"Whether it's Harry Kane or Ronaldo, it doesn’t matter" - Pundit tells England boss Gareth Southgate to drop star man at Euro 2024

England play their final group-stage match against Slovenia on June 25
England play their final group-stage match against Slovenia on June 25

Former Scotland international Ally McCoist has urged Gareth Southgate to drop Harry Kane from England's lineup while drawing a comparison with Cristiano Ronaldo. He said underperforming players must be dropped even if they're heavyweights.

England won their first Euro 2024 game against Serbia, scoring the sole goal through Jude Bellingham. However, the Three Lions were held to a 1-1 by Denmark despite Harry Kane giving them a lead in the 18th minute.

Concerns have been raised over England's attacking frailties, with pundits criticising Southgate for his tactics. The Bayern Munich talisman was taken off in the 70th minute of the game against Denmark, with Southgate bringing in Ollie Watkins.

McCoist said that the 53-year-old manager should be bold enough to drop the former Tottenham Hotspur star. Here's what he said to BoyleSports:

"Stuart Pearce is 100% right when it comes to being bold enough to drop Harry Kane, I include everybody. I don't just include Harry Kane in that. It doesn't matter who you are.
"It’s similar to Cristiano Ronaldo, the fact of the matter is, if it benefits the team, you think there's a substitution required, whether it's Harry Kane or Ronaldo, it doesn't matter who it is. That's when the manager earns his corn. You've got to make a decision."

McCoist said that decisions should be taken for the benefit of the team, especially in a massive tournament like the Euro, which the Three Lions have never won. England reached the final of Euro 2020, their first final in any international tournament since the 1966 World Cup, losing to Italy on penalties.

McCoist added:

"Sometimes your decisions have to be brave and they might go against the grain. But if you think it's for the benefit and it's beneficial to the team moving forward, then it's a decision, it's a no-brainer. You have to make that decision.
"It doesn't matter if it's Harry Kane, if he's not playing well then it might be a better option with Ollie Watkins using his pace running through. I don't know. But if there is a better option available, then he has to make that decision."

England play their final group-stage game against Slovenia on Tuesday, June 25. They just need a point to qualify for the Round of 16.

Joe Cole said England's front three comprising Kane, Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden isn't working

Former Chelsea forward Jole Cole recently opined that England's front three of Harry Kane, Bukayo Saka, and Phil Foden isn't working.

He also criticised Southgate for playing Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield. He wasn't pleased with the manager justifying his decision by saying that he doesn't have a 'natural replacement' for Kalvin Phillips.

Here's what he said (via beIN SPORTS):

"The front three is not quite happening for us."

Cole also said that England need to revert to basics and need to 'thicken' their midfield. Interestingly, Cole Palmer, who netted 27 goals and managed 15 assists in 48 appearances across competitions for Chelsea last season, has remained on the bench so far.

Furthermore, Aston Villa star Ollie Watkins, who was one of the star performers in the Premier League last season, has struggled for playing time as well. In 53 appearances across all competitions last season, Watkins managed 27 goals and 13 assists.

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Edited by Aditya Singh
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