Gary Lineker responds to Harry Kane’s comments on England criticism at Euro 2024

Gary Lineker has responded to Harry Kane’s comments (Picture: Getty)

Gary Lineker has defended his comments about England after captain Harry Kane called on pundits to be more mindful of their criticism of the national team at Euro 2024.

Gareth Southgate’s side came under fire from fans and pundits alike after their uninspiring 1-1 draw with Denmark last Thursday.

Kane’s performance, in particular, was placed under the microscope by Lineker who said the Bayern Munich striker ‘needs to do a lot better’ before later describing England’s display as s*** on his podcast.

Such comments drew a response from Kane on Sunday, who suggested that former players should be aware of how such comments can affect the squad and its younger members.

‘It’s not digging anyone out, but it’s just the reality that they do know it’s tough to play in these major tournaments and tough to play for England, Kane said.

‘I’d never disrespect any ex-player. All I would say is, remember what it was like to wear this shirt and that their words are listened to.

‘Some of the lads, I don’t know how many of the lads, you do hear it, we all want to win a major tournament, I’m sure they want us to win a major tournament. And yeah, being as helpful as they can, building the lads up with confidence would be a much better way of going about it.’

Harry Kane came in for criticism after his display against Denmark (Picture: Getty)

Now, responding on The Rest is Football podcast, both Lineker and Alan Shearer accepted Kane’s comments but stood by their initial punditry.

‘I actually thought he answered it fine with one or two bits in there, but it’s not easy when you’re thrown that kind of thing,’ Lineker began.

‘Could you imagine if we went on and said we played well? We’d be lying because they didn’t play well and Harry knows that.

‘The last thing we want to be is downbeat and critical. We want the England team to perform well on the pitch – the best punditry of all is when England play well and we are excited and enthusiastic about them.

‘We don’t want to be critical but we have to be sometimes. We did it in a balanced way.

Alan Shearer stood by his comments about England (Picture: The Rest Is Football Podcast)

‘And you know and I know, that there’s no way the players have been listening to the entirety of our comments. They won’t know the nuance and the balance – we always balanced it by saying they could do better and it’s never personal.’

Sheared added: ‘I’ve no problem with what he said. And I wouldn’t take anything back we said. They were really poor and I think the vast majority of journalists and the country – and even the boys themselves in the squad will know – they were awful against Denmark.

‘There were hardly any positives at all. But we also said one spark and that could easily kick them on and start the tournament.’

England will have the chance to get back to winning ways on Tuesday when they face Slovenia in their final group game in Cologne.

The Three Lions’ passage into the knockout stages is all but secured, with Southgate handed a much-needed fitness boost after the return of Luke Shaw to full training.

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