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Media knives out for Harry Kane as pundits call for his benching against Wales

Two English pundits are already calling for Harry’s head after England’s draw against Russia.

England v Russia - Group B: UEFA Euro 2016 Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images

It sure didn't take long for the media to stick the shiv into Harry Kane. Just days after England conceded a late goal to draw 1-1 with Russia in Marseille in their first match of the European Championships in France, two prominent English football pundits have come out and said that it’s nearly time for Kane to be dropped from Roy Hodgson’s starting 11.

Times of London columnist Tony Cascarino and England/Newcastle legend Alan Shearer both penned columns today suggesting that Kane’s listless performance against Russia is enough that Roy Hodgson should consider dropping him for Thursday’s match against Wales.

First, here’s Tony Cascarino. His article in the Times is behind a paywall, but excerpts of the column were printed in the Evening Standard:

"Harry Kane is one game away from being dropped... International football is an unforgiving stage but that is the reality for the Tottenham striker after he struggled against Russia.

"Having been a star for Tottenham for two seasons he was probably England's poorest player on Saturday.

"If it's a similar display for the first 60 minutes against Wales he has to be dropped. He has an hour to save his England place.

"With Vardy, Sturridge and Rashford waiting in the wings, Kane must know he doesn't have much time to prove himself in this tournament."

And here’s Alan Shearer from his article on the BBC:

England manager Roy Hodgson would be well within his rights to tell Harry Kane that his performance in Saturday's draw against Russia was not good enough and he has to improve or he will change things up front - and rightly so...

But I would tell Kane - and also Raheem Sterling, whose final ball was yet again very poor - that, although I am going to stick with you, if you do not do better then I will make those changes during the Wales game. Then it is up to them to respond.

So, in fairness, both Cascarino and Shearer aren’t exactly wrong in criticizing Kane’s performance against Russia. Although England should consider themselves extremely unfortunate to only come away from their match with a draw, Kane looked like he wasn’t on the same page as his England teammates and though he created two chances (off of corners, lol) he really didn't create all that much.

That said, Kane is still England’s best striker, and yanking him for Vardy or Sturridge seems short-sighted at best, especially considering he really didn't get much service from the players behind him. Reading these opinions by Cascarino and Shearer, I find my brain caught between two competing emotional reactions.

Rational Tottenham blog manager brain:

Hmm, so this means Harry might actually get a rest? Sounds good to me. Yank him, Roy. Better yet, just send him home. Ban international football and let Harry and his dogs have a nice summer.

Harry Kane mega-fan lizard brain:


What’s your take on Harry Kane’s performance against Russia? Have it out in the comments.