Harry Kane claimed English football has a “weaker mentality” as the Tottenham star hit out at fans having been the subject of social media jibes.
Kane has dominated headlines since successfully appealing Tottenham’s second goal against Stoke City last month after it was initially awarded to team-mate Christian Eriksen.
It triggered online criticism, with the England international striker mocked by rival supporters, while the Football Association (FA) published a tweet poking fun at the two-time reigning Premier League Golden Boot winner following Tottenham’s 2-1 FA Cup semi-final loss to Manchester United.
In the tweet, which was later deleted as the FA issued an apology, United’s Chris Smalling was asked “what’s in your pocket?” along with a short video of the defender saying “Harry Kane”.
Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino slammed the FA’s “embarrassing” tweet and now Kane has had his say, with countryman Dele Alli and Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling also criticised throughout the season.
“It is strange, I think it is a mentality thing,” Kane said. “It is easier these days to maybe banter England players or take the mick out of England players, if we don’t do well in the World Cup it’s, ‘Oh we told you so’.
“It’s maybe a weaker mentality, but it is what it is, as a team we are focused on what we need to do. We have got to go with a mindset and a belief that we can win, we try and win everything we do and the World Cup is no different.
“On social media you can get a few people that don’t see eye-to-eye but that is part of fans and opinions.
“Everyone is passionate about their clubs and rightly so but as a nation when it comes to the World Cup the most important thing is the nation, that’s what comes first.
“For me personally, I have always engaged with my fans, there are a small minority of fans that maybe go over the mark, but that is life, you can’t get too down about it.”
Kane added: “The FA tweet was a silly tweet, we all know that. I talked to the gaffer about it and all he was saying was would other countries do that to their own players, probably not.
“It is something that has gone, it was two weeks ago or whatever it was, I am over it. The gaffer [Pochettino] said I was sad, I am focused. I am a guy who gets on with things.
“If it happens, it happens, I move on, I look forward, I look forward to the next game, that’s all I worry about, getting out on the pitch and doing my job.”