Eng-er-land

Today in London it feels a lot like the day after a special Christmas , or the first day of a longed for holiday. Something special happened and it happened on the football front. I was a young boy in 1966 standing on the stadium watching Jack and Bobby Charlton with my dad. To be honest I wouldn’t have wagered some money on this happening,but happened it has. England are in the semi finals of the Euro soccer tournament. While German and Portuguese footballers sit at home we (the three lions)play on!

Who said Kane and Sterling couldn’t shine together? England’s frightening new partnership are a match made in heaven and driving their Euro 2020 tilt… Southgate KNEW sticking with the world-class duo would pay off

By Rob Draper for The Mail on Sunday22:12 03 Jul 2021, updated 23:28 03 Jul 2021

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If that well-known beer company which produces insipid lager did tournament quarter-finals, they would probably look something like this. A goal in the fourth minute, one to settle the nerves a minute after half time and even a first England goal for Jordan Henderson at the 62nd time of asking. 

It truly was the match that had everything for England, other than a genuine contest. Ukraine had run their race as far as they could at these Euros. Here their legs were heavy and hearts even heavier by the end, a game beyond them.ADVERTISEMENThttps://041ca4da60c90086ae68a36858e88e7d.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html?n=0

And yet there was something even better for England. It wasn’t just that the cliché about a striker just needing one goal to bring an abundance. That did prove to be true of Harry Kane, the 85th minute strike against Germany proving to be the crack in the wall that burst the damn. Were it not for the smart reactions of Heorhiy Bushchan, pushing away his fearsome strike on 63 minutes, he might have had his hat-trick here. https://www.oo-syringe.com/prod/AMP/minute-media-player.html?content_type=specific&content_id=01ev70mdf0ek75pyv5%2301esryb7r7vba1k4sj

Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane are building a partnership that is pushing England onwards
Kane bagged two goals as the Three Lions stormed into the semi-finals by beating Ukraine

As it is, he is level with Raheem Sterling on three goals and chasing yet another Golden Boot to sit alongside the World Cup and three Premier League goal-scoring trophies. After all that fretting and fuss, here was the Kane we know and trust back on form.

Yet it was more than that. It’s never just been about Kane but this tournament is underscoring the point for those that can’t see it: Raheem Sterling and Kane are both authentic English heroes. The boy from Brent, born in Maverley, Jamaica and the Essex lad born in Walthamstow, with their different gifts, they enrich this England team.

A synergy is growing and Wembley calls on Wednesday night where, playing like this, they could well take this team into a major tournament final for the first time since 1966. It’s almost as if any team, or indeed any nation, is one body made up of many different parts, each with their own unique part to play. And almost as though Gareth Southgate always known what he was doing all along. ‘I’ve known Gareth for a while and he brings a calmness and togetherness,’ said Kane. ‘The most important thing for him is for us to be together and all pushing in the same direction.’ADVERTISEMENT

At times, it has felt like you have to choose: either Harry Kane is England’s talisman and we’re doomed because he can’t get into game; or Raheem Sterling has completed the transformation from scapegoat to saviour but is stealing Kane’s thunder. But what if it wasn’t a binary choice? What if England simply possessed two of the best attacking players in Europe and were utilising them to build a successful campaign? 

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Kane opened the scoring early on, assisted by a masterful ball into the box from Sterling
Sterling was dangerous all night and has been undoubtedly England’s best player this summer

The perception is that when Kane found his glut of goals at the World Cup in 2018 it was at the expense of Sterling. Most of those came from set plays, crosses and penalties and none was assisted by Sterling. Yet a careful examination of those games revealed Sterling to be England’s most creative attacking player, even if the partnership never really came together, with Sterling in an unfamiliar role.

Come these Euros, and a more familiar 4-3-3, Sterling has been alive with attacking intent. The last two years have seen an international goal-scoring drought end with those 15 goals in 21 games. Three have come in this tournament. Sterling is not only the best English player for breaking past defenders and creating chaos. He was turning into the best finisher while Kane survived on scarps, hoping and waiting for something to come his way. 

And yet, that Sterling goal against Germany featured a sign that synergy was growing. As Sterling burst through German lines, it was Kane who cushioned the ball and played it on to Jack Grealish, rather than give it back to Sterling, the easier ball. Kane was alert to the fact that Sterling was running into German traffic and would have lost it. That moment of synchronicity allowed Sterling to continue his run and eventually tap in Luke Shaw’s cross.ADVERTISEMENThttps://041ca4da60c90086ae68a36858e88e7d.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html?n=0

And here that partnerships was in evidence again. Sterling started it all, as he so often does, driving through the Ukrainian defence. There was a panic and the Ukrainian back three were bemused and befuddled. Sergiy Kryvtsov was the wrong side of Kane, a yard in front. Mykola Matviyenko was playing everyone onside. Kane didn’t hesitate, pouncing and prodding the ball home, as of old. Kane received criticism after struggling to get going in the group stages, but has hit back

There would be more. That moment on 50 minutes, when Sterling’s exquisite little back heel released Luke Shaw to cross onto Kane’s head for 3-0, Harry Maguire having thundered home his own header four minutes pervious. It brought Kane on to three goals, equal with Sterling. Together they magnify their own individual brilliance.

‘I have said all along as a striker the ball falls your way and sometimes it doesn’t,’ said Kane, in his usual unflustered manner. To be fair, it’s hard to tell whether he’s elated or despairing. ‘Today obviously it fell my way. I nearly got the hat-trick but at least Hendo scored from the corner anyway. Part of being a striker, is being ready for the next opportunity. I will be ready for Wednesday.’ 

Ukraine’s coach, Andriy Shevchenko, who knows a thing or two about centre forwards, was suitably impressed. ‘All the opportunities he had, he took,’ said Shevchenko. ‘And that’s all a striker has to do.’

As for anyone who still doesn’t get it with Sterling and England now, it’s probably time to save your breath and move on. In tournament football he is the player who sparks voltage into England, who can bring them alive when they look moribund. That low centre of gravity, that deceptively quick shuffle of a run is a defender’s worst nightmare. Certainly it was for Ukraine’s. They never really got to grips with him until Mykola Shaparenko decided on the most effective way to stop him, which was simply scything him down.Sterling is shining under Gareth Southgate and will be key for a massive semi-final fixture

Regarding Kane, no one ever got rich betting against him but still plenty were quick to question the value of his contributions until that 85th minute against Germany. But Southgate has been down this route before. He was in the squad in 1996 when Terry Venables was questioned for leaving a glut of world class strikers on the bench, insisting that his man was Alan Shearer, even though he was on a goal-less run. Shearer, of course, e went on win the Golden Boot at Euro ’96. 

Now Kane has nine tournament goals, one behind Gary Lineker’s record of ten, another striker who was doubted at Mexico ’86 before also winning the Golden Boot at that World Cup.ADVERTISEMENThttps://041ca4da60c90086ae68a36858e88e7d.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html?n=0

When you have a world class striker you wait. And sometimes you wait some more. Yet eventually, as in the explosions of joy we saw in Rome on Saturday night, talent will out.

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Euro 2020: Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling are a match made in heaven after inspiring England win

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Published by technofiend1

Kazan- Kazan National Research Technical University Казанский национальный исследовательский технический университет имени А. Н. Туполева he graduated in Economics in 1982

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