Arsenal icon Tony Adams has explained the issue he has with Harry Kane being England captain, suggesting Declan Rice as the Three Lions’ potential new leader.
Kane is England’s best-ever goalscorer, having netted 62 times in 89 matches at international level. He overtook Wayne Rooney’s record in March by scoring his 54th England goal, which was a penalty against Italy. The former Tottenham Hotspur striker has been England captain since May 2018, shortly before the start of the World Cup in Russia.
Kane is arguably in the best form of his career, as he has gone to the next level since joining German giants Bayern Munich in the summer. His record this term stands at an incredible 22 goals and seven assists in just 17 appearances.
The form of England’s two stars performing abroad – Kane and Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham – makes England one of the favourites ahead of Euro 2024 in Germany.
However, Adams has suggested manager Gareth Southgate makes one big change to his England setup. The former defender, who made over 500 appearances for Arsenal between 1983 and 2002, has cast doubt over Kane’s suitability as captain, recommending the armband be given to new Gunners star Rice.
“I’ve always had an issue with the captain scenario,” he said on talkSPORT. “I said it in one World Cup with Harry Kane that he looked burnt out and I like rotating the forwards so that a player can come in and do something for you. We didn’t have that.
“In the last Euros, I couldn’t believe he took Declan Rice off in the Italy game when actually you need him in there.
“Who’s your man? We spoke about Terry Venables and asking him who his most important person for you and he said ‘Tony Adams, I need him every single game, every single minute telling the players what to do because he’s my mouthpiece’.
Tony Adams issues surprise England captaincy verdict
“I understood him. We came from the same part of town so there was an emotional connection too but technically, I knew what he was trying to achieve and then I’d try to relay it to the other players.”
Despite that suggestion, Adams still thinks Southgate is the right man to take England to long-awaited glory.
“He’s a wonderful, emotional and fantastic individual. I love him to bits and for me, there couldn’t be a better England manager than him,” he added.
“I think that, very similar to Mikel Arteta, he’s maybe come up short with his backroom staff and having that little bit of experience in critical moments of Euros, World Cups and league titles in Arteta’s case.
“It was similar to when I won my first league title and we nearly threw it away, but luckily we got over the line in 1989 against Liverpool, but once you’ve done it once you know when to step up – what time of year, what time of the matches and what part of the tournament, you just knew how to go to another level at particular times.
“Sometimes you just have to do that, and Southgate has just fallen short with some of his decisions right at the final knocking.
“Going forward into the Euros I think we have one hell of a chance. Hopefully he’s learned from the past and developed the squad.”