Thursday, January 20

Harry Kane Ready for Euro 2020 Takeoff After Breaking the Duck, Says Southgate | Euro 2020


Gareth Southgate has predicted that Harry Kane is set to take off at Euro 2020 after his late goal in an emotional 2-0 win over Germany in the round of 16 at Wembley.

The England captain had gone blank in each of the three group stage matches and drew criticism for the level of his complete game. Against Germany, he worked within the limits of a tight match, but the moment he had dreamed of came at 86 minutes.

With England leading 1-0 through Raheem Sterling’s third goal of the tournament, Kane leaned in to head a cross from substitute Jack Grealish, and Southgate suggested the forward could now enjoy a sense of liberation similar to the by Alan Shearer at Euro 96.

Shearer had entered the final after a 12-game scoring drought and with then-coach Terry Venables under pressure to drop the forward. But Shearer caught fire with a goal in the tournament opener against Switzerland and finished as the Golden Boot winner with five.

England’s players had a recovery session on Wednesday, and those who did not participate against Germany had a tougher training, as the focus turned to the quarter-finals in Rome against Ukraine on Saturday.

“I played Alan in 96, and the change in him once he got that goal [against Switzerland] … ”Southgate said.

“I remember being in China and Alan was not scoring [in the final warm-up game against China]. It was another game without a goal and you could tell how it was for him. So Germany will be a great launch for Harry, no question about that.

“We know that with Harry and Raheem… his record for goals with us has been immense. We can’t just expect Harry to be the one to deliver, so Raheem has stepped in at a crucial moment and he seems electric, but if we can get Harry to score as well, that’s great for us as a team. “

Kane said before the Germany game that he was able to erase the background noise and, given the chance, he knew he would. He added that his priority was to reach the top in the knockout rounds.

“The life of a center forward is a lot of pressure,” Southgate said. “There is great expectation and while it is sometimes felt from the outside that it is a glamorous position and it certainly pays them well, it comes with immense pressure and expectation. It is important as a manager to understand that and have empathy with it.

“Not only is there an expectation from the crowd, but there is also an inherent desire and drive that central forwards have that if you win the game and they don’t score, they get riled up. They cannot avoid that. That is the mentality of the best players.

“So Tuesday will have been a perfect day for Harry. He wants the team to win more than anything other than the team to win and he to score, that will certainly put a big smile on his face. “

Kane described a feeling of “pure exhilaration and pure joy” when the ball hit the net, a moment that would stay with him forever.

He said his debut goal against Lithuania in 2015 and the last gasp winner against Tunisia in the 2018 World Cup have been his favorites in the England jersey, but that has now changed.

“The goal against Germany is pretty much the first on the list,” Kane said.

The England team returned to their St George’s Park base around midnight on Tuesday, having seen Ukraine win in extra time against Sweden on the bus from London.

“We have a vision of where we want to be and it’s not just about winning one-off knockout games, but going all the way,” Kane said. “We know that if we play to our maximum capacity, we should have enough to win. [against Ukraine]. But it’s knockout football and anything can happen. “


www.theguardian.com

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