Pundits clash over Kane concern, as Chelsea man lauded in ‘brave’ England call

Date published: Sunday 13th June 2021 4:31 - Jonny Whitfield

Harry Kane warming up England v Croatia Euro 2020

Alan Shearer claimed that Harry Kane’s performance emerged as the only slight worry from England’s Euro 2020 win over Croatia.

The Three Lions got Group D off to a perfect start on Sunday by beating their 2018 World Cup nemesis 1-0. Raheem Sterling’s first tournament goal ensured the win, but there was more history made than the goal. Indeed, England won their first game at a European Championships for the first time.

England had an electric start and could have taken the lead. However, after Sterling’s goal, Gareth Southgate‘s men controlled proceedings.

Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips was another who had a fantastic game; he provided the assist for the winner while proving dominant in midfield.

Kane had a chance to make it 2-0 just after the opener but he missed from close range.

As such, ex-England striker Shearer raised the Tottenham man’s performance as a slight alarm.

Asked by BBC Sport‘s Gary Lineker about any concerns, Shearer said: “Probably only Harry Kane, I suppose. He looked a little bit slow for me.

“When that ball came across, I was expecting him to put it in the back of the net. But England, with playing well, didn’t create that many chances for him to get on the end of.

“Other than Harry Kane, I thought everyone looked really sharp.”

However, Frank Lampard insisted that the Spurs striker would have his time to shine at the tournament after picking up the Premier League’s awards for most goals and assists last season.

Lampard eases Kane, England fears

“I wouldn’t worry about Harry Kane,” the former Chelsea boss said.

“He’s our man and you know what? Save one today, the team played really well, there’ll be a really positive feel about the group.

“Harry Kane will deliver when it comes.”

Southgate’s selections raised debate, with Phillips playing alongside Rice in midfield, while Kieran Trippier played at left-back. Meanwhile, Mason Mount played in the other midfield role.

Speaking at half-time – before England’s goal – Lampard said when asked who caught his eye: “Phillips, he’s had the energy.

“I think it’s a brave selection from Gareth in midfield. He’s slightly tweaked it and played Rice slightly deeper, Phillips on the right and Mason on the left.

“That then gives Phillips and Mason the chance, you know you can jump and you know you have protection from behind.”

England will look to continue their momentum on Friday when they face Scotland in their next group game.

READ MORE: Rooney names ‘awkward’ England star he would love to manage above all

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