Former Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Paul Robinson has criticised Gareth Southgate for putting Harry Kane at risk of aggravating an injury during the World Cup game against Iran yesterday.

England kicked off their campaign in Qatar in style with a huge 6-2 win over Iran. Goals from Jude Bellingham, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford, Jack Grealish, and a Bukayo Saka double helped the Three Lions secure the three points.

Harry Kane

(Photo by Mike Hewitt – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Harry Kane may not have been on the scoresheet, but the 29-year-old put in a fine performance and provided two assists. He was substituted on 76 minutes, replaced by Newcastle United’s Callum Wilson.

The change appeared to be purely tactical, to give the England captain a rest with the points in the bag. But, images surfaced after the game of Kane with his ankle strapped up, raising concerns over his fitness (David Ornstein).

Kane was hit by a tough tackle in the 48th minute and stayed down momentarily before leaving the pitch for a quick assessment. Though there is not believed to be any major damage done, the situation has prompted Paul Robinson to slam Southgate for risking Kane in such a way.

Speaking to Football Insider, Robinson said: “There was an injury scare with him. I think Southgate should have brought him off at half-time, in all honesty.

“It was 3-0. There was no way back for Iran. The game was done and dusted. There should have been more substitutions at the break. Southgate should have rested players and given players minutes that needed them.”

Kane has been ever-present for Spurs this season (Transfermarkt) and Robinson believes Kane should have been the first priority for Southgate to give a rest to.

He said: “There was no need to risk Harry Kane. There was talk of him being tired or fatigued ahead of the tournament so why not give him a rest?

“The game was done. Why risk him for the second half? That said, Kane was excellent. There was no sign of fatigue from him or any of the England players.”

Spurs Web Opinion

I was thinking the same at half-time to be fair, that Kane should have been taken off and given a proper rest ahead of the game on Friday. He looked absolutely fine and put in a great performance, and he probably wanted to get a goal for himself, but there’s a whole tournament to think of here.

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