Harry Kane: Can teams be built around one man?

By Matt BloomfieldWycombe Wanderers midfielder
Everybody's talking about Harry Kane

Everybody is talking about Harry Kane.

I even saw Danny Murphy saying that the England team should be built around the Tottenham striker.

It got me thinking about whether teams actually get built around one player. Does it really work?

It's pretty straightforward if you have a Cristiano Ronaldo or a Lionel Messi in your squad.

But is it something that can be useful in the depths of the Football League?

When it works

One example that sprang to mind was when we had Kevin Betsy playing at Wycombe in his first spell at the club - 2005 to 2007.

Kevin was an out-and-out winger who wanted to get chalk on his boots from the touchline and would carry the ball so effectively for us.

His strengths were all attacking. He was quick, he could pick the ball up in his own half and drive forward to relieve any pressure we were under. He had an eye for a goal as well.

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To get the best out of him, and to become better as a team, we played a lop-sided 4-4-2 formation with the left-sided midfielder tucking right in to allow Kevin to spend as much energy as possible attacking.

The main person affected by that formation was the left-sided midfielder, who was asked, in effect, to cover two positions and at times give himself up for the good of the team.

Who was that midfielder? Mostly me...

Did that affect me? No, not at all.

I knew that my qualities were very different from Kevin's. I knew that I had energy to burn, and was more than capable of covering the ground that was needed to play in that position.

Kevin Betsy
As well as making 187 appearances for Wycombe, Kevin Betsy helped Fulham go from League One to the Premier League between 1998 and 2001

When it doesn't work

Managers will always have their favourites and at teams all over the country there will seem to be players who are on the team sheet whether they are playing well or not.

The biggest thing that affects team morale is whether you are winning games or not. If you are winning games then the affect on the rest of the team will be negligible.

If the team isn't winning and the "main player" is not performing, then it can cause problems within the squad.

Disgruntled players will want to know why they aren't playing and why certain people have perceived preferential treatment. It's one of the many challenges faced by managers.

Celebrating my birthday in style!

Sunday was my 31st birthday. Luckily we were playing at Cambridge so I was not far from home, which is Felixstowe, Suffolk.

I was straight back for a family meal Saturday evening and then spent Sunday visiting my grandparents.

Not quite the VIP nightclub lifestyle normally associated with footballer's birthdays, but we had our own booth Saturday night at an Italian restaurant, if that counts?!