Gary Neville has insisted that Harry Kane should be on the pitch for every minute of England’s European Championship campaign as he is the best player in the team.
Kane did not look at his sharpest in England’s 1-0 win over Croatia in their tournament opener on Sunday.
The Three Lions captain was taken off in the latter stages of the game and Jamie Carragher remarked in his column for The Telegraph that Gareth Southgate should have withdrawn the Tottenham man a lot earlier than he did.
Carragher wrote that “the days of keeping him (Kane) on the pitch so he can make the most of every minute in pursuit of the Golden Boot are over.”
However, Neville has now disagreed with his Sky Sports colleague, stating that the 27-year-old’s place in the side cannot be questioned.
The former Manchester United man also insisted that Kane will not be affected by what is being said and written about his performance in the Croatia game.
“He’s the best centre forward in the country by a mile. I like (Dominic) Calvert-Lewin a lot, I think he offers something off the bench, but there’s no way he would start ahead of Harry.
“His influences on the team, his performances, his goal record… even though he was quiet in that first game, he’s mentally untouchable.
“He will not break a stride after that game and think, ‘oh, I’m in bad form, the press said I didn’t play well.’
“He won’t think about it at all. He’s so sure-footed, he’s solid in his mind. He’s England’s best player by an absolute mile.”
Neville compared Kane’s influence on the side to that of his former England teammate Alan Shearer, insisting that the Spurs star has to remain on the pitch.
He added: “Going into Euro 96, I don’t think Alan Shearer had scored leading up to the tournament. He’s the only striker, English striker, I’d put in the same category as Shearer.
“You just let them get through the patches where they might not score in three or four, trust them completely. They’re great performers and have to play.”
Spurs Web Opinion
When people wonder why England always tend to underachieve in major tournaments, this right here is one of the reasons. The fact that people are ready to question Kane’s place in the team after one below-par performance, shows the level of scrutiny the players are under.
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