Alan Shearer has defended Harry Kane after the England captain hit out at criticism from former players.

That criticism was led by Gary Lineker, who labelled the Three Lions' performance in the draw with Denmark as being "s***". Lineker singled out Kane for his disappointing display, with the striker having been substituted off by boss Gareth Southgate.

Kane has scored just once in the opening two games, with Southgate himself admitting doubts over his captain's fitness. The Bayern star hit back at Lineker in his press conference on Sunday, insisting former England players had a 'responsibility' to consider their words.

Shearer has defended Kane for his comments, admitting he would have said exactly the same thing. The former Three Lions skipper also insisted that Kane had to keep his place in the starting line-up for Tuesday's clash against Slovenia.

“All of us former England players know what it is like to be in the spotlight at major tournaments. I had it in my career where I’ve been criticised for not scoring or not playing well enough," Shearer told The Athletic.

“I would have said exactly the same as Harry when I was in his position as captain. You know you haven’t been playing well — but you always get the final say. You cannot leave your captain and your main goalscorer out of the team.

"It is not a case of leaving Harry out. Instead, you get legs around him — runners off the ball. I don’t care how experienced you are, all players need a little bit of help now and again."

HAVE YOUR SAY! What should be England's line-up against Slovenia? Comment below.

Lineker is also happy for Kane to bite back at the criticism that has been fired at England after their opening two games. But he defended himself for demanding an improvement from the Three Lions.

“We’ve talked about this a few times about journalists not being brave enough to ask their own questions. It’s a guarantee that whoever that was would have been critical about it himself.

"I think they do it, A - to stir the pot, and B - because they are too scared to ask questions from their own selves. So, I get it, it puts Harry on the spot, but I think he actually answered it fine. There was one or two bits in there [I didn’t agree with] but it’s not easy when you are thrown that kind of thing.”

He added: “If we said, ‘Oh, they actually played really well’ we would be lying for a start, because they didn’t play well and Harry knows they didn’t play well. There is one bit there which I understand what he says, [when he said] ‘But they have a responsibility of being ex-England players and they should know what it’s like. It’s not like they have won anything’ and the rest of that effect.

“Fine. Fine, and he’s absolutely right. But I will say one thing, the last thing in the world we want to be is downbeat and critical. We want England to perform well on the pitch and the best punditry of all is when England play well and we are excited and enthusiastic about them so we can say, ‘This performance was great, that performance was great’. We don’t want to be critical but we have to be at times. And we did it balanced as well.”

Join our new WhatsApp community and receive your daily dose of Mirror Football content. We also treat our community members to special offers, promotions, and adverts from us and our partners. If you don't like our community, you can check out any time you like. If you're curious, you can read our Privacy Notice.

2024-06-24T16:23:41Z dg43tfdfdgfd