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Graeme Souness: "Football ain't coming home"

Graeme Souness:
© Reuters
Three Lions captain Harry Kane was criticised after firing another blank.

Chris Waddle has suggested Harry Kane should be dropped to the bench for England’s final Euro 2020 group game following his “really tired” performance in the stalemate with Scotland.

Three Lions captain Kane, who won the golden boot at the 2018 World Cup, struggled to make an impact against the Scots and was substituted for the second successive tournament match.

Former England international Waddle, who urged manager Gareth Southgate not to press the panic button following Friday’s goalless draw, is a big admirer of the Tottenham striker but believes he would benefit from being given a partial rest during Tuesday’s clash with the Czech Republic.

“Harry Kane is a big talking point. He’s a wonderful footballer, I love watching him but he looks tired, he looks like he’s playing on memory, let’s be honest,” Waddle told the BBC’s Breakfast programme.

“He could probably be better off coming on as an impact sub for half an hour – just give him a rest, he looks really tired.”

England came into the tournament with many identifying defensive areas as their weaknesses yet, following two clean sheets, it is their toothless attack which is proving problematic.

Waddle believes changes to the front three of Kane, Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden are now required and called for Jack Grealish, and possibly Marcus Rashford, to start.

“At the minute, it’s just not happening and he (Southgate) has got to change it. He’s given them enough time, we need to score goals and he’s going to have to look at it,” said Waddle, who earned 62 caps between 1985 and 1991.

Jack Grealish made his first Euro 2020 appearance on Friday evening, playing the final 27 minutes against Scotland
Jack Grealish made his first Euro 2020 appearance on Friday evening, playing the final 27 minutes against Scotland (Mike Egerton/PA)

“Listen you don’t press the panic button as such. England have got four points, they’re in a good position. But he’s got to get that front three right.

“Jack Grealish – I know the fans want him to play and I understand why Gareth hasn’t played him – I think now it’s time to put him in and maybe start Marcus Rashford on the other side.”

Graeme Souness revelled in Scotland’s Wembley draw and warned Three Lions fans “football ain’t coming home” based on current performance levels.

Southgate’s side left the pitch to boos at full time and ex-Scotland midfielder Souness stuck the boot in as a pundit on ITV, suggesting England are too reliant on “jaded” talisman Kane.

“Harry is England’s one player proven to get goals at this level on a regular basis. If that is not happening in this competition, you’re not going very far,” he said.

“Go back to the World Cup in Russia, his goals got you where you got to and Harry Kane not performing is a major problem for you. Football ain’t coming home with that, not the way they are playing.”

Kane, who is reportedly eager to leave Spurs this summer, was replaced by Rashford in the 74th minute of the Group D encounter, having been brought off eight minutes from time in the 1-0 opening win over Croatia.

Souness added: “Harry doesn’t look himself, he looks jaded, he looks tired and this is a guy looking to get a big move this summer.

“He needs to waken himself up. He came off in the first game, is he carrying something? He looks a shadow of himself.”

Fellow pundit Roy Keane echoed Souness and questioned if speculation regarding Kane’s career has affected his performances.

Harry Kane, right, is crowded out by Scotland’s John McGinn, centre, and Scott McTominay
Harry Kane, right, is crowded out by Scotland’s John McGinn, centre, and Scott McTominay (Nick Potts/PA)

“Before the competition, there was all talk he might be leaving Spurs and maybe he has been distracted by that because that can be an energy-sapper if you think you’re moving club or you’re in talks with other clubs – that is not helpful,” the former Republic of Ireland captain said.

“If England really want to compete in this competition, you need your star men to perform.

“We have seen Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne turned up, Cristiano Ronaldo, they need Kane at his best and I am glad Gareth took him off.

“There is this talk about he is undroppable, he’s the main man, if he is not performing you get him off.”

Gary Neville questioned whether the occasion was “too big” for the youngest ever England line-up at a major tournament.

“It was a really poor performance, a massive disappointment, underpinned by poor physical levels,” said the former Three Lions full-back.

“Is it too big for them in terms of expectation? A few of those lads, it’s probably the biggest game they’ve played in, all the media leading up to the game… sometimes it can just mentally take it out of you.

“That was such a lacklustre display in such a big game.”

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Sunday's key events

· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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