Friday 22 September 2017 / 12:15 AM

KNACKERED KANE NEEDS A REST

If you watched Spurs versus Liverpool on Saturday, you’d have learnt quite a few things. Here are the most pertinent points.

Firstly, Tottenham are not in the same vein of form they played most of last season.

Secondly, Liverpool aren’t close to being title contenders.

But to be frank, there’s one even more obvious takeaway from the heavyweight showdown: Harry Kane is not playing well.

After a fantastic last two seasons, Harry Kane is looking every inch the player he looked before his stratospheric rise during the 2014/2015 campaign.

Clumsy, awkward and a shot accuracy percentage that left a whole lot to be desired, this was one game in a Tottenham shirt that the striker will be keen to forget.

Unless you’re an ardent Arsenal fan, the chances are you’ll feel sorry for Kane.

After all, the man hasn’t had a proper break since the summer of 2014. Two years of constant football.

It was the subsequent months following that summer that saw Kane break into the Spurs starting line up.

He played, he scored. He played some more, he scored some more. Soon, he was Tottenham’s first-choice centre forward.

And when the England under 21s came calling the following summer, he couldn’t say no. He wanted to play.

So he trained and played his way through the summer months, and returned to White Hart Lane, where he played a huge part in a title chase in which Spurs just came up short.

And it didn’t end there.

He then went to France as England’s No.1 centre forward, expected to score goals and make things happen.

He didn’t. And England were bundled out of the Euros.

And after a couple of weeks, he was back at Spurs, ready to start the new season.

Since he broke into the Tottenham team only two years ago, he’s played 72 league games out of a possible 76, as well as numerous cup games.

He’s been flogged to point of exhaustion.

But so integral has he become to this Tottenham team, he’s seen as a necessity.

He can’t have a break. Because if he does, who else is going to play up front?

So here’s my analysis of Kane’s less-than-mediocre Euro 2016 and distinctly average start to the new season: he’s knackered, properly knackered.

He looked tired at the end of last season. He looked tired for England. He looks tired now.

And he needs a rest. Lest we forget, this player is only 23 years old. Give him a break, let his body recover.

If we want to see how flogging a player works out, we only have to look at Wayne Rooney. At 17, he was electric to watch, but by the time he was about 26, that spark had just gone. He’d played so many games, been relied on so many times, that he just didn’t have it any more. Physically, he wasn’t the same.

That’s the last thing we want to happen to Kane. So give him a break. Let him spend some time with his loved ones, refresh himself physically and mentally and come back better than ever.

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Seb Greenwood

CBS’s longest-serving contributor, Englishman Seb is our leading football correspondent, pulling no punches with his opinions on the Premier League and the international scene.

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