Bowen defends 'incredible' Kane after England criticism

By Sports Desk June 23, 2024

Jarrod Bowen jumped to the defence of Harry Kane, insisting there has been no panic about the England captain's lack of involvement in their opening two games at Euro 2024.

Although they are top of Group C and unbeaten with four points, the Three Lions have come under scrutiny for their performances so far in Germany.

An underwhelming 1-0 win over Serbia was followed by a 1-1 draw with Denmark, with Scotland (0.78) the only team to record a lower xG across their first two matches at the tournament (1.85).

England have attempted only 17 shots, with seven on target while, against the Danes, only 17 per cent of their open-play touches came in the final third as they struggled to progress with the ball.

Though he was on target in that game, Kane was replaced in the 70th minute having only recorded 22 touches throughout the contest - two fewer than he managed against Serbia.

The Three Lions skipper is fresh from scoring 44 goals in his debut season with Bayern Munich, but has struggled to build on those performance levels thus far, with his displays drawing widespread criticism.

But Bowen empathises with the striker, who is only the third man after Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney to score for England at four different major international tournaments.

"We know Harry's quality, how many goals he's scored. He hit the bar [against Serbia] with an unbelievable save and scored again [against Denmark]," the West Ham winger said.

"As a captain, as a person, as a leader, he's one that's been at the highest level for many years, scored so many goals. So, he's been incredible on the pitch, but also off the pitch, as well as a leader and a person. I can't say how good he is highly enough.

"I don't think there's been panic about [his lack of touches or involvement in games]. Of course, he might want to be involved more than he is involved. But, like I said, he got his goal the other night.

"He could be sat here with two goals after two group games. As a striker, sometimes you're not involved in the game as much as you want to be. I think that's probably just the life of a striker, and then you can score a goal.

"I'm sure Harry wants to keep scoring as many goals as possible in this tournament. I know he loves his goals, takes real pride in it. So for him, it's difficult for me to answer because I'm not sure what he wants in terms of having more touches in the games.

"Sometimes, you're up front against three centre-halves, two centre-halves, whatever the formation maybe, but when the opportunity comes, we know we can score goals, and he's shown that."

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