Typical 'English' criticism of Harry Kane unfair, says Tony Cottee
Last Updated: 10/05/18 1:20pm
Tottenham striker Harry Kane has been unfairly criticised since returning from injury, says Tony Cottee.
Kane missed almost a month of action after suffering right ankle damage against Bournemouth on March 11 and despite scoring four goals since returning in early April, his form has been under scrutiny.
The England forward faced a backlash after claiming a highly-disputed goal during Tottenham's victory at Stoke and was then said to have been hurt by a post from the FA following Spurs' FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester United.
"How can you criticise Harry Kane for claiming a goal?" Cottee said. "I must have claimed about 50 goals that weren't mine, that's what strikers do.
"It's an English trait. We've done it with all our top players, we've done it with all our top managers.
"You've just got to look at the stats, he's still got 28 league goals, all right he's had a difficult time since he came back from injury, but he's a top, top player."
Since his return, Kane's goal-per-game ratio has dropped from 0.9 to 0.4, while his top speed has also dropped by two kilometres-per-hour.
However, Kane scored the only goal as Tottenham secured qualification for next season's Champions League with a win over Newcastle on Wednesday, and Cottee is confident he will still lead the line for his country at the World Cup in Russia this summer.
Cottee also believes Gareth Southgate's side could benefit from pairing Kane with Leicester forward Jamie Vardy, especially when facing inferior opposition.
Vardy added to his impressive big-game record on Wednesday as Leicester beat Arsenal, taking his tally against the Premier League's big six to a division-best 24 goals since his debut in 2014.
"The biggest problem Jamie's got is Harry Kane," Cottee said. "Harry Kane will be the first name on the team sheet.
"There is an argument for when we play Tunisia and Panama to play two up front and have a real go and try and win those first two games.
"He's a top goal-scorer, we're lucky to have him, but I think he might well be used as an impact player."