Walthamstow Local Harry Kane Sees Tottenham in Turmoil
Perhaps Walthamstow’s best kept secret is that the club is in the middle of a real hotbed for football. The Arsenal Academy sits just across the A406 from Wadham Lodge, while the Parmiter Sports Ground that is home to Ridgeway Rovers lies only a mile up the road.
Three miles as the crow flies west across Tottenham Marshes is the multi-million-pound new stadium belonging to Spurs. These teams great and small have combined to help produce not one but two England captains, David Beckham and, the current Three Lions skipper, Harry Kane.
It’s a long way from youth football in the neighbourhood to sporting superstardom, but the Stags can and should bask in such reflective glory. Kane was born in Walthamstow itself and, while his family moved out to Chingford while he was still very young, he is still very much a local lad.
The ties to Tottenham, although he was a Gunner before he ever earned his Spurs, have been the subject of so much speculation of late. Could Kane leave the area for good after another trophy slipped away from his grasp?
Tottenham have certainly lived up to the second half of their name in recent weeks. In keeping with the Shakespearean depiction of Henry Percy, Hotspur is someone you can describe as rash, impulsive and impetuous. Nobody would normally dare accuse Spurs chairman Daniel Levy of possessing those qualities, yet he has displayed all three lately.
First signing up to the European Super League, only to backtrack amidst the vehement backlash from almost everyone who follows football, and then sacking Jose Mourinho. The timing of both was ill-judged, failing to gauge public mood in the current climate, but especially changing coaches less than a week before the EFL Cup final and playing at Wembley.
Levy’s interim replacement for Mourinho is a former teammate of Kane’s in Ryan Mason, aged 29. A complete managerial rookie, while he only has the gig until the end of the season, five members of the first-team squad are older than him. Awkward.
What Kane makes of all the turmoil and tumult at Tottenham is anyone’s guess. This is a player in his prime whose presence on the pitch is always factored into any expert correct score prediction given on the outcome of matches he turns out in.
The errors of judgment made in the Arsenal and Chelsea boardrooms besides Spurs, after non-league clubs like the Stags much further down the English football pyramid saw a second consecutive season called off, may have had a far-reaching impact on the beautiful game.
Fans in North and East London went on to protest against greed, mirroring those in another footballing heartland up in the Northwest. The remarkable stories of Beckham, a Manchester United icon from that club’s golden era, and Kane with all those loans before making the grade wouldn’t even exist if they hadn’t started playing in academies local to Walthamstow as boys.
Supporting grassroots and not simply serving self-interest is the clear message sent out by supporters to football’s elite.