Captain Kane leading by example for England squad
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