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Thursday, 19 May 2016

Former academy player McQueen talks about Kane

In a recent article from The Football League Paper, former Tottenham academy player Alex McQueen, now at Carlisle United, spoke about his time at Spurs with Harry Kane.


In 2013 I wrote an article about how players could learn, indeed should learn, from Harry Kane's mentality. Alex McQueen gives an insight into that mentality and the drive Kane has to be the best he can be. A winning mentality is not just about winning football games, that is the gloss, the window dressing, every day on the training ground and off-the-field are equally as important.

“Back then, he was always quite skinny and gangly. You wouldn’t have looked at him and straight away said ‘Oh, he’s going to be the best striker in the Premier League’. 
“But his technique was always excellent. After every session, he used to stay back and practise shooting. Bang, bang, bang. Every day about 50 balls. He was desperate to get better.
“He worked so hard to improve his technique and you can see that he’s done the same with his body. Physically, he looks like a proper man on the pitch now.”

Some players just don't have that dedication, they won't do whatever it takes to succeed, they'll take the path of least resistence, doing enough to get them to one level and then simply maintaining that. It that drive that makes the difference and elevates some players above others, it's what elevates some people above others in all walks of life.

“Pochettino sort of came in as I was leaving, so we didn’t get much chance to work together properly,. Maybe if he’d arrived a year earlier and I’d seen what was happening, then I’d have stayed put. But, at the same time, they’ve got Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, DeAndre Yedlin – all young players – in my position. It would have been tough. 
“I loved my time there. When I first went up to the Under-21s, my managers were Tim Sherwood, Les Ferdinand and Chris Ramsey. Chris was the one who actually signed me. 
“They were really good coaches, really encouraging and professional. They made you feel like you were part of an adults’ team. 
“But, if you’re not playing and you’re not going out on loan, there comes a time where you have to get out.”

That has been the problem at Manchester City and Chelsea or PSG, young players are not given a chance, it's why Spurs have now possibly become a more inviting opportunity to any youngster with the requisite drive to make a name for himself in the game.


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