Bacon's Bites: Don't give Harry the job. All good things come to an end and why I'll 'unfollow' non-league clubs!
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Mike Bacon takes a look at the new England captaincy appointment, the start of the French Open and why football needs a break – evem just for a month!
No, not for me.
There’s only one thing I want Harry Kane to do in Russia this summer – and that’s bang goals in the onion bag!
I’m not interested in his man-management skills, his passion, drive or media know-how.
I couldn’t care less whether he is the team’s best Sudoku player, or can recite the alphabet backwards quicker than any of the squad.
I only care how many goals he scores in Russia.
Because goals win games. And if England want to stand a prayer this summer in the World Cup, Kane is key.
Anyone who has ever coached a football team, from U8s to the World Cup will know the value of a goalscorer.
They are priceless. You wrap them up in cotton wool, tell them they are the best player in the team (when other players are not listening), substitute them early if your team is winning easily – and always, yes always, explain why!
Goalscorers get the plaudits. Look at how Mo Salah is currently being hailed.
In a 5-2 game you will only ever hear about the guy who got the hat-trick for the winning side, never the ‘keeper who saved a penalty.
Yet this is what England boss Gareth Southgate said after giving Kane the World Cup captaincy.
“My feeling is that over the last 18 months in the camps that he’s been with us he has shown that he has got the desire to take that into a team environment and he recognises the importance of bringing others with him.”
Now, I like Gareth.
On a trip to St George’s Park two years ago, he went out of his way to meet and greet my little Woodbridge U15s at a tournament we were playing in. He was a perfect gentleman.
But what does that mean? I bet Harry doesn’t know. And ok, so I know England have to have a captain. But please, not Kane.
He’s scored 12 goals in 23 appearances for his country, so just leave him as is.
He needs burdening with nothing.
Don’t put him on washing up duties in Russia, don’t make him get the cones in at the end of training. Don’t put him in charge of having to work out the stableford scores on the golf course.
And certainly don’t make him carry bags containing footballs to training.
Neither should he be carrying pennants to the half-way line to exchange before kick-off in case he dislocates a finger. Or play cards.
He’s too precious.
Gary Lineker was never an England captain, yet his goals in the 1986 and 1990 World Cups were so close to getting England to glory.
World Cup Golden Boot winners David Villa (Spain, 2010), Ronaldo (Brazil, 2002), Paolo Rossi (Italy, 1982) and Mario Kempes (Argentina, 1978) have all been major reasons their country won the World Cup.
Other Boot winners have helped their country to go deep into the Finals.
Give it to Raheem Sterling.
It won’t bother him. Indeed it may give him just the positive boost he needs to be player of the tournament.
Harry, though, doesn’t need any positives, boosts, or burdens.
But, okay, I’ll admit – if he’s pictured lifting the World Cup on July 15 – I’ll forgive you Gareth!
The French Open at Roland Garos starts this weekend.
And just for a change, Rafael Nadal is favourite. Ten times in the last 13 years Nadal has won the French, from 2005-2017.
The only players to have won in that time are Roger Federer (2009), Stan Wawrinka (2015) and Novak Djokovic (2016),
What a record.
It’s an unbelievable stage in world tennis we have just come through, with Nadal, Djokovic and Federer so dominant. But surely it’s coming to an end as they all reach the latter stages of their illustrious careers.
Look at these stats.
At the US Open only Juan Martín del Potro (2009), Andy Murray (2012), Marin Cilic (2014) and Wawrinka (2016) have interrupted the ‘big three’ since 2004.
Since 2003, Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have won every Wimbledon men’s singles title apart from Murray’s two titles in 2013 and 2016.
Since 2004, only Marat Safin (2005) and Wawrinka (2014) have stopped the brilliance of the ‘fab three’ at the Australian Open.
It makes you realise how well Murray has done to win three Slams in his career.
So, enjoy Nadal, Djokovic and Federer one more year. Time is starting to call.
I’ve decided I’m going to ‘unfollow’ any non-league football club who puts up their ‘pre-season’ fixtures on their club’s Twitter feed before May is out.
For goodness sake, the season has only just ended. Get a life, relax – take a bit of time out from football.
Like many of you, I love football, especially non-league. But there are other things to do folks.