England captain Kane hits back at former players' criticism

Kane has also thrown his support behind Gareth Southgate amid criticism coming the way of the England manager

By Reuters

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England forward Harry Kane. — AFP
England forward Harry Kane. — AFP

Published: Mon 24 Jun 2024, 3:45 PM

Harry Kane hit back at former England players for their scathing criticism of the team's performances at Euro 2024, saying they should remember how difficult it is to play for their country.

England began their quest for a first European Championship trophy with two tepid performances against Serbia and Denmark that drew flak from former players turned pundits Gary Lineker, Rio Ferdinand and Alan Shearer, among others.

"I always feel like they have a responsibility," the England captain said on Sunday.

"I know they have got to be honest and give their opinion but also they have a responsibility of being an ex-England player that a lot of players look up to, that people do listen to them and people do care what they say."

Kane, who said he is fully fit amid speculation about a back injury that bothered him late in the Bundesliga season, took a swipe at the pundits by noting they never won an international trophy during their careers.

"I would never want to be disrespectful to any player, especially a player who has worn the shirt and knows what it is like to play for England," said Kane.

"(But) the bottom line is we haven't won anything as a nation for a long, long time and a lot of these players were part of that as well and they know how tough it is."

Despite their sputtering start, England lead Group C on four points ahead of Tuesday's final group game against Slovenia in Cologne.

Kane has also thrown his support behind Gareth Southgate amid criticism coming the way of the England manager after a sluggish start.

"I can't speak highly enough of Gareth and what he has done for this team and the nation. In terms of where we were and where we are now as a national team it is completely different," said Kane.

"There are always going to be people who criticise or doubt him but his record speaks for itself -- it's really successful with us.

"But like all of us he's determined to take that next step and win it and that's what we are all really determined to do."


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