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Italy vs England: Harry Kane can maintain dream start against far-from-vintage Azzurri side

30 Mar | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Italy vs England: Harry Kane can maintain dream start against far-from-vintage Azzurri side

The Spurs man took just 78 seconds to score against Lithuania and should be handed his first start in Turin

Welcome, then, to the Harry Kane Age. Pop your coat down over there; we’ve been expecting you.

The revolution came more swiftly than his most ardent fans can have been hoping for. Just 78 seconds into his maiden voyage for England, the good ship Kane crashed a far-post header into the Lithuania net, sending the Wembley crowd into ecstasy. As he wheeled away to celebrate, it was hard not to feel that you were watching history being made.

It is the British way to be reticent to fully embrace the talent of youth. Be it some latent conservatism or something more nebulous, at times we seem to build up emerging stars – be they footballers, pop singers or whatever – only to be able to knock them down later in a fit of I-told-you-so pique.

Think about Wayne Rooney. Think about David Beckham. And they’re the ones who managed to overcome the backlash; many more sunk.

There is something different about Kane, though. Something in his manner, his gait even. This isn’t some polished player who always seemed destined for football’s top table, but a player who, until a few months ago, would have been best characterised by the word  ‘misfit’. He couldn’t make the grade at Tottenham. Loan spells led to nothing. The Championship – or worse – beckoned.

Yet here we are in March, talking about the birth of a new England star – and, if the murmurs are to be believed, the runaway winner of every Player of the Year gong out there. Cynicism may appear at some stage, but for now most people seem to relishing Kane’s sensational ascent.

As such, there will be some clamour for the 21-year-old to start against Italy on Tuesday – as Roy Hodgson has recognised. “If I was a fan then I would be shouting the same things,” he said after Friday’s game. “But I am a coach and so I have a responsibility – not just to Harry Kane but to lots of other players as well. I have to think what is best for the team.”

That is clearly a sensible approach, but given that the serious business of the fortnight has been done it would also seem the perfect moment for England to ride the Kane wave of goodwill a little longer.

Italy will be stronger than Lithuania, to be sure, but this is no vintage Azzurri outfit. Besides, Kane is in such a rich vein of form that he would feel confident of notching against any defence. It is hard to imagine his dream run coming to an end just yet.

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