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Alan Shearer: England must change game plan to get best out of Harry Kane

Former England captain Alan Shearer reckons striker Harry Kane needs more help in the final third, instead of simply dropping him for the Euro 2024 clash with Slovenia.

Kane has been criticised for his performances in the opening two matches of the tournament in Germany, with former defender Stuart Pearce among those who think the record goalscorer should be left out of the final group game.

Shearer has been critical of the Bayern Munich striker's displays in but believes he should still be in the team and that the tactics must be tinkered with.

Kane, who scored in Thursday's 1-1 draw with Denmark to take his international tally to 64, has thrived at club level by having runners around him when he drops deep and Shearer said in the Athletic: "There is talk of Gareth Southgate leaving England's all-time leading scorer out for the final group game against Slovenia on Tuesday.

"I disagree with that view: don't leave him out. You cannot leave your captain and your main goalscorer out of the team.

"It is not a case of leaving Harry out. Instead, you get legs around him - runners off the ball. I don't care how experienced you are, all players need a little bit of help now and again and I'm sure he and Gareth will have been analysing the performance since Thursday.

"Harry is brilliant at coming deep - he loves doing it - but he did it too much against Denmark. The issue is that he is coming into traffic and getting in the way of his own players when he does come into midfield areas.

"If he is going to drop deep, we know he needs runners ahead of him. How many times did we see him picking passes for Son Heung-min bursting beyond him in a Tottenham Hotspur shirt?

"The same has been true at Bayern Munich this season, with the best example being Alphonso Davies' goal against Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final.

"This is why I think Anthony Gordon would be really good on the left side of the attack, with (Bukayo) Saka staying on the right.

"Then you have pace either side with both players who want to run in behind. It might suit Harry's game more and create more balance in the team because Phil Foden is a fantastic player but he is so much more likely to drift inside and come towards the ball himself."

Another former England captain and striker, Gary Lineker, labelled the display against Denmark as "s***" on his podcast, having said that Kane "needs to do a lot better".

Kane hit back on Sunday, saying ex-players have a responsibility to keep their opinions in check as they have been part of England's long trophy drought.

Shearer accepts Kane's retort but believes the national team skipper has the power to have the final say.

"All of us former England players know what it is like to be in the spotlight at major tournaments," Shearer said.

"I had it in my career where I've been criticised for not scoring or not playing well enough.

"I would have said exactly the same as Harry when I was in his position as captain. You know you haven't been playing well - but you always get the final say."
 

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