Refreshed or disrupted, talismanic Harry Kane is England’s focal point

Without the captain, no one would have been plotting the best routes but the top scorer must fire instantly against Colombia

No one seems to know quite what to make of England’s last performance, which is nothing new in the context of recent World Cups but an unsettling departure in this one. It is quite startling how quickly the ground shifts below one’s feet at major tournaments.

When the draw was made England would have been perfectly happy to get out of Group G in any circumstances. Yet when the time to play strongly fancied Belgium came around, Harry Kane was leading the scoring charts, Japan had been identified as the prize for victory and Roberto Martínez had already blinked first by indicating he would be giving some of his best players a rest.

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