Harry Kane’s worrying performances for England at Euro 2020 under fresh scrutiny after anonymous outing against Scotland; England captain replaced with 20 minutes remaining after touching the ball just 19 times
Kane had just 19 touches – the fewest he has ever made in an international fixture – during his time on the pitch and failed to produce a single shot on target.
“Harry Kane looks leggy, he’s not up to speed, on his heels all the time,” Roy Keane told ITV. “If England are to compete in this competition, they are going to need their star men to perform. I’m glad Gareth [Southgate] took him off, he’s wasn’t performing. Kane is a big problem.”
Fellow Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness was equally unimpressed.
“He looks a shadow of the player we know he is,” said Souness. “He looks leggy and lacking enthusiasm. He’s not getting a great deal from England’s midfield, which isn’t working, but Harry looks tired and jaded. This is a guy who might have a big move this summer; he needs to wake himself up.
Despite substituting Kane for Marcus Rashford as England sought a breakthrough, England boss Southgate sought to defend his captain.
“We have got to look at the whole performance and our use of the ball. It wasn’t about one player,” said Southgate.
“I thought Scotland marked him extremely well. Anything that was played up, they were aggressive and defended well.”
Neville: Scotland better all over the pitch
Sky Sports’ Gary Neville to ITV:
“It was a really poor performance from England, there is massive disappointment in Wembley. England’s physical levels were poor, Gareth will be wondering how he fixes that for the next game.
“Was the expectation too big for England? Sometimes that can mentally take it out of you. England never won the ball high up the pitch, Scotland’s midfield was better to a man, all over the pitch Scotland were better.
“There was something missing tonight. Was it the expectation of playing Scotland at Wembley? Something has got to them in their heads that meant that physically they were completely gone on the pitch. They were nowhere near it: no pressurising, no urgency on the ball, slow passing – everything that you wouldn’t want, we saw from England tonight.”
Scotland is back at Hampden Park for their final group game against Croatia on Tuesday. England takes on the Czech Republic at Wembley on the same day. Both games kick-off at 8 pm.
What do England and Scotland need to progress?
While England’s current haul of four points should see them progress as one of the four best third-placed teams even if they lose to the Czech Republic on Tuesday, they need at least a draw to be absolutely sure of progressing and only a victory will be enough for them to go through as winners.
As for Scotland, nothing less than a victory over Croatia will be sufficient for them to have any hope of making it through to the last 16.
If Scotland win and England and the Czechs draw, Scotland should go through as one of the four third-placed teams.