Arsenal legend urges Southgate to strip England captaincy off Harry Kane and give it to 23-year-old

Jason Soutar
Gareth Southgate consoles Harry Kane after a defeat

Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams reckons Gareth Southgate should make Declan Rice his England captain, with Harry Kane being stripped of the armband.

Kane missed a late penalty in England’s 2-1 defeat to France in the quarter-final of the World Cup.

The Tottenham striker had equalised from the spot earlier on, but Olivier Giroud’s header sent the reigning champions through to the last four of the tournament.

It was a heartbreaking World Cup exit for Southgate and his players, who will need to wait another 18 months to compete for a major trophy.

The inquest has begun, with many calling for Southgate to resign or be sacked by the Football Association.

However, there is one big change ex-England defender Adams wants to see, and that is who will wear the armband.

29-year-old Kane was named Three Lions skipper shortly before the 2018 World Cup.

He helped his side reach the semi-final of that tournament before a Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy.

Adams thinks the man who missed that crucial penalty against France should lose the armband – not because of that miss, by the way – with West Ham skipper Rice taking over.

Rice became Hammers captain following the retirement of Mark Noble and is one of few undisputed starters for England, alongside Kane, John Stones, and Jordan Pickford.

Adams wrote for The Sun: “We’ve got good players but I stand by changing the captain. Harry Kane is the No 9 and did not shirk responsibility for missing that penalty.

“But we’ve got to think about what we do now with the captaincy.

“That’s more of an issue than the coach and, as I said before, I believe Declan Rice should have the job.

“Is Kane going to be the shining star at the next two tournaments?

“When are we going to get to the point where we take him off and change it?

“It’s hard to do when he’s captain.

“Southgate and Kane come as a pair, though, and there’s such a strong bond there.

“It’s another one for the experienced man to advise on and persuade the manager to make that change.”

England would have faced dark horses Morocco in the semi-final of the World Cup if they beat France.

Kane scored twice at the World Cup and provided three assists for his teammates.

He will shortly return to Spurs training with the Premier League getting back underway on Boxing Day.

The 29-year-old has scored 13 goals in 22 matches across all competitions this season for the Londoners.

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