Tony Adams has insisted that defenders at the World Cup would love playing against Harry Kane as the Tottenham man does not look to make runs in behind and drops too deep.
Kane picked up two assists in England’s 6-2 win over Iran, setting up Raheem Sterling with a pin-point cross in the first-half before holding up the ball impressively and playing Marcus Rashford through on goal for the Three Lions’ fifth goal.
However, the Tottenham man was largely a passenger in England’s 0-0 draw with the USA on Thursday, with Gareth Southgate’s men struggling to create too many chances through the 90 minutes.
Adams believes that the England captain is simply dropping too deep to trouble opposition defenders.
The Arsenal legend wrote in his column for The Sun: “Honestly, if I was a defender at this World Cup I would absolutely love playing against Harry Kane.
“He doesn’t get in behind the defence and he doesn’t face you up. He’s a link player who is going deeper and deeper to get the ball.
“Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling on either side of him do face people up and take the ball to them, but they’re not getting in behind either and there are no crosses coming in for Kane where he can be dangerous.”
Adams insisted that his criticism of Kane does not have anything to do with his Arsenal connections.
He continued: “People probably feel I’ve got it in for Harry after I also said we should take the captaincy off him and give it to Declan Rice.
“But that isn’t the case at all. And it’s not an Arsenal-Spurs thing either. We need Harry Kane, he is obviously one of the best strikers in the World, you only have to look at his numbers, but if I was a centre-back up against him in Qatar I’d have a cigar on.
“What I always feared was forwards with pace who could get in the spaces behind and force me to chase them.
“That scared the living daylights out of me, I hated it, but Kane doesn’t do that. And if he was running at me I’d be able to deal with that because he’s not going to have the pace to get round me.”
Adams insisted that he wants to see the 29-year-old occupying the centre-halves and remaining at the edge of the box against Wales this evening.
The pundit added: “Harry’s 29 now and isn’t going to get any quicker so, like Shearer, he needs players to feed him.
“Where I want to see Harry is on the edge of the box, holding the ball up, pivoting and laying it off the way Shearer could do and Alan Smith did for us at Arsenal.
“Then he has to get in the penalty area and hope we finally start putting some crosses in. That’s where I want to see him, not ten yards inside his own half. He’s no good to anyone there.”
Kane is exceptional on the ball and playing to his strengths would involve feeding him the ball in midfield and having runners beyond him. England’s problem against USA was that the likes of Sterling and Sake were not making runs in behind and stretching the American backline.