Harry Kane bites back at his critics as England captain plots late Euro 2024 Golden Boot charge against Netherlands

HARRY KANE still has his sights set on the Golden Boot — despite his Euro woes.

The England skipper, top marksman at the 2018 World Cup with six goals, has only two in five games in Germany.

Harry Kane has hit back at his England criticsCredit: Getty
Kane said part of the reason his goal tally was low was more organised oppositionCredit: Rex

But he is only one behind the leading pack that includes Holland ace Cody Gakpo — who he will aim to KO tonight — on three strikes.

Kane said: “Hopefully I’ll score a couple of goals and you’re looking at me in a totally different way.

“I’d be top goalscorer, through to a final and it’s a different perspective. I’d like to have scored more goals but the tournament has been a low scoring one for different reasons.

“The pitches are part of that reason. Teams are more organised and, from a manager’s point of view, they are more structured and they make it difficult for the favourites or better teams to exploit.


“You know that you’re never as bad as you think — and you’re never as good as you think on your good days.”

Kane, who missed the end of the season with Bayern Munich due to a back problem, insists he has no injury issues, though he does not appear to be moving freely.

The striker, who fired 44 goals for Bayern last campaign, added: “If you look over the last couple of major tournaments, there’s always been — at some stage — question marks over my fitness or my form.

“I know everyone wants me to score three goals a game and I want to score three goals a game but it’s not always the case.

Most read in Euro 2024

Jack Wilshere on Harry Kane

SunSport’s Euro 2024 columnist Jack Wilshere gives his verdict on the Harry Kane dilemma…

HARRY KANE should start against Holland.

But we need to be more pro-active with our substitutions and keep the energy in the team.

In the first half against Switzerland, we saw that if you set up in a certain structure, Harry can do it.

I hear people say, ‘Harry can’t press’ but of course he can.

Can he sustain it for 90 minutes? I’m not sure, he may prove us wrong.

But regardless of that, we have to be more front foot with our changes, rather than waiting and reacting to what the opposition are doing.

People used to talk about Gareth Southgate not taking Harry off.

He did it against the Swiss and it worked.

We proved we can win a penalty shootout without him.

So play Harry from the start and tell him: “Give me everything until you can no longer.”

Harry is OK with that. He’s the captain, he wants what is best for the team.

Read more from ex-England and Arsenal star Jack Wilshere.


“Maybe sometimes when I don’t score, fitness  is an easy one just to throw in. People say: ‘Why? Is there a reason? Is it his fitness?’

“But I felt like I had a good preparation going into it, I felt like I’m getting better and sharper as the games go along. Ultimately it’s just down to me performing.”

Lego fan uses 6,000 bricks creating stadium hosting England’s Euro showdown against the Netherlands

Ahead of tonight’s clash with the Dutch in Dortmund, Kane, 30, was asked why he seems to be dropping deeper during games.

He said: “It’s a good question. When I’m dropping deep, it might not be to get the ball.

“It might be creating space for other players around me, it might be to drag the defenders out of their positions.

England’s Harry Kane dilemma laid bare as stats show MAJOR problem before Holland clash

GARETH SOUTHGATE has a Harry Kane dilemma ahead of the Euro 2024 semi-final, writes Kealan Hughes.

England face the Netherlands on Wednesday night as they bid to reach back-to-back Euros finals with their captain the subject of huge scrutiny.

Kane, 30, was taken off in extra-time against Switzerland after a lacklustre performance which saw the striker barely involved in play.

In 109 minutes, he completed just EIGHT passes – only one of which was in the final third.

Kane also made just four touches in the opposition penalty box, with critics lamenting his failure to get into the area to get on the end of one of Bukayo Saka’s many crosses.

Alan Shearer has advised Kane to do his work in the box rather than dropping back.

In fact his average position against Switzerland was DEEPER than wing-backs Saka and Kieran Trippier.

That might be understandable, with the pair bombing on to provide width.

