Cap­tain Kane lead­ing by ex­am­ple for Eng­land squad

The National - News - - SPORT WORLD CUP 2018 -

Harry Kane is lead­ing the way on and off the field as Eng­land’s World Cup fig­ure­head, ac­cord­ing to team­mate Kieran Trip­per.

Man­ager Gareth South­gate ro­tated the cap­taincy through­out the qual­i­fy­ing cam­paign but named the Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur striker as his tour­na­ment skip­per last month, cit­ing his lead­er­ship qual­i­ties and hunger for suc­cess.

Kane, ei­ther by ac­ci­dent or de­sign, was the first man on the to the train­ing pitch at Spar­tak Ze­lenogorsk for yes­ter­day’s ses­sion – a sym­bolic ges­ture, per­haps, but one which re­flects how he has taken to the task.

“There’s no bet­ter per­son to lead us at the World Cup,” said Trip­pier, who plays with Kane for club and coun­try.

“He’s a great leader, on and off the field, a top pro­fes­sional. Even off the field just speak­ing to him one to one. He’s a great per­son – if you ever need help he’s there for you as an in­di­vid­ual or a group.”

Trip­pier, though, was ea­ger to stress Kane’s bur­den did not ex­tend to car­ry­ing the rest of the side in Rus­sia.

Ev­ery­one knows what Harry Kane is all about, he’s a great goal scorer and a great pro­fes­sional, but if look all round this team we’ve got win­ners,” he said. “We’ve got goals all around the pitch and not just Harry. We have a strong for­ward line – pace, youth – and all the boys are look­ing for­ward to get­ting out there.”

Trip­pier looks set to start at right wing-back in Eng­land’s open­ing fix­ture against Tu­nisia on Mon­day – ahead of ri­val Trent Alexan­der-Arnold, who only made his de­but against Costa Rica a week ago – with Kyle Walker inked into a slot in a cen­tral three.

As well as pro­vid­ing am­mu­ni­tion from the flank, he has also emerged as a po­ten­tial free-kick taker dur­ing the tour­na­ment.

He was the sur­prise choice to shoot when Eng­land took on Nige­ria at Wem­b­ley in a friendly and went close with a goal­bound ef­fort from 20 yards.

“If I’m feel­ing con­fi­dent I’d love to take one but we’ve got some qual­ity set-piece tak­ers in the team,” he said of the like­li­hood of him be­ing in­volved in Rus­sia on that front.

Harry Kane was named as Eng­land cap­tain last month

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