• Harry Kane is set to captain England once more against the Netherlands 
  • LISTEN to It's All Kicking Off! EUROS DAILY: Should England captain Harry Kane be dropped for Netherlands semi-final? 

If England dropped Harry Kane it would be a 'wow' decision. He is still our best goal scorer and leaving him out would give more encouragement to the opposition.

This is a semi final, we have to go for it and the players need a strong mentality. So you want your best players on the pitch.

As captain, you want to lead by example, that was always my first thought, get my game right, set my own standards then you can direct others from a position of strength. Harry needs to do what he does best and that's lead the line, occupy their defence and score goals.

He has been dropping too deep because he is looking out for his teammates, that's how a captain and leader reacts. But the issue here is he and the team are becoming ineffective because when the midfield win the ball they are looking up for a forward and he's too close.

If I was Declan Rice or Kobbie Mainoo I'd be shouting at Harry to get off my toes, get out my way and get up the pitch so when I win it I have an out ball.

They have a lot of respect for Harry, almost too much, so are letting him roam where he likes but Rice certainly is experienced enough now to take responsibility for his part of the pitch and tell Harry where to go.

Sir Alex Ferguson says I was the one player he used to allow to change his instructions on the pitch. I didn't get away with it too often - we are talking about Sir Alex after all - but at this level you should be able to work out problems, utilise your football brain.

If a centre forward was getting the ball too easily in front of Steve Bruce and Gary Pallister for example, to stop that becoming a problem I would drop deep to pick him up then call Brian McClair back to nullify my opposite midfielder from providing the supply ball. Once we got a foothold back in the game we’d revert back. It was common sense. This England haven’t looked able to work out issues at times without Gareth Southgate’s substitutions.

They have got to be braver and express themselves. They are in this England side at a European Championship semi-final because they have shown qualities playing in the Premier League. They need to trust those qualities, not with side-to-side passing; go forward, be positive.

We saw straight away with Luke Shaw that we have missed his positive running and balance that a natural left-back brings. Kyle Walker has been relatively negative too. Those two are key for England going forward as much as in defence and they can pin back the Dutch with their natural attacking instincts. Holland have quality but they are not the level of their previous teams of Van Basten, Rijkaard and Gullit.

These England players are in a fortunate position, they must embrace it and make the most of this opportunity. Losing a semi-final is the worst possible feeling, they need to remember that, leave everything out there and for Gareth, if Plan A isn't working then please bring Plan B into action quicker. Give the substitutes a chance to make an impact because we have good quality in reserve. Come on England!

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2024-07-09T23:04:51Z dg43tfdfdgfd