- Harry Kane faces the prospect of another season without team silverware
- The England star was helpless to stop Bayern being beaten by Leverkusen
- The only PR that managers get is results… the way Erik ten Hag handled Marcus Rashford was a rare positive for the Man U boss – It’s All Kicking Off podcast
You will know the pose. Head bowed, hands on hips, the haunting realisation a chance to finally become a winner had slipped away.
Harry Kane cut that figure in Moscow and Madrid, Wembley and Doha but he could never have foreseen adding Leverkusen to his destinations of despair. But here he was, shattered, confronting the prospect that another calamity is potentially unfolding.
When Kane cut ties with Tottenham, we expected with good reason his medal famine would end. Bayern Munich always win the Bundesliga and had signed England’s captain for £100million – how could things go wrong?
Well, things are certainly going wrong now. Bayern have time to extricate themselves from a situation that sees them trail Xabi Alonso’s effervescent collective by five points but, watching them get ripped apart, you feared Kane will again be second best when the hints are given out in May.
This was the kind of contest you expected to see him arriving into the penalty area with stealth, sweeping his right foot back and running off with that trademark celebration, a kiss of his left hand and a little jump in the air.
Harry Kane was frustrated as Bayern slipped to a 3-0 defeat against Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday and dropped five-points behind the Bundesliga leaders
Kane was frustrated as he managed just 18 touches over a brutal 95 minutes against Leverkusen
When the England talisman moved to Germany in the summer, it was for silverware not individual success
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To stand a chance of doing that, though, he needed to see the ball – and he didn’t. He got 18 touches over those brutal 95 minutes, when Alonso showed why many are ready to anoint him as Liverpool’s next manager, and never mustered a shot. Kane’s final contribution was an injury-time pass that rolled apologetically out of play.
Kane, be absolutely clear, isn’t the reason Bayern are floundering. His debut campaign in Germany, personally, has been excellent with 28 goals to date but he sought this challenge because he wanted more than individual recognition. He wanted to be a winner.
But Bayern are out of the German Cup, face a tricky Champions League assignment against Lazio and this 3-0 defeat leaves them gasping for air in the quest to retain the Bundesliga title; worse for Kane, it seems that all is not well within in the camp.
‘To be honest, I’m ****ed off,’ Thomas Muller fumed about the performance against Leverkusen. ‘What is missing from this team is balls. There has to be energy. It is not just about (looking at) the coach (Thomas Tuchel). It’s about the players taking responsibility.’
Bayern Munich players were dejected as they trudged off the pitch at full time at the BayArena
Kane has been individually excellent for Bayern this season with 28 goals to date
Not a good sign. Perhaps Bayern will rouse themselves and Kane will get that opportunity to celebrate but to see him standing there so forlornly, you had to wonder whether history – for him at least – will repeat.
All the momentum is with Alonso and his men, whose triumph was secured with goals from Josip Stanisic, Alex Grimaldo and Jeremie Frimpong.
‘The mentality (Alonso) has given us is that the season isn’t over, it’s one win,’ said Leverkusen defender Jonathon Tah. ‘We’re in a good position but we must keep pushing. We enjoyed this, it was nice. Sometimes you have to stop and enjoy moments. But for the next game? We keep going.’
Kane will do that too; he can only hope the rest of Bayern’s listing squad will follow.