Deadly Harry’s carrying the World Cup ‘Waistcoat’
OPINION: Spurs striker Kane is providing the goals that look set to take Gareth ‘The Waistcoat’ Southgate’s millionaires to the quarter-finals
21 June, 2018 — By Richard Osley
Spurs and England striker Harry Kane
HARRY Kane saw England secure three points against Tunisia on Monday night with a captain’s performance. Alan Shearer used to blast his way around the pitch and Michael Owen had his thing against Argentina, but you never really had a huge belief that they were going to steer England to glory. Kane is different, the first striker since Lineker who can more or less be relied upon to be in the right place at the right time. Some people said: ”What did he do for the rest of the game?” It doesn’t matter. The lack of clinical finishing by some of the big teams in this World Cup shows why pouncing when you get a chance is one of the game’s most important skills. Even a grizzled old Arsenal fan can see this guy is carrying the whole team.
• Broadcasting remains a mysterious world where the more viewers seem to be pained by the output, the more it is beamed into their living rooms. I would love to decode the formula by seeing the market research which the BBC and ITV surely must have carried out. It somehow shows that what the nation wants is Mark Lawrenson, Martin Keown and Glenn Hoddle, the microphone trinity of drivel, to accompany our World Cup experience. The mass of despairing tweets when these guys are on air may be dismissed as the work of malcontents on the internet, but surely before hiring these guys again and again, people in TV measure public opinion in some technical way we don’t know about. It would be great to see the analysis of the analysts. The current waffle from some of the folks in the gantry is making Lee Dixon, Jermaine Jenas and Alex Scott look like absolute sages in comparison.
• WITHOUT any disrespect for the opponents lining up to play England, Gareth Southgate could play any of his millionaire players in any formation and still make the quarter-finals. Tunisia, Panama and a second round against a team from weak group H should make us nailed on for the last eight. By that time, The Waistcoat may have worked out that substitutes before the last 10 minutes are allowed and you do not have to keep a player obviously hampered by a thigh strain on the pitch.
• THIS is meant to be a World Cup diary, but a final word for Jack Wilshere. It should be devastating for any Arsenal fan to see a guy who obviously loves the club depart, especially one so obviously gifted. It’s a big call to let him walk away and one the club may well regret. There’s an unquantifiable value in having players who feel, as Wilshere said he did, “part of the fabric” of the club.