Southgate enjoys power after Kane sweats England | England

Wchicken Harry Kane Discovering the full extent of a hamstring tear in January 2020 – extremely serious, requiring surgery, immobilized for months – the reaction of Tottenham manager José Mourinho at the time was succinct and colourful. It would be featured in the Amazon documentary about the club’s season. pity us. We will definitely not recover from this defeat.” Or words to that effect.

Mourinho felt that Kane was carrying the Spurs and the same was suggested by Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Everyone remembers the «Harry Kane team» speech.

There is no doubt that Kane is the foundation of Gareth Southgate’s England. Losing him was going to be the manager’s worst nightmare, and when the news broke out on Tuesday night, it was easy to feel anxious when we got home. Kane set for scanning on his right foot. He was caught badly interfered with in England’s World Cup opening match against Iran on Monday.

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This is a World Cup like no other. For the past 12 years, The Guardian has been reporting on issues surrounding Qatar 2022, from corruption and human rights abuses to the treatment and discriminatory laws against migrant workers. The best of our journalism is gathered in our dedicated articles. Qatar: Beyond Football home page for those who want to delve deeper into issues beyond the field.

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The good news is that captain good. It was just for precautionary purposes. Cameras were waiting for him at the UK’s training base in Al Wakrah at Thursday lunchtime, and it was reassuring to see him doing his part in the session.

During a one-touch pass practice, which was very intense in a small area at first, he yawned to reach a seemingly impossible ball and, with an almost unnatural movement, aimed the ball at a teammate with his right boot.

If we’re honest, and Southgate certainly was, no one wants to test theories about Kane’s worth, to see how Britain would cope without him. Not currently in the biggest tournament, Second group match against USA It looks big on Friday night.

Likewise, Southgate was confident that if the worst happened at any point in the coming weeks, he could handle it. As the matches in these finals get longer extraordinary amount of downtime – The USA’s draw against Wales on Monday night ended on Tuesday – with more emphasis on power in depth. Here, Southgate gets emboldened as he considers his offensive options.

Harry Kane watches with a grin as John Stones and Harry Maguire battle it out in practice
Harry Kane watches with a grin as John Stones and Harry Maguire struggle in practice. Photo: Friedemann Vogel/EPA

“Harry is a special player,” Southgate said. «Everyone will focus on their goals, but focus on the quality of his prep game against Iran. [with the assists] It was phenomenal for Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford.” Can England Will he survive without Kane? “I think at the highest level, that hasn’t been proven yet. What we’ve been trying to do from the very beginning, whether it’s media duties or something else, wasn’t putting all the responsibility on the captain – distributing the load, giving people more responsibility. Now we have more depth.

«I see our attacking players maybe doing better than they were in the Euro. I know people talked a lot about the depth we had back then, but I didn’t see part of the team back then when you really wanted to make a change. There were some, but not all.»

England (4-2-3-1): Pickford; Trippier, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Bellingham, Rice; Saka, Mount, Sterling; kane
USA (4-3-3): Turner; Dest, Zimmerman, Ream, Robinson; Adams, McKennie, Moses; Reyna, Weah, Pulisic

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England v USA possible line-ups

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England (4-2-3-1): Pickford; Trippier, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Bellingham, Rice; Saka, Mount, Sterling; kane
USA (4-3-3): Turner; Dest, Zimmerman, Ream, Robinson; Adams, McKennie, Moses; Reyna, Weah, Pulisic

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On the face of it, Southgate’s offensive options have not changed much since Euro 2020. But he believes he has changed. This time, James Maddison replaces Jadon Sancho and Callum Wilson replaces Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Other attackers are the same.

Maddison and Wilson elected behind the slim club form, although the first was hampered by a knee injury. He did not train again on Thursday. But Wilson managed to make a difference when he played against Iran, scoring a goal for another substitute, Jack Grealish, with an unselfish assist.

Bukayo Saka celebrates one of his two goals against Iran
Gareth Southgate is not lacking in out-of-form strikers. Photo: Javier Garcia/Shutterstock

Southgate is encouraged by how old and smart they are from Grealish, Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden’s experiences in the Euro. Then there’s Rashford, who is clearly much better off. How he captured the moments he entered against Iran in seconds. His name wasn’t even announced on the PA system.

It all feeds into the collective belief before Britain faced the United States, which it had never beaten before. World Cup. They had a 1-1 match against them in 2010 that injured Rob Green’s goalkeeping error, and before that the infamous 1-0 defeat in 1950 was considered one of England’s greatest humiliations.

Southgate believes the US will present a tougher test than Iran because they have better players to press harder and from sharper angles. The density will be higher and England will find it more difficult to build and destroy the game. The United States is also likely to be a greater threat in the counterattack.

What Southgate was perfectly clear about was that there would be no overconfidence from his team. «Have we ever beaten America in a big tournament?» He asked. “No. We are good at praising ourselves as a nation based on very little evidence. We have to perform on the field.”

Southgate has called for a psychological reset for his players to hide their emotions in the Iran match, and yet the requirement is for more of the same emotion without a small number of defensive errors. Southgate said that Harry Maguire had withdrawn from Iran due to dehydration – he is in good shape now – and it would be a surprise for the manager to change the starting lineup.

“This is always a dilemma,” Southgate said. «On the one hand, the team earned the right to go again, and there’s the important thing about a meritocracy where I earned the right to go again if I played well. And there’s also this: ‘Are they ready to go again and is it the right decision?’ There are other guys who are rare to go.

Whichever route he takes, Southgate believes he has the answers.

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