenham Hotspur Legends against Inter Milan Legends at White Hart Lane Stadium, London England on 30 March 2019 (Photo by Action Foto Sport/NurPhoto via Getty Images)© NurPhoto via Getty Images

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

And none of the above goals, against the world’s top sides, were scored in Dublin!

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 remotely 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 failing to deliver in the games that matter most.

You only needed to listen to the radio phone-ins after England’s games at the World Cup to understand this flow of distain – with irate England ‘fans’ demanding that Kane be dropped in favour of Marcus Rashford.

While Kane came good with a sparkling performance in the last-16 game against Senegal, the quarter-final showdown against France 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.

Kane finally equalled the long standing Tottenham goal scoring record set by Jimmy Greaves with his winning goal against Fulham n Monday night, yet the cynics continue to question whether this Premier League icon is worthy of the acclaim that comes his way.

Harry Kane, left, has matched Jimmy Greaves’ Tottenham scoring record (PA)

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.

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 equalled the Tottenham scoring record that was set by the late, great, Greaves some 53 years ago.

The 'what has he won' brigade are exposed as being misinformed on so many levels when it come to Kane and even if he doesn’t have medals to confirm his class, his achievements speak for themselves.

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 all-time record of 260 Premier League goals in the next two or three years.

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

Kane scored against France but his penalty miss got the critics going© Getty Images


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