Seven matches in 26 days after a long season could have spelt a sluggish end to the summer for the Three Lions
England’s top goalscorer Harry Kane, who won the Golden Boot at the World Cup for scoring the most goals, says there is room for improvement despite them having their joint-best tournament.
But Gareth Southgate’s young English side return from Russia 2018 having exceeded all expectations despite being beaten 2-0 by Belgium in the play-off match on Saturday.
“This game showed there is still room for improvement,” Kane (pictured) told ITV.
“We’re not the finished article, we’re still improving and will only get better. We don’t want to wait another 20 years to get into the semi-finals and the big matches. We need to improve, we need to get better but that will come.”
Reflections on their impressive performances and expressive play will be fond ones for all involved, yet in order to progress even further, this vibrant group of players and their coaching staff will identify areas for improvement.
Seven matches in 26 days after a long season could have spelt a sluggish end to the summer for the Three Lions, yet they took the space afforded by Belgium and remained faithful to their passing game, dominating with 57 percent of possession.
While England excelled during the group stage and were triumphant over Colombia and Sweden, the truer tests came at the business end and their midfield tussles with Croatia and Belgium showed how England could benefit from their own Luca Modric or Eden Hazard.
England’s midfield is creative, effervescent and fearless but perhaps lacks the dazzle seen from Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne. Whether Dele, for instance, can develop into a world-class problem-maker for defenders remains to be seen.
Nine of England’s 12 tournament goals came from set-pieces, while greater ruthlessness from open play would no doubt help to set this team apart in future tournaments.
Kieran Trippier’s crosses from the right created promising moments, yet chances Kane would have devoured mercilessly earlier in the tournament escaped him in the last two games.