Harry Kane struggles as England barely beats Switzerland in a tense penalty shootout at Euro 2024

Harry Kane struggles as England barely beats Switzerland in a tense penalty shootout at Euro 2024

A week ago, England’s dramatic extra-time win over Slovakia had everyone talking.

Gareth Southgate, the team’s manager, gave a memorable presentation to his players about the 1966 World Cup.

He highlighted how the road to glory is often filled with unexpected twists and turns.

Southgate emphasized that tournaments often take teams through strange and difficult routes.

He pointed out how even key players, like Jimmy Greaves in 1966, sometimes end up playing unexpected roles.

Greaves, England’s top striker at the time, suffered a brutal tackle in the final group game, which led to his replacement by Geoff Hurst.

Hurst then scored a hat-trick in the final, while Greaves watched from the bench.

Fast forward to today, and Southgate faces a similar dilemma.

As England prepares for their Euro 2024 semi-final against the Netherlands, he must decide whether to play Harry Kane, England’s star striker, who has been struggling with fitness.

Kane, much like Greaves, is a vital player, but his recent performances have been far from his best.

Kane’s Struggles

Kane has been playing through a back injury sustained during Bayern Munich’s Champions League semi-final defeat by Real Madrid.

He missed Bayern’s last two Bundesliga games due to this injury.

Despite scoring crucial goals in this tournament, Kane’s overall performance has been lacking, raising concerns about his fitness and effectiveness on the pitch.

Southgate’s Tough Decision

After England’s penalty shootout win over Switzerland, Southgate praised Kane’s defensive work, but privately, he must be worried about Kane’s form.

Maps showing the average positions of England’s players revealed that Kane was playing deeper than the entire midfield, which is unusual for a striker of his caliber.

Alternatives to Kane

England has other strong options, like Ivan Toney and Ollie Watkins.

Toney has shown he can perform on the big stage, and his fresh legs could be a significant advantage.

Playing Toney or Watkins could also create more space for Phil Foden and Jude Bellingham to operate behind the front line.

The Bigger Picture

England’s captain looks like he desperately needs a rest, and with little recovery time before the match against the Netherlands, this could be a critical moment for Southgate.

In the context of his 1966 World Cup presentation, perhaps it’s time for Southgate to make a bold decision and give Kane the rest he needs.

Sports News

TDPel Media

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