Euro 2020: CHRIS SUTTON – Scotland were strong but England underperformed and must help Harry Kane

The clock in the top-left corner had not even appeared on our television screens when Scotland striker Lyndon Dykes laid down the marker.

He flew into Luke Shaw in an aerial challenge inside five seconds, and England had their first free-kick of the evening.

Scotland were never going to allow themselves to come second best in terms of physicality.

Scotland laid down a marker rom the start when Lyndon Dykes went in hard on Luke Shaw

Scotland laid down a marker rom the start when Lyndon Dykes went in hard on Luke Shaw

They were impressive overall and Andy Robertson typifies their strong battling mentality

They were impressive overall and Andy Robertson typifies their strong battling mentality

Andy Robertson is a real leader on the pitch who would accept nothing less than 100 per cent effort from his team-mates. He’s got that battle mentality and he drills it into them.

Scotland were impressive overall. But there is no escaping the fact that England should have been ahead by half-time.

John Stones’ header ought to have flown in, and Mason Mount should have buried Raheem Sterling’s ball into the six-yard box. There can be no excuse for either.

It always felt like this game could come down to the options on the bench. Jack Grealish was shown on the big screen shortly after the start of the second half and you could hear the excitement in the crowd — as if my pal Micah Richards was there acting as a cheerleader! When Grealish was finally introduced on the hour mark, you heard that roar again. England needed that injection of something different. They needed to create more. 

England should have been ahead by half-time though as John Stones really had to score

England should have been ahead by half-time though as John Stones really had to score

Kane only as good as the service he receives

It only takes a split-second for a striker to turn a bad game into a brilliant one. Score and suddenly that rubbish rating you were going to receive in the next day’s newspaper is upgraded by a few marks.

This brings me to Harry Kane. There was so much expectation on England’s No 9 heading into this tournament. After finishing as the Premier League’s top scorer and assister, we all figured he would hit the ground running at Euro 2020.

Yet in England’s opening against Croatia, Kane didn’t look like himself. He seemed a yard off the pace, despite England’s dominance at times.

Not to worry, we thought, because Kane will bounce back and deliver the goods against Scotland at Wembley.

There has been so much expectation on Harry Kane but once again he looked off the pace

There has been so much expectation on Harry Kane but once again he looked off the pace

In the first half, however, it was more of the same. Kane was dropping deep and not getting involved as much as he or Gareth Southgate would have liked.

He managed just 10 touches — the fewest of any player on the pitch in those 45 minutes. Only one of those was in Scotland’s box, too.

It isn’t all his fault. A striker, sometimes, is only as good as the service. In the second half, the goal eluded him again.

At the end of the day, Kane will be as disappointed as anyone that he has not yet got himself on the goalscoring board at Euro 2020. Kane is so good, he could probably still end up as this tournament’s top scorer, and I hope he does. I really do.

It was a frustrating performance but the England captain certainly needs better service

It was a frustrating performance but the England captain certainly needs better service

Plenty of negatives but give Pickford credit

England looked lethargic in attack. To the extent that I saw someone on the BBC live feed posted how their kids had begged their dad to stay up to watch the match — but by the end they were asking if they could head off to bed!

Unlike against Croatia in their Euro 2020 opener, when Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice were outstanding, England had no real control of the midfield.

It felt like the players were playing with fear. I also wonder why Gareth Southgate didn’t replace Kane with Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Scotland were dropping deeper and deeper as the end neared and the Everton striker — the scorer of more headers than anyone in the Premier League last season — could have been a handy weapon in the box.

Tyrone Mings looked strong again at the back just as he did in England's opener with Croatia

Tyrone Mings looked strong again at the back just as he did in England’s opener with Croatia

But enough of those negatives. One positive is Tyrone Mings performed well in defence, adding to his comfortable performance against Croatia and showing why Southgate has stood by him.

Another positive is Jordan Pickford. Let’s give him some credit. How much criticism did Pickford endure heading into Euro 2020?

Plenty were saying this and that goalkeeper should be starting instead of him. But he denied Stephen O’Donnell from making it a special night for him and Scotland. That was a big save.

Overall, Scotland performed, and England underperformed, bar the odd player.

Jordan Pickford has endured so much criticism but he produced a big save when needed

Jordan Pickford has endured so much criticism but he produced a big save when needed

source: dailymail.co.uk