Arsenal legend Tony Adams has suggested Harry Kane should be stripped of his captaincy for England, with West Ham’s Declan Rice taking over the armband instead.

The Tottenham Hotspur star was handed the captain’s armband by Gareth Southgate ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and this month Kane leads his country out at a third major tournament at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.


(Photo by Visionhaus)

With 51 goals at international level (Transfermarkt), Kane is now just two goals behind Wayne Rooney as England’s all-time top goalscorer. It’s safe to say the 29-year-old is one of the most important members of the England squad, often leading by example and regularly finding the back of the net.

Despite this, Southgate has been told to reconsider his choice of captain, just in case Harry Kane happens to have a bad game for the Three Lions. According to former England and Arsenal defender Tony Adams, writing for The Sun, the honour of captaincy should go to Declan Rice.

Adams said: “Harry Kane is a great player, a top goalscorer, commands total respect from his teammates and is rightly the first name on the England teamsheet.”

The doubts over Kane’s captaincy don’t come from his talents, though, which Adams clarified: “So far, so good, but I have my reservations about him as captain. It’s not because I doubt his abilities as a leader but if Gareth Southgate ever needs to change things he cannot take Harry off.

“All strikers have a bad day occasionally, even Harry, but nothing looks worse to the rest of the team than if the skipper is subbed. You look across to the bench, see your leader sitting there and it sends a bad message.”

With this in mind, Adams considers the worst-case scenario. “Consequently Harry stays on when it might be detrimental to the team. Ok, that might not be very often, but it does happen.

“Personally, I’d have given the captaincy to Declan Rice. I love his character, he had a fantastic Euros, and you know he’s going to give you 90 minutes. Don’t forget the last time we won it we had a West Ham captain so it makes perfect sense!”

Spurs Web Opinion

I don’t think you can take the captain’s armband off Harry Kane just because he might have a bad game every now and again.

The qualities Kane brings as a leader are far more valuable than having that contingency plan in place, and no matter who you pick as captain, you could always be faced with the difficult decision of taking them off the pitch.

What would happen if Declan Rice became captain and then had a bad game? Disturbing the established hierarchy now would be far more harmful to the squad than seeing Kane sitting on the bench for a few minutes.

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