Harry Kane

Harry Kane & Gary Neville on why the England captain took corners at Euro 2016

Scott Saunders
Harry Kane's corners at the Euros in France were subject to debate...
Harry Kane's corners at the Euros in France were subject to debate... / Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images
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So we finally have the answer.

It was Gary Neville who put Harry Kane on corners for England at Euro 2016.

There was a fair fall out the decision at the time, especially given the Three Lions' somewhat embarrassing elimination to minnows Iceland at the tournament in France. And nobody had ever quite been sure why it happened - until now.

Neville and Kane spoke during a round of golf for The Overlap YouTube channel, reflecting on topics from the England captain's immediate future at Tottenham and desire to win trophies, through to being an NFL kicker and his thoughts on VAR. But that campaign at Euro 2016 was a big topic of discussion too.

A member of England's coaching staff at the time, Neville admitted the Iceland game was never one he could get out of his mind. And Kane agreed with him.

"It was a strange game," Kane admitted. "I felt like we was in a good place as a team, as a squad. Obviously, the group stage didn’t go as well as we would’ve wanted but in terms of the group, we was all together and we was in a good place but I guess it’s just one of them games.

"The momentum was against us and we struggled to break them down and we maybe lost a bit of patience in that game but yeah like you, that game still stings till this day. It was a great opportunity as a nation to go far in a tournament, to go out to Iceland. No disrespect, they deserved to win but of course we were expecting to win that game and that one will always hurt for sure.

"It was almost like the game had finished, it was almost like they scored in the last minute. There was no momentum that swung in our favour. We never had a period in the game where we thought we were on top and we were going to score. On the pitch we obviously didn’t give up or anything like that but there was just definitely a strange atmosphere in the stadium at that stage for sure."

And so, to the corners. Kane laughed off Neville's suggestion of having to address the situation, admitting 'it was your decision' but each went on to explain the thought process.

"We didn’t have anybody who was a natural in the team did we to kick corners and free kicks," said Neville. "If you remember after the training they got four or five lads to try corners and try free kicks. You were taking those wicked free kicks from the right hand side and you were almost scoring with every single one.

Kane added: "I think it was more just a thing because we didn’t win the first game, it was more like well why is Harry on corners? Whereas you see some of the most amazing strikers in world football take corners.

"Thierry Henry took corners, a lot of good natural ball strikers took corners. I mean I think it was just something that was blown out of proportion because of how we was doing as a team. We didn’t win the first game so it was like what can we blame, what can we do? It obviously became quite a big thing but I was happy to take corners and free kicks."

"Wazza [Wayne Rooney] came to me after the first game and he just said look, I’ll take corners and I just said yeah, that’s no problem. He felt like it was the best thing for the team and that was that. I think it was something that really got blown out of proportion. From my point of view, it didn’t take anything away from my first tournament or put any pressure on my first tournament.

"The fact that I didn’t score and play as well as I wanted to obviously still eats at me a little a bit but drove me to do what I then went and did with Russia."

It's unlikely Kane will be given the responsibility on corners at the European Championships this summer...


The Overlap is a new YouTube channel from Gary Neville in partnership with Sky Bet.

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