Harry Kane’s hat-trick against Southampton led to him breaking Alan Shearer’s record of most Premier League goals scored in a calendar year and becoming the leading goal scorer across Europe’s top five leagues for 2017.
Not bad for a man I had dismissed as being ‘utterly sh*te’.
Kane’s short-lived loan spell at Norwich was sealed during the last minutes of the 2012 summer transfer window; a favour to Chris Hughton, owing to his close links to Spurs.
Hughton said at the time ‘I’m delighted to bring in someone of the quality of Harry. He is a very talented young player and has bags of potential.’
The 19-year old Kane went on to start just one league game and was a substitute in two others before injury cut short his stint in Norfolk. A spell that was epitomised in the goalless draw at home to West Ham when, with only the keeper to beat, he shot tamely wide.
My scathing assessment of Harry and the scorn I poured on Hughton’s judgement at the time, serves as a reminder that sometimes our opinions – just like Kane’s shot – are well wide of the mark.
Human nature dictates that it’s far more common to triumph the tales of ‘I told you so‘ rather than ‘I got that completely wrong’, as witnessed by the small-printed apologies that appear somewhere on page 37 of a tabloid retracting a previous headline story.
As football fans, we tend to hang onto our beliefs regardless of what transpires on the pitch.
For example, there is a person who sits near me in the Upper Barclay who has harboured a deep-rooted disdain for everything ‘Cameron Jerome’ throughout the striker’s City career.
If our number 10 scores a goal, he ‘should’ have had two. If Cam puts a cross into the box, then he ‘should’ have been on the end of it too. Global warming and the collapse of the Pound? You know who’s to blame.
But here on MFW, we pride ourselves on our honesty and ability to hold our hands up when we call it wrong and, as if proof were needed that I generally haven’t got a clue what I’m on about, here are just a few of the opinions that I’ve committed to print in the past, which have come back to bite me on the backside.
There are no prizes, but see if you can guess which players I was on about (answers at the end)
- ‘Unfortunately, way too good and way too expensive to sign for us.’
- ‘Too small, too slow and takes too long on the ball.’
- ‘Overweight, overpaid and as toothless up front as his smile.’
- ‘A signing that takes us to another level – no more looking over our shoulders at the relegation places.’
- ‘He’s not good enough to play in his preferred position so god knows how he blagged a spot on the left.’
So, what’s my point?
Having served up a series of fairly downbeat and morose pieces, I guess it’s an attempt to bring some much-needed positivity to my column.
In recent articles, I’ve found reason to put the boot in on the likes of Marley Watkins and Mario Vrancic and whilst I’m not saying that we’ve got two future hall-of-famers on our hands, maybe (just maybe), given more time to settle and gel, then the squad could come together.
Maybe, instead of writing off players, we should put faith into the fact that every day, Farke and the current squad are busting a gut on the playing fields of Colney to give us what we all want: a team that translates that effort into performances and results on the pitch.
From what we’ve seen so far, this season might not fill us full of confidence, but it’s possible that one or two of our ugly ducklings might turn out to become swans.
Just look at Harry Kane.
🎵 We had him on loan, we had him on loan, but he was rubbish, and we sent him home. 🎵
In case you hadn’t guessed…
- Darren Huckerby – confounded both me and his agent Phil by signing for City on Boxing Day in 2003 and became my favourite ever City player. (However, I still maintain he was ‘way too good to sign for us’).
- Wesley Hoolahan – signed to replace my favourite ever City player and was the real ‘diamond’ in Paul Lambert’s diamond formation. Currently in his 10th season at Carrow Road and will surely be considered an all-time City great.
- Iwan Roberts – returned for his second season looking leaner, sharper and lethal, going on to score 84 goals for Norwich, placing him 4th on the all-time list of goal-scorers.
- Ricky Van Wolfswinkel – a genuinely lovely bloke with model good-looks and a reputation as one of Europe’s most promising strikers. I finally conceded it was not to be when he performed the infamous ‘ghost pass’ at Craven Cottage on our way to relegation.
- Bradley Johnson – weighed in with 15 goals from the left side of midfield and was the player of the season in 2014/15, as City won promotion to the Premier League.