But Kane was also, on average BEHIND Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden and even holding midfielders Kobbie Mainoo and Declan Rice.

Read SunSport’s analysis on Southgate’s Kane dilemma in full.

“You’ve seen in my game in recent years that I like to get on the ball and turn and play.

“I criticise myself as much as anyone and I know there have been times in games when I could have done better and moved better, especially in and around the box.

“There’s different reasons for dropping deep and staying high and that’s what we work on throughout the week, to exploit the other team.


“Ultimately I do what’s best for the team.

“Of course people will judge me on goals but if you had told me before the tournament I’d have a couple of goals and be in a semi-final, I’d have bitten your hand off.” 

England’s six tournament semi-finals

ENGLAND will play their seventh tournament semi-final in Dortmund on Wednesday, writes Martin Lipton.

Sun Sport recalls the other six – and remembers where it went right and wrong for the Three Lions

1966 Portugal (Wembley) W 2-1

This was the big test for Alf Ramsey’s “wingless wonders” and one they passed thanks to a masterclass by Bobby Charlton. Charlton steered home the opener from outside the box after Roger Hunt chased down Ray Wilson’s ball over the top and keeper Jose Pereira blocked.

His second was slammed into the bottom corner after Geoff Hurst pushed into his path. Portuguese superstar Eusebio pulled one back from the spot after Jack Charlton handled off the line but England held on.

1968 Yugoslavia (Florence) L 1-0

Alan Mullery became the first England player to be sent off as this European Championship semi-final descended into a kicking match. A forgettable game saw Alan Ball force one panicky clearance against the Yugoslav bar but few real chances before Dragan Dzajic sneaked in behind Bobby Moore to prod the winner past Gordon Banks with four minutes left.

Mullery was then dismissed for kicking out at Dobrivoje Trivic. Goals from Charlton and Hurst earned a 2-0 win over the Soviet Union in the third place game.

1990 West Germany (Turin) D 1-1 (West Germany won 4-2 on penalties)

Arguably England’s best performance under Bobby Robson ended in heartache and tears. Chances came and went at both ends in a whirlwind game before Andreas Brehme’s free-kick looped off Paul Parker to drop beyond a helpless Peter Shilton.

But Gary Lineker then turned Parker’s hopeful ball forward into an assist as he fired past Bodo Illgner. Paul Gascoigne was in bits after the booking that would have ruled him out of the Final and shoot-out misses by Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle were fatal.

1996 Germany (Wembley) D 1-1 (Germany won 6-5 on penalties)

Another story of what might have been as Gareth Southgate joined the long list of shoot-out victims. Terry Venables’ side made the perfect start when Gascoigne’s corner was flicked on by Tony Adams for Alan Shearer to score. But Germany soon levelled through Stefan Kuntz and both goals had narrow escapes in normal and extra-time.

Penalties again and while Shearer, David Platt, Pearce, Gascoigne and Teddy Sheringham all scored, Germany were equally strong. Southgate’s shocker made Andreas Moller the one to win it.

2018 Croatia (Moscow) L 1-2

Another near-miss for England, who ran out of legs and smarts just when it mattered most. Kieran Trippier’s sensational free-kick put Southgate’s side in front and they had the chances to put the Croatians away in the first half.

But they all went begging and Luka Modric and Co wrested control. Ivan Perisic stole in front of Kyle Walker to nudge the leveller and in extra-time Mario Manduzic ran in behind a slow-reacting defence to beat Jordan Pickford. So near, so far.

2021 Denmark (Wembley) W 2-1

“Sweet Caroline” has never been sung so loud and so long than after this epic evening. The Danes went in front from a terrific Mikkel Damsgaard free-kick but Simon Kjaer put through his own goal as he tried to prevent Raheem Sterling converting Bukayo Saka’s cross.

Extra-time brought the key moment, when Sterling went down in the box under pressure from Mathias Jensen. Skipper Harry Kane’s penalty was saved by Kasper Schmeichel but he knocked home the rebound to earn the first England Final since 1966.

Source: Soccer -


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