Steve Gerrard is bowing out after 17 wonderful years at Liverpool, while Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane has only just arrived as a force on the English football scene.
Gerrard was a gem but I am so confident of Kane’s ability I have backed him to overtake Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa in the Premier League goal-scoring stakes this season. It’s a long shot and the odds reflect it – 100-1 – but I am not completely off my rocker.
My wager is based on sound judgement and fact. Kane is currently second in the overall goal-scoring charts with 17 – it’s just that only seven of them have come in the league – so far.
Those two against Chelsea on New Year’s Day helped him along a bit and did for the Pensioners, and I am sure there are lots more to come. OK, there may be lots more to come from Costa and Aguero too – but I still take young Master Kane to give them a real run for their money.
Kane is also a good omen for England, too. He can and will add to the young talent Roy Hodgson has been blooding in recent months – going right back to just before the World Cup in Brazil last summer.
There are already demands for him, Andy Carroll and Charlie Austin to be called up by Roy and I see no reason why they shouldn’t all be given a go at some point.
The cries of “too many foreigners stifling our young talent” have been ringing out for a few years now. Well Kane, Cahill, Townsend, Wilshere and the rest can help silence that clamour. I fancy them to start winning things in the European Championships in 2016.
After all they still have the best part of 18 months to get it exactly right and produce a trophy-winning outfit. It can be done.
Back to reality. The managerial merry-go-round was in full swing over the festive period with three clubs in the top flight dumping their bosses and taking on or lining up fresh, or in most cases not so fresh, bums for the hot seats
Alan Pardew left Newcastle to fill the vacancy created by Neil Warnock’s departure at Crystal Palace and Tony Pulis, the incumbent before Warnock at Selhurst Park, came out of his ever so temporary retirement to take over at the Hawthorns.
The only question remains is who will be the new full-time Newcastle manager. Owner Mike Ashley has indicated caretaker John Carver may get the job permanently…but who in their right mind would want it?
OK, the personal salary is handy but there won’t be much of the folding stuff to spend on new players of any real quality – particularly as Ashley seems to be diverting a lot of his cash in the direction of Glasgow Rangers right now.
Is this purely a merchandising move aimed at reaping the money in from the sales of all those Rangers shirts at home and abroad in Ashley’s Sports Direct outlets? We shall see, but with Derek Lambias already installed as chief executive at Ibrox, Ashley has a friendly face in place where it matters most already.
Is there anyone really doubting football is NOT big business now?