Kane sends England to World Cup with 1-0 win over Slovenia

Sheri Evans
October 8, 2017

A sparse Wembley crowd groaned at England's poor football and amused themselves with paper aeroplanes during Thursday's 1-0 win over Slovenia, which secured a place in Russian Federation for Southgate's men.

They now turn their attention to an away trip to Lithuania tomorrow, however the pressure is now off having wrapped up qualification.

England may have qualified for next year's World Cup finals but that should fool no-one and their chances of success are next to nil judging by reaction to the last-gasp win over Slovakia that sealed their place in Russian Federation.

But which players does Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson believe should be on the plane to Russian Federation? "It's a good opportunity for Jack", Southgate said on Saturday. He's an outstanding personality, a strong leader, so why don't we use those qualities?

Hart is set to earn his 74th cap in England's penultimate World Cup qualifier, which would move him clear of Gordon Banks and one short of David Seaman's 75.

England have a fleet of quality goalkeepers at their disposal, with Fraser Forster, Jordan Pickford and Tom Heaton breathing down the necks of Joe Hart and Jack Butland.

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Another injury time victor from Harry Kane gave England the win but for most of the game they were crying out for the sort of creativity that we all know our Jack can produce. Joe was excellent the other night.

"I get absolutely indignant about the suggestion that players when they play for England don't really care", he said. And experimentation is crucial if England have any chance of reaching the latter stages in Russian Federation next year.

"I played in front of Peter Shilton and for 90 minutes, he would rip your head off for a clean sheet". This is a game where we want to give a strong performance and win.

Asked if he was enjoying the tricky challenge of leading his country, Southgate said with a chuckle: "Weirdly, I am". In the last 10 minutes they were getting exhausted and we created a few opportunities. His dazzling performances for Liverpool during the 1970s were testament to his class and, while often as Shilton's back-up, Clemence has gone down as one of England's most reliable keepers. In some areas, we know where we want to evolve towards.

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