England deserve failure, because we just can’t be trusted with success.
But maybe this is all just a ploy?
Maybe, if we celebrate louder and more prematurely than any other country, we won’t be able to hear the rest of the world laughing at us?
Harry Kane made his England debut last night and, fittingly given the trajectory of his season, he scored with his third touch.
Fantastic, what a wonderful story. Kane is a humble player and a refreshing antidote to the entitled cliches who have populated the national side for the better part of a decade. He shows no sign of affectation, only a genuine enthusiasm for playing the game. It’s endearing in a child-like way and he naturally attracts a lot of goodwill.
By why does it have to go beyond that?
The whole nation cheered as he forced a back-post header into the Lithuanian net and only the hardest of hearts didn’t enjoy his exuberant celebration next to the Wembley cornerflag.
Well done, Harry.
The problem is, that we’re not allowed to enjoy those moments anymore. When something like that happens, it’s never allowed to linger and it has to be immediately followed be a ludicrous epilogue.
Maybe once upon a time, the coverage of a successful England debut would consist of a few pictures, some praise, and a verbal pat on the back. Now, it’s instant madness. Within twelve hours, Harry Kane’s first international goal morphed from being the realisation of a childhood dream into the starting point for something preposterously optimistic.
Look around you, read the coverage: overnight, Kane has become the new saviour. His moment has passed, his goal has almost become an irrelevance - now we want to know what’s next. Can he do this, can he do that? Will he be the player who leads us to X, Y and Z?
It’s just not fair. He’s owed his moment on the back-pages, but only in a way that’s pure: dissect the goal, interview him, talk about his amazing year, but leave the prophecies out of it.
This has happened time-and-again in the past, yet here we are once again, putting our full weight on an delicate, embryonic career.
Let today be about who he is, not what you want him to be.
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