ENFIELD, United Kingdom, Oct 5 – Harry Kane has revealed that his remarkable goal-scoring feats with Tottenham Hotspur and England over recent months can be traced back to his kitchen.
The 24-year-old striker, who captains England in their World Cup qualifier against Slovenia on Thursday, has scored goals at a prolific rate since his breakthrough season with Spurs in 2014-15.
But his scoring has hit new heights this year — 11 goals in five games for club and country at the tail-end of last season, 13 in eight last month — and he partly credits his decision to hire a personal chef.
“Over the last year or so, I’ve changed a lot off the pitch with the nutrition side of it,” Kane told reporters after training with England at Spurs’ base in Enfield, north London on Wednesday.
“It kind of clicked in my head that a football career is so short. It goes so quickly. You’ve just got to make every day count. So I’ve got a chef at home to eat the right food, which is big for recovery.
“You can’t train as hard as you’d like when you have so many games, so you have to make the little gains away from football as well.
“That’s recovery, sleep, eating the right food. That will definitely help me going into a tournament year and hopefully keep me fresh all year round.”
Kane was introduced to his chef, who he did not name, by an acquaintance last December.
The chef visits the house Kane shares with his fiancee, Katie Goodland, and their nine-month-old daughter, Ivy, six days a week and has been helping the striker understand how his body reacts to different foods.
“You could eat healthily all week and then have loads of carbs (carbohydrates) before a game, but you’ve not eaten those carbs all week and your body goes into a little bit of shock,” Kane said.
“It’s more just planning it: when we have double (training) sessions, maybe higher carbs; when the sessions are a bit lighter, it’d be lower.
“I still eat what I was eating, nothing really new. I’m not a big fish fan, but he’s got me eating a bit more fish for my Omega-3 (fatty acids). A few spices on that to help.”
– ‘Low and hard’ –
Asked whether he has a guilty pleasure, Kane lowered his head bashfully and said: “Apple crumble.”
Sitting beside Kane, England manager Gareth Southgate said he was “absolutely the sort of role model you want”.
While Kane’s eating habits have changed, his style of shooting has not.
The blond front man is renowned for finding the bottom corners of the net and he says Spurs youth coach Bradley Allen played a key role in helping him hone his finishing style.
“I’ve worked on that from a young age — it was always low and hard in the corner,” Kane said.
“Some people now try and score the perfect goal, in the top corner to look better, but it doesn’t matter to me. Low and hard across the keeper is the worst one for them to try and save.
“Bradley Allen, under-15s (coach) here, was a great coach for me. We always did extra finishing.
“Last year he asked me why I kept cutting back on my right foot and not taking it on my left, and he was right.
“This season, that’s worked out well for me — I’ve scored quite a few with the left foot.”
Kane has always professed himself content at Tottenham, his local club, but for the first time he has opened the door to a move abroad.
“I would never say no or yes. You’d not rule out anything,” he said when asked about the possibility of one day playing overseas.
“It’s not something I definitely want to do, but you never rule anything out. I’m very happy here, but we’ll see what happens.”