Harry Kane has dismissed the idea that he is undroppable before England play Scotland in their second group match at Euro 2020.
The England captain struggled during Sunday’s victory over Croatia and he is not taking his place for granted before Friday night’s game at Wembley. Gareth Southgate has an embarrassment of riches in attack and Kane, who has competition from Dominic Calvert-Lewin, does not view himself as a mandatory pick.
“You will have to ask Gareth but I never look at it that way,” Kane told ITV. “We have great competition for places. Dominic has come in and done great. For me it is about how I train every day and when I play [I] try and give my best for the team. I think that is what everyone is doing at the moment and I am sure there will be rotation among all the players in this tournament. Everyone is waiting for the chance to try and make an impact.”
Tyrone Mings defended Kane’s sluggish display against Croatia and argued that the striker does not become ineffective when he drops deep to link the play. “He is one of the best players in the world,” the Aston Villa centre-back said.
“I also played against him in the second to last game of the season against Tottenham. Let me tell you, when he does drop in, you shouldn’t let him. He can pick out pretty much any pass he wants to. The question marks around him are real background noise.”
Kane is aiming to emulate Patrik Schick’s astonishing goal in the Czech Republic’s 2-0 win over Scotland. “Unbelievable,” he said. “To see the keeper off the line is one thing but then to be able to put it in the back of the net is another. The keepers today like to play as sweepers so if there is an opening I like to try and look for that one. You never know, we might get another one this tournament.”
Jack Grealish missed training on Tuesday as England manage the Aston Villa midfielder’s workload following his return from a shin injury, and Dean Henderson has withdrawn from the squad with a hip injury. Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale has replaced the Manchester United goalkeeper.
Mings offered a considered response to Priti Patel after the home secretary accused England’s players of gesture politics over their determination to keep taking the knee before games.
“To the home secretary, I don’t really have a direct message,” he said. “Actually she invited me on to a Zoom call once, where she seemed so interested and engrossed in the players’ point of view and what we could do more to tackle these sort of issues. But at the same time everybody’s entitled to their own opinion and the home secretary is one of many people that oppose us taking the knee or refuse to defend it.
“We have our own set of beliefs and what we think we can do to help and there will be players that can be influential and can stand up for what we believe in. Understandably, when you have such strong beliefs there will be opposition to that.
“We spoke about trying to educate or trying to inform the minority who refuse to acknowledge why we’re taking the knee and want to do it, but at the same time in Wembley there was a hugely positive reaction to us taking the knee as well. I don’t think that should be overshadowed by the minority that refuse to accept what the reasons are or don’t agree with them.”