Written by Double Bassong
It’s a fairly simple equation: We support Spurs, wholeheartedly. So we can understand somebody wishing to move on and up, even to a league rival, but once you’re no longer one of us, you’re against us.
A Bale type move abroad allows some residual affection, but there’s no way there’s any outcome where Kane moves and is anything other than basically dead to us, as a group. The very definition of fandom is that we back those with us.
Kane sets his own priorities. His main obligation is to himself, and he’s well within his rights to put personal ambition above loyalty. But he’s deluded if he thinks there’s any way he gets to reap the rewards of both.
But all this is academic. I’m talking about a fairly straightforward transfer, in the Berbatov mould, perhaps not acrimony free but one which allows us to look back after their career and appreciate what they gave us.
But this is starting to look like a full on bridge burning, and he’s not even out the door. It takes some real effort to squander years of hard earned goodwill in a few short months, but he’s somehow managing it.
Two months ago, for many, myself included, he was any fan’s dream. I used to tell other team’s supporters how he’s every supporters dream, a home grown, clean cut, national team captain who does the most important job on the pitch game after game.
No scandals, happily married to his childhood sweetheart, good natured, hard working, balls of steel, with a pleasant, slightly goofy manner, you could barely invent a more classic archetype. And in 10 or so years, he hasn’t put a foot wrong.
But now he commits a cardinal sin, then doubles and triples down on it. He disrespects the club, publicly and repeatedly.
A lot of things can be forgiven, and our rivals have all forgiven their heroes for far worse (think Rooney, Terry, Giggs, Suarez, list is endless). But since what binds us as Spurs fans is basically just loyalty, disloyalty is the one thing we can’t overlook.
…And if there’s one thing this saga has reinforced, its the impression that Harry isn’t the brightest, or at least savviest.
I’m sure based on his view of things, there some internal logic, there always is. His impressions of the clubs behaviour, how certain conversations and impressions were perceived, there’s certainly more than one story here. But purely in terms of game theory, his actions have made no sense.
The Neville interview, the media briefings, the extended holiday… what exactly was all that supposed to achieve, beyond pissing everybody off? Levy was always only going to sell if the price was right, and no amount of public shenanigans changes that. Either Kane didn’t understand that simple fact when everyone else does, or this was just a public tantrum.
And as an effort to put the record straight, it’s been hopeless. With a player agitating to leave, the club’s narrative was always going to be stronger, even if he did have a case to make. But City’s reluctance to pay up is apparent, and in the absence of a fair offer Kane doesn’t have an ankle to stand on.
And his side have repeatedly briefed, in his statement and media articles, that they want understanding that he hasn’t been on strike, has a gentleman’s agreement, etc, without ever backing that up with any actual context. You can’t say you want the fans onside without providing them any cause to back you.
It’s hard to see how a quiet, dignified approach would have garnered worse outcomes in getting his move, or how he could have handled this PR disaster any worse. Whatever you think about the club and their management and PR, it’s not amateurish, Kane’s camp, on the other hand, has been nothing but.