For Harry Kane, the wait goes on. England’s captain arrived in Munich this weekend at the start of his new life with his new club, dreaming of fresh possibilities, but he left his first match for Bayern Munich with a feeling that must have felt grimly familiar.
One can only imagine how intensely Kane wanted to win the first trophy of his career, to remove that burden so soon after moving to Germany. But as he trotted onto the Allianz Arena turf for the first time in Bayern’s colours, in this German Supercup against RB Leipzig, he did so with desperation in the air and anguish on the face of his new fans.
Kane’s first task as a Bayern player was to save the day. It was a tough ask, with Bayern trailing 2-0 when he emerged from the bench after around an hour of play. Within a few minutes, before he had made any impact on the evening, Bayern were trailing by three after Leipzig’s Dani Olmo completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot.
In fact, Kane’s first act in a Bayern shirt was to complain to the referee about the decision. Presumably he did so in English, although his first 24 hours in Germany had been so hectic that he might well have found time to learn a few phrases. Either way, the game was over before Kane could make his mark on it. That, sadly for him, is the nature of football. Or, as he might now put it, das ist Fußball.
So much of the conversation around Kane’s transfer, in England at least, has revolved around what Bayern can do for him. This first appearance in German football flipped that discussion on its head, for it showed exactly why Bayern need Kane. Thomas Tuchel’s side wasted chance after chance, missing shot after shot, without Kane in the first half.
Until kick-off, it had felt like the whole occasion — and indeed the whole city — had been geared towards Kane. The first significant noise in the Allianz Arena came in the warm-up, when he was introduced to the crowd. When he was then summoned from the bench in the second half, there was a guttural roar in the stadium that was unmatched by anything before or after.
“We don’t expect him to be the superhero,” Tuchel said after the match. “We just expect him to be who he is. He went to bed at 3 in the morning after his medical. We need to learn from him. He does not need to learn from us.”