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01st May 2018

Gary Neville recalls Alex Ferguson memory as he attacks ‘terrible’ Harry Kane goal appeal handling

"Gareth Southgate would be worried"

Simon Lloyd

Harry Kane has been the butt of quite a few jokes, lately.

Having successfully appealed to the Premier League that a goal originally awarded to Tottenham teammate Christian Eriksen in last month’s win at Stoke was actually his, he was the subject of much ridicule for a good few days.

Following this, Kane’s performance in the FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester United was also mocked in a tweet by the competition’s official Twitter account.

Discussing the reaction to the two incidents on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, Gary Neville has suggested that the striker’s poor form since is a cause for concern for England manager Gareth Southgate. He also questions how both incidents were handled.

“Harry’s at 24 now. Mentality wise he’s fantastic, but I’d really think Gareth Southgate would be worried,” Neville said.

“He’s had difficult run-ins to the last two tournaments where he’s underperformed and there’s just those signs again.

“On the pitch in the last few weeks – against City, against Manchester United in the semi-final – he’s not anywhere near where he needs to be.

“He’s shown that he has been upset a little bit and bothered by those two incidents.

“I always think that if you’re bothered by something the quickest way to get rid of it is not to add fuel to a fire. I think the way in which they’ve responded has not been wise.”

Neville recalled how his former manager Alex Ferguson had protected star players like Wayne Rooney and David Beckham when they were receiving criticism.

“That England [team] would sometimes spit them out and not defend or protect them,” said Neville. “That’s what is going to happen when you are a star England player. You’re going to come under scrutiny and I think the FA could have handled it better.”

Both Beckham and Rooney were castigated for receiving red cards in England tournament exits in 1998 [World Cup] and 2006 [Euros], with Fergie and the team’s fans defending both players. United fans famously chanted ‘Argentina, Argentina!’ at away fans in the 1998/99 season in response to cat-calls about Beckham’s red-card against them at the World Cup.

You can watch the full video here:

Kane was able to return to scoring form on Monday night, scoring the second in Spurs’ win over Watford at Wembley.

England kick off their World Cup campaign against Tunisia next month. They will also face group matches against tournament debutants Panama and a much-fancied Belgium side.