Luke Shaw insists that the England squad still has faith in captain Harry Kane, even though the Tottenham striker has yet to score at Euro 2020 and looked miles off the pace against Scotland in last night’s scoreless draw in Group D.
The Manchester United left back has jumped to his counterpart’s defence, describing him as ‘the best striker in the world’ in an attempt to boost his teammate’s confidence. England need to beat the Czech Republic on Tuesday night to qualify as group winners.
Nobody can question Kane’s ability on the back of two games — but his form is definitely a concern, as is the lack of service he’s been getting up front. This is the same player who won the golden boot at the 2018 World Cup and ended last season’s Premier League with most goals and assists.
Something isn’t right.
Asked if he was worried about Kane’s performances at Euro 2020, Shaw replied (via Daily Mail): ‘No concern at all, for me personally I think he is the best striker in the world.
‘He is a very important part of the team, in fact the most important part. I think whether he has not been at his best or not he is a massive part and a crucial player for us.
‘We need him whether his performances are as people expected or not, but this happens in tournament football, you can score a goal at any moment and he is such a crucial player – not just on the pitch but off the pitch, he has got all of our backing and I’m not worried at all.’
Shaw admits it was a poor evening for England after he started the game ahead of Ben Chilwell and Kieran Trippier.
‘There is no denying that there is a lot of disappointment,’ added the United defender.
‘We would have liked to win the game but you have to look at it in the way of another point in the right direction.
‘If it was the other way round, we drew with Croatia and won today it would have been four points still so we have to keep positive.
‘I think there should always be expectation, the team we have, the talent is very strong. Of course we can take the expectation but maybe it (the Scotland result) brought us back down to earth to make us realise it is not going to be easy.
‘Our aim is to be here for seven games. We will sit down and watch the game back and analyse what we want to do better because there are things we could have done better as a team.
‘Maybe in this game we weren’t at our best and that shows, but it is another clean sheet. We still have another big game on Tuesday and we have to forget about this one and be ready.’