9 out of 10
International break, hence the radio silence. I've spent my free time roaming the dark and brooding landscape of Bloodborne, brutally killing off beasts and slaying them with a hefty axe and assortment of weapons. It's an exclusive 'Only on Playstation' PS4 game (for all you old timers) that has scored universally high ratings.
The game takes place in the decrepit Victorian Gothic city of Yharnam. Over the years travellers have journeyed to the city seeking the remedy to cure their afflictions and within the game you take up the role of a traveller. The city itself is infested, plagued with an endemic illness that has transformed most of its citizens into bestial creatures. On the night of the longest hunt I must navigate the streets of Yharnam and seek to overcome its deranged inhabitants and horrific monsters to survive and reach the damning conclusion.
So basically it's a little bit like interacting with my Twitter time-line.
All hail the realm of video game fantasy. An escape pod from all real life tension and pressure. Once upon a time I could say the same about football. These days I wish I could take an axe and wield it around a group of hypocrite football supporters before turning my attentions towards the FA, the Premier League, FIFA....and the rest. I think the vast majority of the populous would frown upon me with a heavy heart if I allowed such distorted madness to infiltrate our world of conditioning. Demonstrating and holding up banners is the preferred choice of revolution.
So basically, I'm still detached from the essence of what I'm meant to be doing when I'm dipping into this online world. Not Bloodborne, that other hideous place called social media.
I'm sort of still in the midst of a sabbatical.
Not sure I want to return to Twitter. I've removed all access to the NewsNow feed. Oh, you jest Spooky, surely not when NN have exclusivity of this blogs content via that click-thru up top? Alas, yes, I have. I remain fatigued, not with quality writing or insightful commentary out there but with the rest of the filler. The less I see of the wild, the hope is I might improve the purity of my opinions.
The only thing worth writing about is Harry Kane.
I recently said that if there was one major highlight this season, it's him. Everything about Kane makes me smile. The fact he polarises football supporters is possibly why I can't stop grinning. Some out there are actually insulted, offended that this lad has broken into the England squad (okay, no mean feat in these not so grand modern times).
"How dare someone that talks with that voice be scoring goals"
"Look at his face, he doesn't look like a proper footballer"
"He's rubbish. He only scores against rubbish teams. If he scores against a good team it's because they were rubbish on the day"
How has Kane gone from ghosting from one loan deal to the next and the occasional bright U21 performance for England to being the leading Premier League goal-scorer (last time I looked)? How has he developed from kicking the ball out of play away to Utd last season and spitting on himself to knocking 'em in with both feet and head? How? That's easy to answer. It's all down to him, with a supporting role from our calamitous attempt to build a new squad from the Bale money. Kane wants it. He's taken his chance, clutching it to his chest, and he's sprinting towards the sunset with no intention to look back.
I've mentioned it before, I saw little of Kane at Spurs at youth/academy level. He was one of the first players I free transferred in my game of Football Manager. Great name, but as a Spurs fan you tend to expect mediocrity with most of our kids when they attempt to make the shift up to first team. We don't produce special quality that often. The current batch (some of them) are trying to buck that trend.
When Kane started to showcase his determined mindset at U21 for the Three Lions, I still remained uncertain. Like most. His games for Spurs lacked that refined definition to understand what type of forward he was or could be. This is down to us (me) not appreciating the learning curve and time it can sometimes take to bed in. Christ, some of our £20M + players still haven't bedded in.
The transformation wasn't down to luck. Circumstance perhaps a little as we had no where else to go what with both Soldado and Adebayor incapable of any of the traits necessary to succeed up top. Kane, with this extra training sessions and this powerful aura of confidence that sees him reach for the stars and believe he can touch them, has elevated the lad to extraordinary heights.
Yes, second season syndrome will be a test. Players will wise up to his style. What if he hits a bad patch, how will he react to a goal drought? Every player experiences the same journey. What Kane has is that belief. From a player that looked out of sorts, not quite a number 10 and not quite a number 9 - he's now swaggering from deep and attacking the box. He makes space for others and attacks it with desire. He doesn't stop working, looking for those opportunities.
He's intelligent. He has vision. Not abundantly but for a forward, enough to carve out chances for his team mates and for himself. He's robust. He's got a bit of everything. He might not have the silk of Teddy Sheringham but remember the laughter some of our support shared (some did, I witnessed it) when one or two of our fans had a Nostradamus moment and predicted there was more to the player that just a lump to aim for? Some questions don't have immediate answers.
I've sat staring at Kane celebrating his England goal. It's fantasy stuff. Waits on the touchline for seven minutes, comes on, takes two touches and scores with his third. Opposition was pants, but still. He's on a crest of a wave and riding it like Aquaman. What struck me was that he now looks the part physically in that 'Tonight Matthew I'm going to be Ryan Gosling' kinda way. He's no longer 'that' youth product attempting to break through. He's our striker breaking through the opposing teams defence.
Harry bloody Kane is our main man. Not n export that cost tens of millions. An academy product that we could have easily loaned out again if those expensive signings had worked out. This is pretty much what being Tottenham Hotspur is all about. Unexpected moments of glory. In this instance, a player, a kid that is turning into a man, a beast...right in front of our eyes. If this season is all that Kane ever manages to offer us then he'll be one of the greatest cult heroes we've had. If his unrelenting willingness to improve and better himself continues to fuel his desire then he'll be one of our greatest...
...steady on. Think I'll get back to my video game fantasies for now and not think too much about the future. I'll just enjoy the rare highs of what the present is offering me and get on with killing those beasts in Yharnam.