England seek trusty lieutenants to captain Kane

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 24 Jun 2018 10:43:38


 

REPINO,

HANDED a winning start for the first time in a major tournament for 12 years by captain Harry Kane’s injury-time winner against Tunisia, England can look forward to Sunday’s meeting with Panama with a rare sense of World Cup calm.
A two-time Premier League Golden Boot winner, Kane banished any remaining doubts over his ability to perform on the biggest stage for his country with the first double by an English player at the World Cup since Gary Lineker in 1990.
But Kane’s heroics in Volgograd papered over the cracks of his team-mates’ failure to find the net with a host of simple first-half chances.


Raheem Sterling and Jesse Lingard were particularly culpable and while Kane saved an inquest into England’s profligacy and ponderous second-half performance, Sterling’s place against Panama may now be in jeopardy.
The first media storm of a hitherto relaxed campaign for the Three Lions was brewing on Friday after Gareth Southgate’s planned team was inadvertently revealed when assistant manager Steve Holland’s notes were photographed at training on Thursday.


According to the notes, Marcus Rashford will replace Sterling with Ruben Loftus-Cheek stepping in for Dele Alli, who suffered a thigh injury against Tunisia.
Southgate criticised the media for giving England’s opponents an upper hand.


“If we were to give the opposition the opportunity of having our team it’s a disadvantage to us,” said Southgate.
“So of course our media has to decide if they want to help the team or not.”


In contrast to his 23-goal season at club level for Premier League champions Manchester City, Sterling now hasn’t scored in his last 21 internationals.