Harry Kane England Captain: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

England captain
BURTON-UPON-TRENT, ENGLAND - MAY 22: Harry Kane speaks during an England press conference at St. George's Park on May 22, 2018 in Burton-upon-Trent, England. (Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images)

Tottenham Hotspur striker, Harry Kane has been named as England captain for the 2018 World Cup. Gareth Southgate announced the captaincy to his squad Monday night during a meeting at St George’s Park.

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Furthermore, Kane has expressed his feeling about captaining his country. Speaking with the BBC, Kane said, “I’m so excited for the world cup, I can’t wait to be there and experience it.” According to the Spurs striker, “To lead the lads out, it’s going to be special.”

The Good

The positives of the appointment are that Kane is England’s best player, he’s extremely proud and he’s hungry for success. Kane is also one of the few guaranteed starters in the squad. Consequently, this means the striker will always be on the pitch to lead his team.

The honour of captaincy could impact Kane’s game massively. The responsibility could elevate the player even more. His passion and emotional attachment to the position and his country could be a driving force for England’s success.

The Spurs man has scored 41 goals in 48 games for his club. Clearly, Kane has determination, hence why Southgate gave him the honour of the armband.

The Bad

The main negative to Harry Kane as England captain is his experience. The striker is not even the captain of Tottenham. However, he does play vice-captain to Hugo Lloris. Kane is only 24 years-old and this is his first World Cup. If England do progress to the knockout stage, will Kane be able to captain his side when the going gets tough?

Furthermore, the striker has never won a trophy in his career. If he aims to lift the World Cup, he will have to bypass the concerns of his winning mentality. Spurs have received much criticism about their winning mentality. Although an exciting team to watch, Mauricio Pochettino’s men have failed to win anything during his spell.

Recently, Kane was emotionally affected by a tweet that suggested Chris Smalling had got the better of him in the FA Cup semi-final. Pochettino had to defend Kane because of the joke by the FA Twitter account. Perhaps this indicates that Kane does not have thick enough skin to captain England. Meanwhile, in the past England players have received over the top criticism from the press and fans alike.

For instance, after David Beckham got sent off in World Cup ’98, he received much abuse from the media and fans. He even had a dummy of himself being hung from a pole. Likewise, Phil Neville had a similar experience in Euro 2000. If Kane is to be England captain, should he make any type of a fall he must deal with the treacherous abuse better than he dealt with a silly tweet.

The Ugly

There are few alternatives to Kane as captain in Southgate’s 23-man squad. Overall, the squad lacks experience but those that are in there would also be questionable captains.

Gary Cahill is captain of Chelsea. Unlike Kane, success is old news for Cahill, having won numerous trophies while at Stamford Bridge. The big problem with Cahill whether he will start. Southgate will play Kyle Walker in a back three so that leaves Cahill to battle it out with Phil Jones, Harry Maguire and John Stones. Unfortunately for Cahill, all these players are more youthful then him and that seems to be the approach Southgate is taking.

Ashley Young is another player with experience in the squad. The utility man captained Manchester United whilst Michael Carrick or Antonio Valencia were not on the pitch this season. The big concern with Young is that over the past few seasons he has been a fringe player for the Red Devils. This season he enjoyed success at fullback for United, however, this season was his first taste of action with England in numerous years. Likewise, as with Cahill, there is a concern he may not start.

Finally, Jordan Henderson is captain of Liverpool. After a couple of seasons of heavy criticism, the midfielder is enjoying a great run out with Liverpool. He has captained his side to a Champions League final in Kiev and should start alongside Eric Dier in England’s midfield. So, the possibility of riding the bench would not have informed the decision. Perhaps Southgate saw more of a drive in Kane, therefore, Henderson misses out.

The Chance

Harry Kane will be the man to lead England in the World Cup. Success is unlikely but Kane has already surprised many during his career. Kane had unspectacular loan spells at the like of Leyton Orient, Millwall, Norwich City and Leicester. From there he went on to become Tottenham’s best player and England’s World Cup hopes, so who knows what is in store next for the striker.

Kane will be the youngest ever player to captain England at a World Cup. At just 24 years-old, Kane beats Bobby Moore’s record of captaining England at 25 years of age.

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