Friday 23 February 2018

'I'm no diver,' insists Kane as he sets sights on 200 goals

Harry Kane falls to the ground under a challenge from Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius. Photo: Reuters
Harry Kane falls to the ground under a challenge from Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius. Photo: Reuters

Chris Bascombe

Harry Kane has rejected accusations of diving and set his sights on scoring his next 100 Premier League goals after completing Spurs' extraordinary recovery against Liverpool on Sunday.

Kane's latest milestone was earned in controversial circumstances, Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk accusing him and Erik Lamela of tricking the referee to earn two penalties at Anfield.

The Tottenham striker is having none of it, insisting he was clipped by Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius for the first penalty. "Yeah. He has dived, he has got in the way and I'm a player, I'm not going to jump out of the way because it's football," said Kane.

"I've definitely felt contact and I've gone down. Lamela's one I thought the linesman showed amazing character to give that because a lot happened for the first one about the linesman so to give that penalty was massive and it was a penalty.

"It was a roller-coaster of emotions. Obviously getting the first penalty you are thinking, 'I'm going to score the winner' and then miss it and then it goes down the other end. I've got the team down and get another one [penalty] and now I've got to step up again.

"I was delighted to score it and get my 100th goal and delighted to get something out of the game, which I thought we -deserved."

Kane insisted he was sure he would convert his second penalty. "Never a doubt," he said. "The first one was essentially what I wanted to do, go down the middle. I have a routine, I went through it and the keeper just stood there and saved it.

"Sometimes that happens so as a striker you just have to deal with it and hope the next one will come soon. Thankfully it did and I was able to put the second one away."

Having reached his century, Kane is already thinking of the day he hits his 200th. "That has to be the aim - and hopefully quicker than I got to 100," he said.

"I've said that from the very first time I got put on the scene. That is what separates good players from great players: can you do it consistently year after year? Can you get better and better when people don't expect you to? That's what I've done so far and that is what I will continue to strive to do."

Statue Others who have hit the 100 goal mark - such as Alan Shearer - have had a statue built in their honour. "I'm not thinking about a statue, I'm just thinking about what's best for the team," said Kane, who has also admitted he had a "chip on his shoulder" after he was released by Arsenal.

However he described their decision to reject him, at the age of eight, as the "best thing that ever happened to me". Speaking ahead of Saturday's north London derby at Wembley, Kane said: "I remember the first time we played against Arsenal [for Tottenham's academy team] and even back then, I had a chip on my shoulder. It might sound ridiculous. I was only eight when they let me go, but every time we played them, I thought, 'All right, we'll see who's right and who's wrong'.

"Looking back on it now, [being released by Arsenal] was probably the best thing that ever happened to me because it gave me a drive that wasn't there before. For me, the rejection is the best thing that ever happened to me," he added.

Kane scored twice for Spurs in his first senior appearance against Arsenal in a 2-1 victory in 2015.

Writing for The Players' Tribune, he added: "I remember walking round the pitch after the final whistle and clapping to the fans and it felt like: 'Well, I told you so'. For a long time my motivation was simply to close my eyes and picture myself scoring against Arsenal in the Premier League. "[I've] done that a few times now, and it never gets old. But now, my motivation is a bit different.

"I close my eyes and I picture myself lifting the Premier League trophy at our new stadium with my mates. I'd trade the next 100 goals for that feeling."

© Daily Telegraph, London

Telegraph.co.uk

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