Roy Hodgson Must Show Faith By Persevering With Harry Kane Against France

By Craig Pearson
Harry Kane playing for England against Spain
Getty Images

After a hapless display by Harry Kane against Spain on Friday, Roy Hodgson purportedly has a selection headache in attack for the game against France on Tuesday. Despite Kane misfiring for club and country, though, Hodgson has to persevere with the 22-year-old when the Three Lions take on the French.

The Tottenham Hotspur striker has struggled in the early parts of the season, and though a recent upturn in form seemed to have put an end to that bad run, it didn’t look like it against La Roja. Kane struggled to hold the ball up, fumbled possession over and over, misplaced passes and on occasion even tripped over his own feet. It truly was a hapless and clumsy showing by the Spurs man.

Now, Kane is being questioned once again, and calls for him to be dropped from the team have been made. Hodgson is short on striker options, though, heading into the game against Les Bleus — who, frankly, have much bigger issues on their mind after the tragic attacks in Paris on Friday. The game is set to be an emotional occasion after the horrific scenes in the French capital, but both sets of players obviously have to be as professional as they can be during the 90 minutes, given the difficult circumstances.

For his part, Hodgson has to stay strong when selecting his starting lineup for the game. Sticking with Kane will even benefit Hodgson in the long run, by showing faith in the player when the chips are down. Potential replacements for Kane would usually include Daniel Sturridge and Theo Walcott, but both are currently injured and unavailable. Wayne Rooney is the only healthy alternate striker in the squad, but what sense does it make to drop Kane in favor of an equally out-of-form Rooney? The England captain may make a return to the starting lineup somewhere, but it should absolutely not be at the expense of Kane.

What Kane needs most right now is a run of good performances and goals, and that cannot come without a run of games. Recent glimmers of better form were encouraging, but it is clear that Kane is not yet back to his best. Right now it is time for Hodgson to stick with the striker and show faith in the man who should be his No. 1 striker come Euro 2016 in the summer.

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