Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane spurned a great opportunity to impress on Friday night as he endured a frustrating time during England’s routine 2-0 victory over Estonia.
All-time record scorer Wayne Rooney was absent for Roy Hodgson’s men through injury, providing an enormous opportunity for a number of players to stake their claim for a first-team spot.
Opting for a flexible 4-3-3 system, Hodgson selected Raheem Sterling and Theo Walcott in wide areas and placed Kane through the middle on his own – a position he is accustomed to with Spurs.
The talented 22-year-old has an abundance of ability, yet he looked somewhat off the pace at Wembley and too often found himself on the fringes of attacks, rather than being the focal point.
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As per the table provided by Opta Stats, Kane’s lack of involvement can be illustrated by his poor attacking contributions over a range of key areas.
The Spurs ace took just 36 touches, one less than goalkeeper Joe Hart, and made 29 passes – a clear indication of how he found himself on the periphery of England’s play in the final third.
Only Hart and Walcott made fewer passes, though the latter made up for that by testing the goalkeeper on five occasions – four more than Kane.
Spurs’ top scorer from last season has found goals somewhat hard to come by so far this campaign, netting just once in eight Premier League matches.
Whether defenders are becoming wise to his ability or it’s simply a dip in form, Kane faces a challenge in winning over his doubters and his latest display only seemed to pile on more unwarranted pressure.
Harry Kane looks a ghost of last season. Got a free pass from defenders cos they didn't know who the hell he was.— IDIOT WIND (@___myc) October 9, 2015
If England are pinning their hopes on Harry Kane at the euros they are out already another overrated English man.— Anthony Browning (@2tony4) October 9, 2015
Hodgson had truly lost the plot. How can he say Harry Kane played well? #ENGvEST— Kenny (@KennyL100) October 9, 2015
Harry Kane is starting to look like a flash in the pan. Can't seem to find his way in front of goal anymore. #englandfootball— Temba Makurdi (@temba59) October 9, 2015
Harry Kane was he playing, Jamie vardy did more in 15 minutes than Kane did in 90— Steve Spreadbury (@stevecargo) October 9, 2015
The Harry Kane Show certainly didn't get a second season. He's an average player. Why Roy gave him 90mins I'll never know! #ENGvEST— Matt Sibson (@MattSibson) October 9, 2015
Harry Kane is overrated. Mesut Özil does a million things off the ball and gets an absolute ride from the press.— Joe Hurd (@Joe_Hurd93) October 9, 2015