By Mark Mann-Bryans, PA, Al Wakrah
Kieran Trippier believes Harry Kane’s determination to play in every game is proof of the England captain’s professionalism.
There have been calls for Kane to be rested for England’s World Cup clash with Wales on Tuesday with Group B qualification all-but sewn up.
Two former skippers – Alan Shearer and Wayne Rooney – have suggested Gareth Southgate should give Kane a breather.
Kane has played all-but 14 minutes of Premier League football for Tottenham this season and has started both games in Qatar without yet finding the back of the net.
But Trippier has hailed Kane’s approach and praised the desire of the 2018 World Cup golden boot winner.
“It says everything about Harry,” the Newcastle full-back said.
“I’ve been lucky enough to play with him for club and country and I’ve always said it, he’s one of the best professionals I’ve played with.
“The main leader in our group. Everybody wants to play every game and so does Harry. He is a winner, he wants to win and do his country proud. He does want to play every game but that is up to Harry.”
Will never take for granted what an honour it is to lead @England out at a World Cup. 🦁🦁🦁 pic.twitter.com/cZO3TvrKuh
— Harry Kane (@HKane) November 21, 2022
Kane is just two goals shy of Rooney’s all-time England goalscoring record and will have targeted surpassing the ex-Manchester United man during these finals.
Trippier, who is in line to collect his 40th senior cap in Tuesday’s game, reckons the mentality of such elite players is what sets them apart from their contemporaries.
“Harry behind the scenes, the way he conducts himself and leads by example, especially with the team we’ve got, and the young players,” he said.
“They look up to him and watch him: how he trains, how he recovers, how he prepares for games.
“And there’s no one better to watch, even I’m still watching him every day and learning stuff off him every day because I look up to him as well.”
While England hit Iran for six, they came up short in front of goal against the United States as Trippier suggested the ball – Adidas’ ‘Al Rihla’ – could be causing all World Cup teams some teething issues.
“Every time I’ve crossed the ball I’ve felt the balls are a bit different but there are no excuses really,” he added.
“I would just say the balls are a bit different but it is not the heat or anything. I’m not too sure, maybe it is the players!
“I feel it’s a bit lighter. It feels if you put too much power on it, it will just fly away but yeah it’s one of them where we have to deal with that, all of us do. We train with the same ones. It’s a football, isn’t it!”