Italy’s 3-1 victory condemned England to a group-stage exit.
Anticipation was high going into this year’s Under-21 Euro Championships. The England squad boasted its fair share of Premier League experience with the likes of Harry Kane, Danny Ings and John Stones travelling to the Czech Republic.
It was a disastrous start however, as Portugal comfortably ran out one-nil winners in the group opener. The second game saw an improved performance but it looked to be heading towards a stalemate until a late Jesse Lingard volley grabbed all three points.
England went into the final group game against Italy needing at least a point to progress. What transpired was the latest in a string of Italian masterclasses in how to compete on the international stage. The Azzurri were in control from start to finish, showing ruthlessness in front of goal to extend a three-goal lead. Nathan Redmond grabbed a late consolation once news of Sweden’s equaliser had filtered down to the Italians and their focus had waned.
The tournament ends in familiar disappointment for England but the performances of Harry Kane may be a cause for concern for Spurs fans ahead of the new season,
Below are some of his stats from tonight’s game:
|Goals||Shots/on target||Key Passes||Successful Dribbles||Aerial Duels Won||Pass Completion|
The Spurs man endeavoured hard in his work but never really looked like scoring - as has been the case throughout the tournament.
He was guilty of selfishness, at times, choosing to shoot when a pass was clearly the better option but it appeared to be frustration setting in at his lack of success in front of goal.
He began to look a touch jaded towards the end of last season and that has carried on into the Euros, with his early season enthusiasm and constant pressing replaced by a slightly more laboured approach.
His shot count of 7 suggests he was well amongst the action, but most were from distance and speculative at best. His passing ability remains underrated and he provided a great ball through to Liverpool striker Danny Ings early on, which the former Burnley man made a mess of.
Kane wasn't helped by the lacklustre showing of his colleagues but this tournament still remains one for him to forget. England's early exit isn't all bad news however, for those concerned with Spurs. The 21-year old now gets an additional week's rest before he begins to prepare for the new season.
Mauricio Pochettino will need to allow him time to recharge his batteries and carefully manage him if Spurs are to begin the season with the energetic, hungry Kane that exploded onto the scene last year.