Matt Maher: Harry Kane’s malaise appears more than poor form

The smart money remains on Harry Kane’s season sparking into life sooner rather than later.

England's Harry Kane
England's Harry Kane

England’s captain is a dangerous man to write off and has long possessed a habit of easing his way into a campaign.

Yet his performance in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw against Hungary did little to dispel the notion he is experiencing an unusually prolonged malaise.

While Kane would no doubt point to the fact he already has nine goals to his name this term, those have come against the likes of Pacos Ferreira, NS Mura and Andorra.

He is still to get off the mark in the Premier League and on Tuesday failed to score for England in a qualifier for the first time in nearly four years.

Of course, that is hardly any reason to panic.

But the longer his distinctly average performances at the top level continue, the greater the suspicion he is still experiencing a hangover from a summer where he pushed to leave Tottenham but was ultimately denied.

Kane may say otherwise and insist his focus is fully on Spurs but he is only human and in terms of mentality, missing out on a career-changing move takes time to get over.

Just ask Jack Grealish, who admitted it took him at least a couple of months to refocus after seeing his proposed 2018 switch to Tottenham from Villa collapse at the last moment.

Any assessment of Kane must also note the fact his game has changed out of physical necessity.

At the age of 28, he has already made more than 400 senior appearances and while he remains among the best finishers in world football, he is not quite the same player as three or four years ago.

Rarely now do you see him run in behind, more often coming short to collect the ball.

When it comes to conditioning, missing the bulk of pre-season probably hasn’t helped in that regard.

Kane’s experiences are no different to any other striker to have ever played the game.

As careers progress, so players must adapt.

Even after 243 career goals, there is always something more to prove.

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