England squad for Albania and San Marino World Cup qualifiers
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After being blasted for his attitude this season following a failed summer transfer, Harry Kane delivered the perfect response to that criticism for England in their demolition of Albania. Kane was selected to start in his usual position at the spearhead of the Three Lions’ attack, despite his poor start to the season.
The Tottenham striker has scored just one goal in the Premier League in the first 11 games of the campaign.
That poor run of form in front of goal comes after a failed move to Manchester City in the summer, which have led to many questioning his place in the England team.
One of the main points of criticism has been his seemingly poor attitude, with Kane being accused of looking disinterested in his club games for Spurs.
Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane took aim at Kane in ITV Sport’s build-up to the clash between England and Albania in Group I of the 2022 World Cup’s qualification stages.
“He’s got to liven up, he’s got to liven up,” Keane told ITV Sport.
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“He’s got to look at himself and say ‘Get over these disappointments’ – look, he plays for Spurs he should be used to disappointment, it’s not like they win stuff.
“Get back to the basics, get hold of the ball, show some sort of leadership and no more excuses.”
Having been selected to start by England boss Gareth Southgate, Kane duly delivered the perfect response to that blast from Keane.
The 28-year-old netted a stunning first-half hat-trick to set the Three Lions on their way to a demolition of the Eagles.
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His first came 18 minutes in when the England captain headed in from Jordan Henderson’s cross to finish off a well-worked team goal.
Kane doubled his tally for the night 15 minutes later with an emphatic finish from a tight angle after being played in by Raheem Sterling.
That goal saw him pass Wayne Rooney to break the record for scoring the most competitive goals in an England shirt having struck 38 times in 55 games.
And he made it the perfect night on the stroke of half-time when he fired in an acrobatic volley that flew past Thomas Strakosha.
Though Kane failed to add to that tally in the second-half as Albania dropped deep to protect themselves from further embarrassment, it was the perfect response to Keane’s comments.
The goals and the win have put England on the verge of booking their place in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup.
Kane’s challenge now will be to turn his performance against Albania into consistent form for his club.
But the Spurs striker is now very much back on the goalscoring trail, hitting back at his critics in the best possible way.
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