Kane is a real spot-kick wizard and on course to smash Rooney’s England record

first_imgI thought Raheem was excellent from the start against Bulgaria.It was slow and pedestrian-like in the first half and he was the one trying to get England going by injecting pace into the game.Raheem has taken his game to another level in the last couple of years.With his pace, know-how and ability, a front three of him, Harry and Marcus Rashford is pretty fearsome.Gareth Southgate says England fans should be hugely excited by our young playersFor any team in world football, that is an excellent forward line in terms of talent and goals.Of course, as every England player and fan knows, judgement will come in next summer’s Euros.We will not get any great credit for winning these qualifying games because we are expected to.The real time to look at who England are and how far we have come is at the major tournaments.We have a realistic chance of winning Euro 2020 and it is not often we have gone into a tournament thinking like that.GARETH ON THE MARCGARETH SOUTHGATE’S assessment that Marcus Rashford is not a No 9 is spot on.Even this season, when Manchester United’s main striker Romelu Lukaku left, boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer plays Anthony Martial down the middle.I get the feeling Marcus feels more confident coming in off the left where he does not have to play a lot with his back to goal.There is no denying he is an excellent talent but I don’t think he is a natural goalscorer. We sometimes forget he is only 21 so time is still on his side.6 Marcus Rashford looks more comfortable out on the left and is never going to be picked down the middle for England ahead of Harry KaneCredit: Getty Images – GettyBut he is very different to Harry Kane, who is determined and ruthless.I do not think Marcus will be bothered by the England boss’ words.We have not heard from Marcus where he prefers to play and I have never spoken to him about it.But Gareth probably would not have said that if Marcus had told him he sees himself as a centre-forward.For England, it is not a problem because he will never play there ahead of Harry, and Marcus looked sharp against Bulgaria from the left.It is a bigger issue for United because they have taken a huge gamble by not replacing Lukaku.Going into the season with just Marcus, Martial and Mason Greenwood is very risky and that is a huge burden for those three to carry over a long campaign.NO SHOCK, JAVIJAVI GRACIA’S sacking by Watford has not surprised me — they have been doing it for years.I do have sympathy for the Spaniard after they finished 11th in the Premier League last season and reached the FA Cup final.From that perspective, it is incredibly harsh to get rid of Gracia — especially with Quique Sanchez Flores appointed just half an hour later.But they got beaten up in that final against Manchester City and I don’t think they have recovered.I watched them against Newcastle last weekend and was not impressed at all.They are missing injured striker Troy Deeney, who is their focal point.They have to stay in the Premier League and after four games they already look in a fight — so it is no surprise to see them do what they do and make another managerial change.6 Watford did not seem to recover this season from the FA Cup final mauling they received against Man City in May I JUST love Harry Kane’s confidence and self-belief when it comes to taking penalties.Of his 25 goals for England, eight have come from the spot.6 Harry Kane tucked home two penalties in the 4-0 win over Bulgaria, to give him eight spot-kicks in his 25 goals for England6 Skipper Harry Kane has unrivalled dedication to penalty practice in trainingCredit: Getty – ContributorBut even if 24 of his 25 goals were penalties, it does not matter one jot as a centre-forward.He is a single-minded and cold-blooded No 9 who has an insatiable desire and hunger to score — and that makes him such a ruthless penalty-taker.I’ve read about how obsessed he is with practising them and that is what you have to do as your team’s penalty- taker — I was exactly the same.I scored six for England, missing just one when I hit the post in a World Cup qualifier in Poland in 1997, which was ironically one of my best-ever games for my country.I used to practise them three or four times a week.The day before a game, I would take 30 to 40 penalties to perfect where I was going to put it.Goalkeepers would be fed up with me in the end.If they did not want to stay behind, I would get one of the young kids to go in goal and they could be out there for another 45 minutes!You do your homework on the opposition keeper.If you have played against him before, you think about where you put your last one against him.And you look back at where you put your last three in any match because you know your opponents will be studying that as well.6 Harry Kane is Captain Reliable from the spot – but ti is down to hard work on and off the pitchCredit: Getty – Contributor6 Ex-Man Utd striker Wayne Rooney bagged 53 goals in 120 games for EnglandCredit: PA:Empics SportOnce you have made your mind up where you are going, then you practise until you get perfection.You want to go into a game with the confidence that if you put your penalty where you want it, the keeper is not going to stop it, irrespective of if he dives the right way.Harry seems to have a similar technique to myself. He picks his spot then smashes it into the corner with pace and precision.He is a very impressive penalty-taker and it is great to see from an England point of view.Harry’s hat-trick against Bulgaria on Saturday means he has now gone past Geoff Hurst’s England haul.He is five behind my international tally of 30 and it is only a matter of time before he overtakes me.Harry will be eyeing up Wayne Rooney’s England record of 53 goals and given he is still only 26 years old, he has every chance of breaking it.If he stays fit, Harry could have another six or seven years playing for England.There are more international matches now, and a lot against weaker opposition, which is great for him and any forward.Harry is going to get plenty of chances, especially because he is playing alongside Raheem Sterling.last_img

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