Tuesday, August 3, 2021

England captain Kane ready to ´peak´ for Euro 2020 knockout stage

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 25 Jun 2021

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Harry Kane believes he is ready to “peak” for England’s blockbuster Euro 2020 last-16 clash with Germany at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday. 

Kane topped the goalscoring and assist charts in the Premier League this past season but has been unable to replicate that level of influence at the European Championship so far.

The 27-year-old started all three of England’s Group D matches, yet he managed just a solitary shot on target. 

He had five shots in total, three of which were deemed as ‘big chances’ by Opta. No other England player missed more than one across those three games. 

Kane won the Golden Boot at the 2018 World Cup, with five of his six goals coming in the Three Lions’ group games, and the Tottenham man is confident of doing the opposite at Euro 2020. 

“People are quick to change their mind, it wasn’t too long ago when I won the Golden Boot and I was the best thing in the world,” he said. 

“People were raving about me, and that’s why I’ve always said, as a footballer, you can’t get too high or too low, you just have to have that neutral mode. Self belief is a huge thing.

“I’ve always believed in myself. I could go 10, 15 games without scoring but give me a chance and I’d back myself to score it. I’m in a good place. Going into Tuesday night, physically, I’m in the best shape of the tournament so far, and that’s what I kind of wanted going into this. 

“I felt maybe in Russia [at the 2018 World Cup] I started on fire, scored loads of goals, then maybe didn’t have my best performances in the most important games, the quarters and the semi-finals.

“So, coming into this, physically, I wanted to make sure I was peaking at the right time and obviously we won’t know until Tuesday night if that’s the case, but that’s the way I feel it’s going.”

Kane admitted last month he feels at a “crossroads” in his career following another trophyless campaign with Tottenham, where he has spent the past 17 years.

The striker has subsequently been linked with a host of European giants, although Premier League champions Manchester City appear to be leading the race for his signature. 

However, Kane – linked to Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United – insisted speculation over his future has had no impact on his performances in the tournament so far. 

“I feel like when I come away with England I’m just fully focused on England,” he said. “My brother is my agent, but the only time I’ve spoken to my brother really over the last few weeks is ‘good luck, let’s get a win, and let’s take England all the way’.

“So, it doesn’t really bother me about the outside noise. When I’m here I’m with the boys, I try to help the boys, and be a leader in the team. I need to get to know the boys, see what makes certain players tick, and the younger lads, helping them, so I feel like I’ve got enough on my plate to worry about anything outside of England.

“That’s where I’m at and, of course, I feel like it’s one of them where if you’re not scoring as a striker, people look for every little angle why you’re not scoring and that’s probably the case in this tournament so far.

“But, like I said, as long as I’m focused, I’ve got the self belief I have, I’m not worried about anyone else.”

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