Despite scoring six goals and winning the Golden Boot at this summers World Cup in Russia, England skipper Harry Kane’s form and fitness has been called into question in recent days.
During all of the Three Lions knockout games the Spurs striker looked off the pace and offered very little in general play, leading many fans and pundits to question whether the 24-year-old was carrying an injury.
Some observers have been quick to point out that although scoring six goals at a World Cup is an amazing achievement, three of those goals came from the penalty spot and one of his strikes came from a deflection against minnows Panama that Kane knew very little about.
However, England manager has leapt to his skippers defence, claiming that he has captained his Country brilliantly:
“Today is the seventh game in a short period of time, and we’ve had incredible physical demands and emotional demands on the least experienced team in the tournament,” Southgate told the press after his sides 2-0 loss to Belgium in the third place playoff.
“It would be wrong to judge any player on today’s game, if their energy levels were short. I think he has captained the team exceptionally well, he has led the culture we are trying to create.
“And although we can talk about having a more comfortable route to the semi-final – and for sure we did – but we’ve had those routes in the past and not got to the point we have.
“I’m immensely proud of the players. All of them. And they should be proud of themselves because they’ve achieved an equal high in terms of tournament performance that any English team that’s had to come abroad for a tournament has achieved.”