Nobody should be surprised by Southgate’s plan to start Tottenham’s Kane

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 18: Harry Kane of England interacts with Gareth Southgate, Head Coach of England as he is substituted during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group D match between England and Scotland at Wembley Stadium on June 18, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 18: Harry Kane of England interacts with Gareth Southgate, Head Coach of England as he is substituted during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group D match between England and Scotland at Wembley Stadium on June 18, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) /
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Gareth Southgate has made his intention to start Tottenham’s Harry Kane clear in the lead up to England’s final group match encounter against the Czech Republic. 

Southgate has boundless faith and trust in his national captain. And so he should. Two subpar performances does not constitute a solid reason to drop England’s heart and soul.

Kane has 34 goals in 55 matches with the Three Lions. He was the Golden Boot recipient in World Cup 2018, scoring six goals in as many games. While the current evidence proves Kane isn’t performing close to his best, it only takes a minute for the sniper to break out of his current malaise.

The only merit in dropping Kane for the Czech Republic match would be due to the fact that England has already guaranteed qualification into the Round of 16. But Kane needs to play an instrumental part in the starting team in the final group match in order to regain the confidence that has recently escaped him.

Succeed or fail, England’s hopes of advancing deep into Euro 2020 ride on Kane’s on-field presence. He is the nation’s stalwart and has the resilience, skill set and pedigree to overcome this brief, yet potentially significant bump in the road.

If England go crashing out of Euro 2020, people will invariably point to Kane as the scapegoat. They’ll say Southgate wasn’t courageous enough to drop the undroppable captain. They’ll say Kane isn’t worth the £150 million Tottenham will probably demand for him.

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But imagine the opposing, counter possibility. That outcome sees Kane proving naysayers wrong. It entails Kane scoring or leading England to victory against the Czechs and securing top place in Group D going into the Round of 16.

From there, anything is possible. No script is more alluring than the one that sees Kane defy all skeptics, including former Manchester United captain Roy Keane, whose severe and continuous lambasting of England’s captain is well documented.

Tottenham Hotspur supporters know intimately what Kane is capable of. Yes, he’s currently enduring a tough go of it. That, however, can change in the flash of an eye, such is the unparalleled quality of England and Tottenham’s talisman.

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If he doesn’t turn it around, it might benefit Tottenham’s chances of keeping him in north London for another season. But that would be a bittersweet pill to swallow, because no matter how much I want him to stay at Spurs, I’d rather see him be the first Tottenham player in history to take centre stage in leading England to ultimate glory.