England is concerned about Harry Kane exhaustion as the World Cup approaches – When Gareth Southgate investigates the specifics of Harry Kane’s exhaustion problems, his anxiety levels are going to rise by a few of notches.
Because Harry Kane, who is 29 years old and plays for Tottenham, has never suffered from an injury, the England manager will have had no concerns whatsoever about picking Kane as his World Cup captain today.
When Southgate sees how broken Kane is, though, his heart will start to race a little bit quicker than usual. During the hectic buildup to the World Cup in Qatar, Antonio Conte had pledged that he would find a way to give Harry Kane some time off every once in a while.
Instead, Kane has started every single game that Tottenham has played this season, making him the only player to accomplish what is now considered an undesirable achievement. That is 21 games in only 71 days, with a possible 22nd encounter in three days’ time in the last Premier League showdown before the World Cup, which will be played at home against Leeds on Saturday. Kane has also logged the most minutes (1,847 to be exact) of any player in the premier league so far this year.
Spurs were eliminated from the Carabao Cup after suffering a lacklustre 2-0 defeat at the hands of a much revamped Nottingham Forest side at the City Ground. Kane’s performance was, at best, sluggish. Even if it was later disclosed by Conte that Kane had pulled up in training on Tuesday owing to exhaustion, Spurs’ taskmaster manager praised his prolific striker and called him “a nice guy” for participating.
Out of pure responsibility, Kane would always make himself accessible to anyone who needed him. However, it’s possible that Conte failed to exercise his own duty of care. It’s possible that Kane’s withdrawal from training due to exhaustion was his way of requesting that he not play against Forest.
Kane is, without a doubt, making a very good living off of his time spent with the Spurs. This week, of course, he is also being tracked by the club clock. It is in absolutely no one’s best interest for Kane to experience any type of fitness problem, or even worse, an injury problem, during this particular week out of all the weeks.
It is easy to understand why Kane kept to himself at Forest, but this behaviour rendered the entire endeavour in which he participated to appear to be an unnecessary risk. Just 11 days from now, England will kick off their campaign at the World Cup by taking on Iran.
Therefore, Kane has fewer than two weeks to compete against Leeds, go to Qatar, fulfil all of his beforehand obligations with the national team, and also find time to relax. Let us keep our fingers crossed that England provides its talisman with a lie-flat seat for the duration of the seven-hour travel.
The gruelling preseason that Conte put the Spurs’ players through was supposed to be the physical preparation equivalent of putting money in the bank for the second half of the season.
However, as Kane manoeuvres through these final few days of the Premier League, he might need a boost of energy right about now. At Forest, where Renan Lodi and Jesse Lingard scored the goals that eliminated Spurs from the League Cup, neither Richarlison nor Dejan Kulusevski were able to prove that they were fit enough to start for their team.
Conte believes that both players will be ready to start against Leeds, but given that Kane has started every game since the beginning of the season, it seems doubtful that he will not be involved in some capacity on Saturday. When it comes to demonstrating to club boards the value of having a deep roster through player selection, Conte has a wealth of experience. Surely, starting Kane against Forest was not an example of this kind of decision.
The Italian has made it very obvious that he wants Spurs to go out and acquire some additional players in the month of January. However, Spurs’ offensive stockpile is far from depleted. Richarlison and Kulusevski started in place of Heung-min Son and Lucas Moura, who both had to miss the game due to injuries. Kane is the shining star of that offence, and it will never be easy to find another striker of comparable calibre who is also ready to fill in for the England captain.
Everyone who supports England, including Southgate, will be holding out hope that the red zone in sports science will be the factor that tips the scales in their favour. The goal of conditioning coaches all around the world is to limit the risk of injury by carefully analysing the data provided by their athletes. That red zone represents the moment at which a player’s cumulative performance over the course of a certain amount of time puts them in danger of being harmed.
Scientists at Tottenham will be on top of this situation, and they must have determined that Kane’s levels are safe because they fall within the required range. Spurs will not take any chances in this situation, despite the fact that Kane is showing signs of severe exhaustion less than a week before England’s World Cup opener.