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Euro 2020: Mourinho defends struggling Kane

Euro 2020: Mourinho defends struggling Harry Kane ahead of Czech Republic vs England

June 22, 2021 By Ali M.
Why is the Tottenham star struggling in Euro 2020? The Special One argues that it is down to the team and not the individual.

Despite being one of the world's most talented strikers, let alone England's main man, Three Lions superstar Harry Kane has been on the receiving end of criticism from the fans and pundits alike in Euro 2020, with some even going as far as calling for him to be benched in the upcoming clash with the Czech Republic. 

However, Jose Mourinho is having none of it. The Portuguese boss, who was Kane's head coach at Tottenham for just over a year, has weighed in with his thoughts on the England national team while launching a passionate defense of the 27-year-old.

The Special One penned a column for British tabloid the Sun in which he addressed the issue of the Three Lions and their out-of-form captain. His thoughts on this matter was straightforward: Harry Kane must start in the final game of the group stage no matter what.

But why has the Spurs sensation struggled to score on the back of the 2020/21 campaign in which he finished as the Premier League's top scorer?  Mourinho has blamed this on England's lack of creativity, arguing that while Kane has not threatened the opposition goal once across 180 minutes, he has not been provided many clear-cut goalscoring chances.

The 58-year-old said (as per Football 365): "With Harry, I would ask, 'How many chances has he missed?' Zero. 'How many crosses have been delivered to him?' Zero. 'How many vertical passes into his feet, in between the lines?' Zero. How many times has he had triangles with the two wingers coming inside and making that combination with him?' Zero.

"In Portugal, everyone is blaming Nelson Semedo for Portugal losing to Germany because the goals arrived down his side, but the situation would have been the same whoever was right-back.

"It was not Semedo but the situation Semedo was put in."

Mourinho went on in defense of his former player, stating that only in England would you see calls for the talisman attacker of the national team to be dropped after a few lackluster displays.

"Only in England would you have a little bit of this noise of the best player, the captain, the top goalscorer, to be on the bench because he didn't score a goal in two or three matches.

"I don't think you have the same noise if Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't score for Portugal or Kylian Mbappe for France or Romelu Lukaku for Belgium."

Jose, who has also teamed up with talkSPORT for their coverage of the ongoing European Championship, supported Southgate's decision to take off Kane towards the end of the Scotland clash given the talent on the bench. However, the newly-appointed Roma boss stressed that there is no better player in the Three Lions squad than the Man City target.

"For Gareth to take off Harry with 15 minutes to go against Scotland was absolutely normal, to bring a fresh player to try to create a new problem.

"He went with Marcus Rashford, or he could have done it with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, because he is better in the air, but the game was more tight so he tried with Rashford.

"That's normal if you have good players on the bench. The rules allow for five changes. You have 12 players and a bench full of talent.

"You look to the left and to the right and you could even feel confused —  Rashford or Calvert-Lewin? Grealish or Jadon Sancho?

"It's normal with 15 minutes to go, I don't think there's any problem with that.

"But you leave Kane out of the starting line-up and play who? Calvert-Lewin? Good player. Rashford? Good player.

"But Harry Kane is the best."

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