We know what he did last summer. There was Manchester City Thoughts and confusion over his late return to pre-season training, then goals didn’t come as usual.
A year later and Harry Kane‘s focus couldn’t be sharper as he gears up for another campaign Tottenhamspoke positively of the “buzz” at camp and the “excitement” generated by five signings – with Djed Spence close to making it six.
He talks about his belief in the boss Antonio Contewho arrived in November and spurred him back to top form.
Harry Kane’s focus couldn’t be sharper as he prepares for another season with Tottenham
He speaks of getting Spurs back to where they should be, producing when it’s crunch time, and delivering “something special” for fans.
He even talks about trophies.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve won a trophy,” Kane said yesterday. “We haven’t been at the level that we know we can attain in the last two or three years.
“Although we did really well to get a place in the Champions League and that gave everyone at the club a good boost and an incentive to continue this season.
The Tottenham forward admits Antonio Conte has taken his fitness to a new level
“It’s a big season. We made some big signings, early signings, which is great. We can look forward to that, but there is still a lot to do before the new season starts.”
Kane was speaking at a girls’ soccer training event in Seoul, hosted by Nike and Active Modoo, which was sandwiched between two of Conte’s long and grueling pre-season training sessions.
“Antonio was fantastic,” said Kane. “I’ve learned from every manager I’ve worked under and Antonio probably took my fitness to a new level.
“He brought a real intensity to training. Antonio likes to work, he likes to be on the training ground as long as he likes and makes sure we go into every game well prepared. Mentality, to be with him every day, to see how he prepares, how he brings his passion and gets the best out of the guys, that’s what I learned from.
Middlesbrough right-back Djed Spence is close to making his sixth summer signing
“I feel like I’m learning and getting more experience and getting better every year anyway, but with someone like Antonio it speeds that process up even more.”
On Monday night, Kane was not speaking, on his knees and vomiting during one of the grueling running sessions conducted by Conte’s fitness guru Gian Piero Ventrone in Seoul.
“We worked really hard,” said the England captain. “We have some signings, there is a fuss about the place. It was sometimes difficult in certain sessions, but it was good and everyone is looking forward to the season.
“We are working in the right direction. Hopefully we can use some momentum from the end of last season to bring it into this year and move on. I feel in good shape although I still have a lot to do next month. I feel like I have a lot more to give.
Kane attends a girls soccer training event in Seoul hosted by Nike and Active Modoo
“I’m at the stage in my career where I want to keep pushing and improving. It’s been good to see my fitness level change over that time when he (Conte) came on. It just appealed to me to keep doing that and to do as much as possible to keep improving.
At the end of next season, Kane will turn 30 and enter the last year of his contract. The big question is whether Tottenham can convince him to sign another one.
And can they convince Conte to extend his contract which expires next year? To keep Kane, they must surely keep the coach he speaks of in such glowing terms. The two are entwined.
Or is he still determined to go? Will he let his contract expire like more star players seem to be doing? Does the bitterness of last summer remain? Is this intense focus just one of the skills of a world-class athlete?
“Yeah, I’m just looking forward to the new season and looking forward to seeing what we can do,” Kane said when asked if he viewed last summer as outside of his system and a closed chapter.
Tottenham players and coaching staff attended Friday’s session in Seoul
The answer could have been less ambiguous, but it seems like he’s talking about playing season after season in fluent football German.
“It’s just another good year for me, another consistent year,” added Kane.
“Try to help the team as much as possible, try to score as many goals as possible.
“From the team’s point of view, it’s always about winning trophies. There’s a lot going on at the club at the moment but as always you have to get out there and perform and show what you can do when the going gets tough.
“We haven’t quite managed that over the years. Hopefully with this manager, with this squad, we can really go ahead and try to do something special.