One of the biggest talking points for England fans at Euro 2016, prior to the team’s embarrassing exit to Iceland in the last 16, was Roy Hodgson’s decision to put Harry Kane on corners.
The Tottenham striker appeared to be one of England’s biggest aerial threats from set-pieces, but there he was whipping balls in for his teammates to attack.
England fans couldn’t understand what Hodgson was thinking, and neither could a host of pundits and former professionals, including Alan Shearer.
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"He is England's No 1 centre-forward and one of our best headers of a ball. So why on earth is Roy Hodgson asking him to take corners? It is like asking Lewis Hamilton to change his own tyres," Shearer wrote in The Sun, per Sky Sports, following England’s 1-1 draw against Russia.
"Kane is well within his rights to pull Roy Hodgson to one side in training this week and say, 'I don't think I should be taking corners - I want to be in the box getting on the end of them’.”
Hodgson explained why Kane was on corners
Despite supporter backlash, Hodgson stuck with Kane as his corner taker, to the bemusement of many back home.
Explaining his decision, per the Independent, Hodgson told reporters: “Harry is the best striker of the ball we have. He’s the one who gives us the best delivery. We’ve tried many other players and we don’t get the same level of delivery as we get from Harry.
“And also we have so many players in the penalty area at the moment who are very good at attacking the ball – Wayne Rooney, of course, being one who is very good in that area – that we don’t necessarily need him there.
“We need him more on the ball, taking the kick because that’s our best chance of scoring a goal.”
That explanation, though, failed to satisfy the England supporters - or the players.
The Daily Mail reported during the tournament in France that England’s stars were baffled by Hodgson’s decision.
Wayne Rooney admits he took Kane off corners
And now Wayne Rooney, the team’s captain, has admitted it was his decision to take Kane off set-piece duty.
Asked by the Daily Mail whether he was responsible for the change in tactic, Rooney simply replied: “Yes”.
The 30-year-old, whose future as England captain is in doubt following Sam Allardyce’s arrival, also put the boot in on Hodgson for his decision to make six changes for the team’s final group match against Slovakia.
A 0-0 draw followed which, according to Rooney, killed momentum following England’s dramatic 2-1 victory over Wales in the second group match.
Was Wayne Rooney right to take matters into his own hands? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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