Late Tackle Football Magazine



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FORGET the talk about being England’s best striker, perhaps the Premier League’s and maybe even Europe’s, too - Harry Kane is Europe’s best goal creator. At the time of writing, Kane had eight season. It meant he was leading the way as Europe’s most creative eative player along with Raphael el Holzhauser of Belgian side de Beerschot and David Hrncar of Slovakia’s Zlate Moravce.

But, unlike his lesser known European counterpar­ts, the 27-year-old had seven Premier League goals to complement his eight assists, all made within just ust eight games.

Whisper it quietly, but Spurs are becoming genuine title contenders once again under Jose Mourinho. A major part of that is the almost telepathic link-up play between Kane and Son Heung-min. some might say that Spurs have one of the most potent front-threes in world football right now.

Son kicked off the season with eight in eight and looks as though he will bag with such ease.

Football fans have long regarded Kane as England’s most complete striker in a long time. Thinking ba back to the days of Gary Li Lineker, Michael Owen an and Wayne Rooney, they cou could all score different kinds of goals and lots of them.

They all h had their own individual qualities qualities. Kane Kane, tho though, has an arsenal of footballin­g weapons that set him apart from the England forwards of old and new - his new-found creativene­ss makes him the most complete and all-round striker of a generation.

The signs have been there here for a while, too. Kane started dropping deeper and allowing Son to run on.

He can then pick him out t with intelligen­t balls forward and Son has the ability to capitalise on them.

Many expected Mourinho’s somewhat defen

osive philosophy to hold Kane back. But, in many ways, the former Chelsea boss coming to Spurs has been the rebirth of the forward. and his eight assists this season matches his tally for the whole of his previous three seasons. Given this latest addition to Kane’s already rounded game, is he not breaking into that next echelon under the Portuguese?

Time will tell. He has a long way to go if he’s to break into that Cristiano Ronaldo, Lione Lionel Messi bracket - if he ever does.

But, providi providing his ankle stays intact, and Mo Mourinho’s Spurs stint doesn’t turn s sour, there’s every chance that K Kane will go above and be beyond the level he’s al already set. Now that w would be something p pretty special.

EVERY football fan knows the infamous story about Bobby Moore and the bracelet. glorious leader is framed for pinching a splash of gold from a hotel jewellery shop on the eve of the Mexico World Cup. A dark moment for the game and a trying time for everyone involved, no doubt.

But did you know that, in a classic bad news/good news scenario, future skipper Emlyn Hughes bought his wife’s engagement ring in the same shop that day? No, you probably didn’t.

And neither would I if I hadn’t picked up Emlyn Hughes’s inevitably named autobiogra­phy, ‘Crazy Horse’.

Because the thing is, you never hear the positive stories from that Bogota jewellery shop, do you? The mainstream media would have you believe that nothing good ever came of the place, whereas in more modern times we’d be looking at one very negative and one extremely positive review for it on Trip Advisor based on the experience­s of the lads in the England squad.

Things like this are precisely why you need to do your own digging and get knee-deep in the murky world of football autobiogra­phies. And we mean really dig. In the past few years, over the course of writing two books trying to get under the skin of our football heroes, myself and my co-author Dan Trelfer have gone knee-deep, then a few feet deeper.

For instance, many of you will have read Kevin Keegan’s recent third autobiogra­phy, ‘My Life in Football’, and been stellar career as one of Europe’s best players, and his subsequent career as one of its more curious managers.

You may even have read largely the same story in his second autobiogra­phy some 20 years earlier. However, for the real juice, you need to go back to his

That’s where you get the full unvarnishe­d version of his life up to that point, with stories such as the time an undertaker neighbour beckoned a young Keggy into his parlour, showed him a recently deceased man with a long white beard and joked to the impression­able, pre-permed lad, that ‘it’s Father Christmas and he’s died’.

Once you know that, the Sky Sports meltdown and quitting the England job in the Wembley toilets seem much more understand­able, don’t they? On top of that, you have pearls of Keegan wisdom in there such as, ‘I have never taken drugs, but I would imagine the nearest thing to a psychedeli­c experience must be winning the FA Cup Final at Wembley’. We might question just how similar the two things are but hey, it was a different time, and psychedeli­c drugs were a hot button topic.

It was less of a stretch for Super Kev to imagine himself Easy Riding down Wembley Way back then. By the time he’d rewritten his story for future versions, he’d put away childish things and seemingly forgotten all about such musings.

Then there’s the story that brings Keegan and Hughes together - that of Kev’s brutal treatment at the hands of - grade on a tour of Eastern Europe with

According to Keegan’s account, he was merely minding his own business perched on the edge of the airport baggage carousel when Liverpool teammate Alec Lindsay began to ‘fool around’ on it.

At that moment burly security men waded in and bashed Kev up for no

good reason, smashing some pottery - garia into the bargain. This is the version that the wider world seems to have accepted. Articles have been written about the injustice of it all.

However, once again, here comes ol’ Crazy Horse to give a fresh perspectiv­e. Hughes has it that Lindsay was trying to free a suit hanger that ‘had become caught in the mechanism’ on the carouhalfw­ay into whatever goes on back there, while Emlyn and Kevin had a hold of a leg each trying to stop him from disappeari­ng.

Now we’re not saying that these extra details mean that Kevin deserved a beating, or that Jean deserved to go without her knick-knacks, but it certainly throws new light on the subject and clearly gave those over-zealous security guys an excuse to wade in.

Who knows - maybe it was this incident that led to Keegan’s frustratio­ns boiling over in the Charity Shield a few weeks later. Furiously wind-milling punches at Billy Bremner as if he was Belgrade Airport Staff.

So you see, the more autobiogra­phies you read, the clearer the picture you get of those who play the game. Now maybe that’s just what I tell myself to justify an ongoing obsession, but there is some truth to it.

We live in an age where an abun - poring over the written testimonie­s of our football heroes I would never have discovered that: Jim Smith had a bizarre interest in puppets, which once involved him attacking Nookie Bear at a testimonia­l dinner (held for Jim, not Nookie), team talk on the QPR bus with a monkey on his arm.

Jimmy Greaves killed a horse while rallying through Panama.

Jermaine Pennant once found so many Pogs in a skip that he thought the police were raiding his childhood home to seize them back.

John Burridge used to commentate out loud while playing in goal during Southampto­n games.

And that’s just the Js.

What we’ve learned is that while there are many ways to go with a football autobiogra­phy, solid PR whitewash, titillatin­g tell-all, meat and potatoes plod with the occasional nugget of gold, there is something of value in (almost) every one of them. Just not always where you’d expect.

For example, if you want to know all about the on-set shenanigan­s of Bank Holiday favourite ‘Escape to Victory’, don’t go to Pele, go to John Wark or Kevin Beattie. And if you want to know all about the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll of the North American Soccer League, don’t go to Pele, go to Paul Cannell.

In fact, as a general rule, just don’t go to Pele. As wonderful a player as he was, his book doesn’t exactly reach the same dizzying heights. I mean, it’s no ‘One Hump or Two’ by Frank Worthingto­n. But then, what is?

John Smith is on Twitter - @verypopula­rname.

‘Booked! The Gospel According to our Football Heroes’ & ‘Second Yellow: The Further Adventures of our Football Heroes’ (Pitch Publishing) are both available now online and in bookshops.

 ??  ?? In control: Harry Kane has the ability to make goals as well as score them
In control: Harry Kane has the ability to make goals as well as score them
 ??  ?? Double act: Kane celebrates with Son Heung-min
Double act: Kane celebrates with Son Heung-min
 ??  ?? Demanding: Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho
Demanding: Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho
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