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Harry Kane: The best example of a ‘Second Season Syndrome’ striker there has ever been?

It was all going so well last season for Harry Kane. 32 goal season, an England call up and debut goal and rumors of a big money transfer to Man United. So where did it all go wrong?

by Paddy Power | September 26, 2015

Last season Harry Kane scored 21 goals in the Premier League and 32 for the season. That’s some shooting for a 21 year old kid who had scored a grand total of 21 goals in his previous four seasons. But as the season drew to a close and as the transfer rumors began Harry Kane to Man United for £30 million, £40 million, £50 million would not go away. As confusing as why people continue to employ Kevin Bacon. £50 million could get you Karim Benzema or Edison Cavani. Kane is a decent footballer, but he’s scored once this season for Spurs (and it was OFFSIDE!) so Daniel Levy/Gru may be regretting his decision not to sell for the big bucks.

Kane is suffering from a well known medical condition called ‘Second Season Syndrome‘. This condition affects hundreds of players every season, but it seems to be a lot more common in English players (see Andy Johnson and Grant Holt below).

Kane has played eight games this season and only scored twice. Both were for England against rather appalling opposition. His first goal came against San Marino a team made up of bin men and people that they picked up off the street. The second was against Switzerland in a game that meant nothing. In the league he’s played the powerhouses of Stoke, Leicester and Sunderland and couldn’t score as well as European heavyweights FK Qarabag and still couldn’t score. He’s like a leper in a brothel or a Kerryman abroad. He just doesn’t fit in.

We dug through the stats and the records of the Premier League to look for other strikers who completely flopped after a decent season. Well I say dug it was more scratching the surface and here are some of the beauty’s we found.

Harry Kane

Harry Kane – 21 goals in 2014/2015

Kane had a breakout season were everything he touched turned to gold, but that was partly because no one knew who he was and no one knew how to handle him. This season all the talk of the transfers and all the added pressure that’s on him now due to Spurs being a bit shite have screwed him up.

One measly offside, tap in goal isn’t what you would be expecting from England’s next big hope, but there’s your problem. All the media about how Kane is the next Shearer and the next Rooney and blah blah blah seems to have gotten to him. He’s putting to much pressure on himself to preform and score. Kane needs to sort himself out if he is going to fulfill the potential he has.

Andy Johnson – 21 goals in 2004/2005

Here we have an Everton reject. Andy Johnson had an incredible season for Crystal Palace in their maiden Premier League campaign, but there’s a reason why Birmingham thought they were getting the better deal when they swapped him for Clinton Morrison. Remember him? Not so much. After Palace went down there was interest from clubs who are now thanking every God there is that they didn’t sign him, but he stayed with Palace for another season.

A move to Everton in 2006 for £8.6 million showed that the Merseyside club had not learned from their outstanding buy of James Beattie. With 17 goals in two season he cost £505,882.35 per goal. A move to Fulham for an incredible £10.5 million in 2008 was the best piece of business that David Moyes has done since investing in Spanish lessons. A rather pathetic return of 13 goals in four years averaged out at £807,692.31 a goal.

Grant Holt – 15 goals in 2011/12

Ahh, Grant Holt, the question that always dogs you. Why the hell would someone sign you? 31 years old when you did eventually make it into the Premier League, a good return of 15 goals and suddenly you should be England’s first choice and playing for Real Madrid? Holt’s next three seasons showed the quality of player he really is. Eleven goals in three seasons including a mesmerising two goals in 16 for Wigan last season.

Holt had four good years where he scored one and a half times as many goals than in the previous eight seasons, but this was at League 1 and Championship level. Roy Hodgson actually showed some sense by not picking him for the World Cup in 2012 despite Holt repeatedly claiming he was the best option. He had his season in the limelight, milked it for all it was worth and then some and went back into obscurity. May he please God stay there.

Roy Hodgson

Michu – 18 goals in 2012/13

Anyone remember this lad? He came, he conquered, he left. For one season full of flowing locks and banging goals Michu was the terror of the Premier League. Picked up for £2 million from Rayo Vallecano he nailed 18 goals in his first season, won the League Cup, was called up by Vicente Del Bosque for his first cap and than disappeared. Two goals in his next two seasons in the league for Swansea and Napoli doesn’t show for stellar reading.

Michu is the Harry Kane of two years ago. There was a huge amount of talk of a £25 million pound move to Arsenal, but they decided to spend it rather wisely on Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez instead. He was called up to the Spanish squad as an unknown at international level and he hadn’t done all that much before his breakout season.

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