CHRIS SUTTON: I’m glad Gareth Southgate ignored silly calls to drop Harry Kane but one goal does not mask his issues… England’s No 9 must improve his movement and start BURSTING in behind defences
It doesn’t have to be one or the other – it can be true that Harry Kane is not getting the service he deserves and also true that the England No 9’s movement has not been good enough.
It is a combination that has seen Kane often appear isolated in attack. I’m glad Gareth Southgate has kept faith with his striker, ignoring those silly calls to drop him.
This is the best striker in England we’re talking about. He’s been the best for years. His Euro 2020 deputy, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, didn’t even make the substitutes’ bench against Germany.
Harry Kane finally got off the mark at Euro 2020 after heading home against Germany
Kane got his goal, thankfully, and will want more. Looking at his game, there are some changes to his movement which could help him and England.
Imagine for a moment that you’re a centre back and you’re tasked with stopping the opposition striker from scoring.
Thankfully, he isn’t trying to burst behind you. Instead he’s dropping deep and doing everything in front of you. That makes the defender’s job easier – and that’s what Kane has been doing.
He is very good at coming short, as we’ve seen with Tottenham. There was some evidence of him performing that same role for England against Germany.
Kane’s importance was shown by the fact Dominic Calvert-Lewin was left out of the squad
One moment in the first half saw Kane drop deep while Kalvin Phillips broke from midfield. The through-ball from Kane didn’t work on this occasion, but this is something we’ve seen him do with his Tottenham team-mate Heung-min Son over and over again. It’s not a bad movement. But it can become comfortable to play against.
Kane needs to give the opposition centre backs something else to consider. When England’s midfielders receive the ball on the half-turn, I want to see Kane looking to burst behind rather than coming short.
Southgate’s side should enjoy plenty of possession against Ukraine in the quarter finals. Get Kane further up the field, support him, create chances for him and watch him fire England into the semi finals.
Gareth Southgate should be praised for sticking by his man, but he must get further forward