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World Cup 2022 - Harry Kane is England's BIGGEST problem

FIFA 23 Harry Kane

Hi Harry, if you're reading this, I'm sorry; I love you really and please bring the World Cup home for Christmas.

With that - and Harry - out of the way, let's talk about how the England captain could be the biggest obstacle standing in the way of the country at this year's World Cup.


Let me start by saying that Harry Kane is England's best player and is arguably going to be one of the best players at the tournament.

Kane is, by default, England's main marksman and is an inspiration to many around the globe.

FIFA 23 Harry Kane
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LOVE YOU REALLY - Kane is as big a problem as he is an asset

His goals have provided me, and the rest of the nation, with moments of Euphoria we will never forget.

However, his ranged and varied skillset almost make him as big a problem as he is an asset, and here's why...

Above and Beyond

Harry Kane has changed what it means to be a striker, with the England skipper often dropping into deeper pockets to combine play and bring others into the game.

Much like he does at Tottenham, Kane can often be found standing on the halfway line - or deeper - looking for a chance to turn between the lines and thread a masterful pass out to the flank.

The only problem is, unlike Tottenham, England doesn't have a Heung-Min Son.

Most of the time, England operates with Sterling as the closest strike partner to Kane and the former Man City man simply does not possess the same clinical instincts as someone like Son.

Kane's mastery is enhanced when he is feeding off a creative force equal to his own, and England simply does not have that.

Working the other Way

Conversely, whether it be Saka, Sterling or Mount on the flanks, Kane doesn't compliment any of these players.

Saka and Sterling, whilst direct in nature, are often reliant upon feeding a clinical striker or cutting inside to fire attempts on goal that often lead to rebounds.

FIFA 23 Rashford
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RISING UP AGAIN - Rashford could be key to unlocking Kane

Whilst Kane is a poacher by nature, his tendency to drop deep and thread England through the lines often leads to an empty six-yard box.

Kane is, of course, key to the way that the Three Lions play, but he's almost too good.

That might seem like a mad thing to say, but would England be more productive with a striker like Callum Wilson leading the line? Someone to simply tap home and take the glory, rather than be involved in every phase of play.

Pressing Isolation

1 is the loneliest number you'll ever know, especially when facing a 5-at-the-back formation on the world's stage.

One major problem that England has, which arguably isn't Kane's fault at all, is the winger's tendency to drop too deep behind the striker.

Too many times we've seen pressure instilled upon the ball, only for it to be swiftly moved along and England's first-stage press to be completely evaded.

Kane is, when you watch his performances, not a pressing striker.

There are times when the skipper will press the ball, but in many a game you'll often find the Spurs man wandering around the edge of the D whilst the opposition break through with ease.

FIFA 23 Jack Grealish England
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BRING IT HOME - England will be hoping to go all the way

Not only is the depth of the wingers a problem, but it's the depth of the midfield that also provides a major issue for Kane.

Southgate has attempted to remedy this in recent times - and someone like Jude Bellingham will make a huge difference in this realm - but Kane is often left isolated both in and out of possession.

Out of possession, the slow trot of the skipper is borderline painful and in possession, his lack of a close partner makes him vulnerable to being completely hounded out.

The best teams, the ones that exploited weaknesses in the recent Nations League games, targetted Kane as they know he is England's main point of creativity.

If Kane has a bad game - which is bound to occur due to the amount of burnout the man may feel - England has a bad game.

Remedy and Hope

I am a mere fool writing about football video games, but a clear and obvious way to support Kane would be to kindly ask Son to declare for England.

However, with that likely off the table, I would look to utilise someone in the Son role, and Marcus Rashford is the perfect candidate.

Placing Rashford in close proximity to Kane in the attacking phase would allow Kane to find greater productivity when producing one of his fine passes.

Picking Rashford over Sterling would also free up Kane to drift wide - as he often does - with Rashford more likely to find himself standing on the penalty spot.

I may have fibbed slightly when I said that Kane is England's greatest problem, but he's in a strange sphere where his talents almost transcend the system.

Southgate's biggest issue at this World Cup will likely be goals and with Kane relied so heavily upon to thread things together, you nullify the striking instincts that make England's number 9 one of the greatest of all time.

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