A few days since the disappointing one each draw on Saturday night for England against Russia, and there have been a lot of claims for Harry Kane to be taken out of the England starting eleven. Their first game of the tournament in which England were in full control off apart from perhaps the opening ten minutes of the second half and already the fans and media alike are looking to find an excuse or someone to blame. Watching the game it was evident to see that despite the control of the game clear cut chances were not maximised by the England team, and when they did present themselves not one fell to the feet of their leading striker Harry Kane. England is blessed for once with an array of talent in the final third of the pitch but not one of their options quite matches up to the ability of Harry Kane. So how can people want the Tottenham hit-man to be dropped?
The first issue to mention would be, who in their right mind would have their number one striker hitting corners? Only England we would see this happen, to read about how senior players in the squad are asking for the omission of Kane from the starting eleven is completely outrageous, who are these senior players now anyway, Gary Cahil (the weak link in the England backline), Wayne Rooney (England captain who is lucky to be playing), James Milner (the 6th choice centre midfielder) and Joe Hart perhaps. I will not defend Kane in saying that he had a great game or he played extremely well, but the job he did against Russia was an unselfish job, his movements were strong but why run in behind when he wasn’t getting the balls fed through the heart of the defence. The ageing centre half pairing of Russia should have been made to move to wide positions or deeper to get close to Kane, but the problem was if Kane did that there was not an England player looking to occupy his position. The Wales game is now being pinpointed as Kane’s last chance to cement his place in this England starting eleven, and that Jamie Vardy may join him in leading the line, but Harry doesn’t need a partner all he needs is quick football, with a player playing behind him that can run beyond him and wide men that can come on the inside so he can take positions in wider areas.
The England attacking quartet against Russia was far from impressive. Adam Lallana looked further off international class than ever before and Raheem Sterling works hard and his direct runs should keep him in the side but he is too light footed when distributing his final action whether it is a shot or a cross. The Wayne Rooney role I still am trying to work out despite the acclaim he has taken from the game, his slowing of the play does not help or suit the Tottenham lads in this team, Dele Alli and Harry Kane suffered quite a bit from the lack of pace in the play in the final third of the pitch, the constant 40/50 yard passes were very much unneeded the majority of the times, and even the fullbacks were slower driving down their respective flanks because of this. Barkley, Sturridge and Vardy certainly have to be in contention for the upcoming Wales game. Despite splitting opinions Barkley is a supremely talented player who could really keep up the short sharp passes that this England should be playing within the team, Sturridge could easily play of the right hand side and switch roles with Kane and Vardy if all three played, there are much better options available to Roy to what he played against Russia.
England have the potential to do well at this tournament, defensively they aren’t great but with the options they have in attack they should really be competing in France this summer. The violence and trouble between fans is always terrible to hear and read about but the bashing of Harry Kane is the most disappointing part of the tournament thus far for me. One of the best strikers not just in the Premier League but in Europe, only England would not accommodate for their top marksman. England and Hodgson have big decisions to make and one of these has to be if he is going to play Rooney he has to drop deeper, even further away from the England attack and the other is who joins Kane in the England attack not who replaces him.