Take A Break
No matter how world class a player is, like the rest of us human beings, they need to take a break. Hopefully Tottenham will see the wisdom of this because no sooner as the World Cup Finals are complete this weekend, Harry Kane and his Tottenham team are involved in some warm up games that are traditionally called "friendlies" - but for nearly all the Tottenham squad, how are they going to warm up for the new season, when they have barely cooled off from their individual World Cup exploits.
Harry Kane will want to play on Saturday in the third-place game because he will want to make sure that one additional goal will win him the Golden Boot Award for the player who scored the most goals in this World Cup. Assuming he will want to play on 14th July, only 11 days on he and his Tottenham team will be playing in San Diego against Roma (25th July), then they travel up to the Rose Bowl in LA to play Barcelona on the 28th July and then cross the United States to Minneapolis to play Milan on the 31st July.
Then a whole new Premier League season starts again as Spurs travel to Newcastle (in England that is a long journey!) 11 days after the so called friendlies, and then a week later it is back to Spurs temporary home at Wembley Stadium where they play new arrivals to the Premier League Fulham. The irony of that game is that the Fulham chairman has put out a $1 Billion offer to buy Wembley Stadium. If the Football Association accept that bid, apart from the national outcry, such a purchase will really hurt Tottenham and their move into their new Stadium where on 15th September Liverpool will be the first Premier League visitors to Spurs new 62,000 state of the art stadium. It will hurt because the Chairman of Spurs aims to make money by hosting NFL games - and he spent a massive amount of money installing a moveable pitch, so that the soccer pitch can be moved and the NFL pitch can be set up. The reason the Fulham chairman wants Wembley is because he is the owner of an NFL franchise - the Jacksonville Jaguars and therefore has the option of bringing his franchise to London and creating an NFL team in Europe.
With all that splash of cash and dreams of becoming a bigger club, the last thing Tottenham need is to have a team full of International players who have not had sufficient rest and thus start the season badly, as they have done in prior seasons because the Tottenham manager is one for physical discipline and hard training - and the price of Tottenham players engaging a grueling training regiment is not enough rest before the new league season starts and players getting jaded at the end of the season. Like all things in life energy is best maintained when rest is best.
There is also another element about Tottenham. It is now attracting a larger share of young kids who are finding new heroes like Harry Kane and other Tottenham players that have name recognition among the young. Not having fresh and energetic players and developing an even higher win percentage means the chance of winning a title or a cup are reduced - and the opportunity for Spurs right now is building that new crop of young fans, who one day will become the next generation of Tottenham fans.
How Spurs player will focus on using these friendlies as a warm up to the new season depends on their intent in how they want to expend their energies testing themselves with three of Europe's top clubs from Italy and Spain. Even the Spanish team look jaded in the World Cup and yet no one really keeps a track of just how much playing time the modern soccer player puts in and how much training is involved. It is not a case of players working just 2 hours per week, the fitness regiment at the big clubs is extremely intense.
The chief reason Tottenham missed their chance to capture a League title a few years ago was a combination of a poor start, which meant the players were not re-energized but playing friendlies with competitive zeal ! In reality they do have to because the fan base of American fans is getting bigger and bigger. The World Cup is no longer the only global competition though it is the most prestigious of all sports competition, and commands attention just like the Olympics. Harry Kane may end up winning the Golden Boot Award at this years World Cup - but hey! also give him a rest please !
To be fair Gareth Southgate did rest up Kane for the Belgium group game but Harry Kane may just be his own worst enemy as he is inspired by trying to break records and factor in the leading scorer charts. Sometimes a manager needs to be cruel in order to be kind - but the pressure to play comes from sponsors and marketing factors where new fans equate with global merchandising and new money coming into the Premier League - after all this is not the romantic notion of the World Cup, this is a billion dollar and becoming an even bigger global business.