Harry Kane’s most important job as England captain is to score goals

Having been given the largely irrelevant honour of leading England at the World Cup, Kane must not lose focus on what brought him to the forefront of the nation’s attention

Gareth Southgate may lack tournament experience as manager of a national team though it is already clear he prefers to remove doubt and uncertainty in favour of getting things done. Name the squad early, announce the captain shortly afterwards, and everyone knows where they stand.

That makes it sound as if the identity of England’s captain in Russia is something people have been itching to know for weeks, when in reality the honour just bestowed on Harry Kane is simply a formality that needed to be addressed so it could be moved out of the way. Obviously it is an honour to captain one’s country at a World Cup, though the real privilege, the immortality shot, is to be captain of the country that wins the World Cup. Then you get to raise the trophy in front of thousands of ecstatic fans, to be chaired around the perimeter of the pitch by your tired-but-happy team-mates, to do all the things, in short, that the mind’s eye still sees Bobby Moore doing in 1966.

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