Alan Shearer aims dig at England captain Harry Kane after substitution | Football

Harry Kane endured a difficult evening for England despite opening the scoring (Picture: PA)

Alan Shearer insists Gareth Southgate had no option but to substitute England captain Harry Kane during England’s dismal 1-1 draw against Denmark.

The Three Lions skipper appeared to put Gareth Southgate’s side on the road to a second successive win when stabbed home from close range to give his team the lead in the 18th minute.

As they did against Serbia in their Group C opener, however, England retreated, sat deep and were duly punished.

There appeared only limited danger when Kane surrendered possession deep in his own half, but Morten Hjulmand punished England’s reluctance to press and found the bottom corner with a thumping drive from distance 10 minutes before half-time.

England hardly created a chance of note thereafter with Kane turning in a particularly laboured display.

It was no surprise when, with 20 minutes remaining, Southgate opted to remove his skipper from the fray and replace him with Ollie Watkins.

‘It had to be done,’ said Shearer. ‘Harry wasn’t affecting the game at all, he was coming too deep and condensing the play.’

Harry Kane got England off to another fast start against Denmark (Picture: Getty)
Morten Hjulmand scored Denmark’s equaliser against England (Picture: PA)

Shearer later added that Southgate needs to inject pace into the side if he is to get the best out of England’s all-time record goalscorer.

Shearer said: ‘I mentioned it but when I go into my 30s and lost half a yard of pace I needed legs around me, I needed pace around me.

‘I could still hold the ball up, I still had a good touch, I could still head it and score goals. The one thing I couldn’t constantly do was run in behind. He needs players in and around him.

‘That’s why I’d have Gordon in the team because he has the energy to run in behind and get up near him.

‘When Foden is there he want to play tight and get in the No.10 role, like Harry Kane does. He’s a brilliant goalscorer, he’ll always score goals but he lacks that yard and energy. Someone else can do it alongside him.

‘That’s why I retired I couldn’t do it for both England and Newcastle. He’s never been the quickest and that’s why I would’ve played Gordon.’

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