Harry Kane and the Spurs scoring record: Can he handle the pressure?

It all started against Shamrock Rovers.

Danny Rose sends in a cross, Andros Townsend deflects a header and Harry Kane is smart, instinctive and a neat finisher on the turn. Go alone.

The 266th goal could come just over 11 years later and match Jimmy Greaves’ Tottenham Hotspur goal record that has stood for 53 years. The numbers are significant and the fact that Kane is still only 29 adds depth to the achievement.

He’s a merciless goal-scoring machine that shows no signs of slowing down either, with a combined tally of 15 league goals so far in 2022-23 his best ever at this stage of the season (18 appearances).

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He will soon break the England record as well. He also breaks many other records, you can imagine.

But how does it feel when you approach such a big and significant milestone? We all talk about it, but how much does Kane think about it? Does even someone like Kane, who is completely unexplosive, focused and metronomic, feel the pressure? Let’s not forget that goal could be potentially huge as Spurs face Arsenal (once) and Manchester City (twice) in their next five games.

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“First of all, it’s a lot of pressure,” says Alan Shearer, who broke Jackie Milburn’s long-standing Newcastle United record against Portsmouth in February 2006, just a few appearances before he retired.

“Because in Harry’s case, you’re equal or about to take over one of the most—if you don’t the most – all-time iconic goalscorer in Jimmy Greaves. It’s similar to me and Jackie Milburn, although it took me a bit longer than Harry Kane.

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While supporters and media talk pretty much constantly about records, numbers and milestones, you often hear players just chasing the next play, the next goal. “That would be nice, but it’s the kind of thing you think about when you retire,” would be the textbook response.

Alan Shearer became Newcastle’s record goalscorer by scoring against Portsmouth in 2006 (Image: Getty)

Glenn Murray came within 12 goals of breaking Brighton’s all-time goalscoring record, which has stood since George V ascended the throne in 1929. When Murray returned to the Seagulls in 2016-17, he had previously scored 57 goals in three seasons in his first season. , there was talk of him breaking Tommy Cook’s mark of 123, especially as he scored 23 goals in the campaign.

“It was a pain to be honest,” Murray admits. “There was so much talk about it that I just wanted to get rid of it – I thought it was for the future and not for the present.

“The first big one was getting to 100 goals and also breaking the post-war record (with Kit Napier scoring 99), people were talking about it a lot because it hadn’t been done for a long time, I had surpassed some of the Brighton greats of the day like Bobby Zamora and yes, I wanted achieve it, but more so something to look back on in retirement.

“It would have been great to break the all-time record but it’s not a regret that I didn’t (Murray left Brighton in February 2021 and retired at the end of the season). I got through to 111 which seems quiet…it rolls off the tongue! And to have a post-war record is great. To be honest, I could never have dreamed of being the top goalscorer at any club, let alone a Premier League club.

“As a striker, you don’t get emotions about these things while playing. If you earn a 100, you want a 101. then a 102. It’s boring, but that’s the mindset that got you to that stage in your career, so you don’t suddenly stop and falter. You are fixated on scoring. It is customary.”

Everyone is different. Ian Wright moved within one of Cliff Bastin’s nearly 60-year-old Arsenal record when he scored against Coventry at the start of the 1997-98 season. He then failed to score against Southampton, Leicester and, yes, Spurs, before crushing it in style against Bolton.

“People said that the record was coming to me, and now I can look back and say: ‘Yes, it ate me,'” he said at the time. “But those close to me, like Dennis Bergkamp, ​​told me to stay calm, and it will come.

Given the relentlessly clinical attitude Kane has maintained since the World Cup despite the penalty against France, you can’t imagine he’ll be distracted from breaking Greaves’ record of four goals in four games since football resumed in the tournament after. . Maybe he won’t score in the next three and be blamed for feeling the pressure. But it seems pretty unlikely.

Murray was at Selhurst Park recently to watch Kane’s goals of 263 and 264 in Spurs’ 4-0 win over Crystal Palace.

“In terms of this season, I feel like Erling Haaland has taken the pressure off him and he’s just quietly creeping in and having a phenomenal campaign,” says Murray.

Kane scored twice in Spurs’ 4-0 win at Crystal Palace earlier this month (Image: Getty)

“His relentlessness is so impressive. He is not exceptional in one thing, but he is 8/10 at all. That’s why he’s so hard to stop, because he scores all kinds of goals – a cross, a header, 25 yards, all kinds of corners and goals. His features are so vast.

“And he has that mentality where he knows that even if he has an off day, it only takes a second to score and he’s a hero.

“We all know he’s going to be absolutely buzzing to get it, but when he gets there, he won’t let go and relax; you keep moving, that’s the next target. Also, he plans to smash the disc and wants to claim it as his own so he might never be caught. Attackers are greedy.”

In the end, it boils down to you as a person.

Antonio Conte wanted to emphasize the human aspect this week.

“He has a great amount,” says Conte. – We are talking about a world-class striker and he will definitely break all the records. I think he deserves this.

– I always want to emphasize Harry’s human side, because we are not just talking about a world-class striker, but a really good man and person. For us, he is an important point of comparison. He’s doing something incredible. At the same time, we try to help him, and if he scores, he helps us.

It started against Shamrock Rovers. It could fittingly draw some sort of conclusion against Arsenal. But it doesn’t end there.

Shearer adds: “Yes, you think about it; yes, it is in your mind; yes, you’re desperate for it to be done so you can then just go out and score goals and be normal again instead of ‘You’re one away from Jimmy Greaves’. Then there’s an incredible feeling when you’re ahead of Jimmy Greaves or Jackie Milburn.

“Yes, there is pressure. But it’s not a bad pressure, is it?”

(Photo: Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images)


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