Harry Kane has been England's biggest under performer during the Euros

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Most of the players who featured for England during their embarrassing Euro 2016 exit at the hands of massive underdogs Iceland were heavily criticised. However, one man who has disappointed more than any other is Tottenham striker Harry Kane.

Players such as Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Gary Cahill all looked out of sorts against lesser quality teams, but it is the English striker's glittering reputation coming into the tournament, that demands scrutiny after a dismal campaign.

At the back of a highly prolific season at White Hart Lane, scoring 25 goals, the English forward was far from at his best during the tournament and seemed a shadow of the man who led Spurs to a title challenge only a few weeks ago, failing to score a single goal during the four games against relatively inexperienced teams.


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Last season's Premier League Golden Boot winner seemed lost in front of goal and only managed to get 40% of his meagre 10 shots on target, having started three of the Three Lions' four games in the tournament.

Lack of sharpness in the final third

Both Daniel Sturridge and Jamie Vardy looked more menacing than Kane during their limited time in the team, trying to get into dangerous positions and winning the ball back from the opposition.

The Tottenham striker, on the other hand, looked rather meek against opposition defenders, and could barely get a sight of goal. The 22-year-old was slow to get the ball out of his feet and found most of his shots either blocked or charged down.

The tenacity and hunger that was apparent during his promising season with Spurs seemed like a thing of the past.

As the primary target man, Kane should have been first to get to crosses and final balls, but the striker's hesitancy and poor decision making allowed the defenders to snuff out any potential attacks.

It is true, however, that the young striker was not fed enough enticing balls to score, as the midfield were equally mediocre, but the Spurs talisman was expected to produce something on his own merit, as he did so often under Mauricio Pochettino.

Failure with set pieces and corners

One of the most shocking aspects of Roy Hodgson's tactics was to allow Kane to take the set pieces during the competition, especially with the likes of Sterling, Alli, Adam Lallana, Jack Wilshere and Wayne Rooney in the team.

Surely, the Premier League's top scorer should have been the one in the box vying to get a head or a foot to an incoming cross, instead of trying to provide one himself.

Time and time again, the Spurs marksman disappointed with his free-kicks, be it an indirect situation or a possible shot at goal.

Assuming that this strategy was tried and tested during training, the former PFA Young Player of the Year should have at least made the goalkeeper work once or curled in a delivery for other players to attack.

To the contrary, most of the dead ball situations either ended up with the ball in the stands or cleared seamlessly by the opposition defence.

Inexperience at international level

Having not come into prominence in time for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, this summer's Euros was the first major international competition Kane was part of.

The quadrennial tournament looked to have come at the right time for the Spurs striker, but Euro 2016 has shown there are a few more things he will need to learn before Tottenham's leading man becomes more effective at such a high level.

Several top players have faltered at major tournaments, and English fans need not look any further than their own players. The likes of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard were expected to set the 2006 World Cup alight, after incredible performances for Chelsea and Liverpool respectively, only to crumble under the immense pressure.

Fortunately for Kane, time is on his side, as the 22-year-old has several years ahead of him before even thinking of retirement. Hopefully, the Euros proved to be a learning process for the striker, and more importantly for the rest of the young team.

Hodgson's resignation shortly after England's exit has raised speculation regarding several contenders for arguably one of the hottest seats in Europe.

It will be interesting to see if the new manager is able to revive the highly talented Spurs striker along with the rest of Hodgson's damaged squad in time for the World Cup in Russia.

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Wayne Rooney
England Football
Euro 2016

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