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WCQ: Kane feeling the strain after England’s Euro heartache

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Harry Kane admits he has struggled to cope with the mental and physical strain of returning to Tottenham duty in the aftermath of England’s agonising Euro 2020 final defeat.

England were denied their first major trophy in 55 years when they lost to Italy on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the final of the competition at Wembley in July.

It was a heartbreaking loss for Kane, who had dreamed of becoming the first England captain to lift silverware since Bobby Moore at the 1966 World Cup.

Looking fatigued and lacking sharpness, Kane has scored just once in 10 Premier League appearances for Tottenham this season, in total managing only seven club goals in 16 games in all competitions.

The 28-year-old has fared better for England, netting three times in four matches, but he concedes the frustration of the Euro final has been hard to cast aside.

“It’s always hard when you finish a major tournament. The last two tournaments we’ve got to a semifinal, then a final, and it takes a lot out of you,” Kane said on Thursday.

“Losing a European final for your country at Wembley will probably stay with me the rest of my career. You never really get over those things, unless we go and win a major tournament.

“It’s not just physically, it’s mentally as well. Then before you know it you’re back playing in the Premier League so I guess you never really have a chance to take it all in and learn from what happened.”

CITY SAGA

As well as contending with the fall-out from the Italy defeat, Kane also found himself embroiled in a transfer saga for the first time in his career.

The forward reportedly felt Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy broke a gentleman’s agreement that he would be allowed to join Premier League champions Manchester City after the Euros.

With Levy refusing to accept City’s reported £100 million ($133 million) bid, Kane returned late to pre-season training after an extended holiday before finally issuing a statement confirming he would stay at Tottenham “this summer”.

Kane, who has three years left on his contract, has cut a subdued figure for Tottenham in a season in which they have already sacked manager Nuno Espirito Santo and replaced him with Antonio Conte.

But he denies there is any lingering angst from his failed attempt to join City.

“There was a lot of speculation over the summer – that’s the first real time that’s happened to me,” Kane said.

Read Also: WCQ: Ethiopia do Bafana a huge favour by holding Ghana

“But that’s part and parcel of being a big player, having to deal with those situations, and I think I dealt with it well. Now it’s about focusing.

“I think from my point of view it’s easy for people to look for an excuse when you are not on form or scoring as many as usual.

“There’s still a long way to go at club level and we’ve got these two games to finish off what’s been a great calendar year for England.”

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Michael Carrick departs Man United after Arsenal win

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Manchester United confirmed Michael Carrick is leaving the club as first-team coach just minutes after he oversaw their 3-2 win over Arsenal.

Carrick took caretaker charge of United for three games, presiding over a 2-0 win against Villarreal, a 1-1 draw at Chelsea and the comeback triumph against Arsenal.

Minutes after the final whistle of the uplifting 3-2 victory against Arsenal, United issued a statement confirming Carrick’s departure now Ralf Rangnick is the official interim manager.

Carrick said: “My time at this great club will always rank as the best years of my career. When I first signed over 15 years ago, I never in my wildest dreams could have imagined winning so many trophies and I will certainly never forget the fantastic memories both as a player and as a member of the coaching team.

“However, after a lot of thought and deliberation, I have decided that now is the right time for me to leave the club. I want to place on record my thanks to all of the players and a special mention goes to the backroom staff, working long hours with such a great group of people has been a real pleasure and I have made some long-lasting friendships.

“I am, and will always be, a Manchester United fan and will come to as many matches as possible. I would like to wish Ralf, the staff, the players and the fans all the best for the future and I look forward to being in the stands and supporting the boys as a fan.”

The United football director John Murtough added: “Michael leaves with the sincerest thanks and best wishes of everyone at Manchester United after 15 years of exceptional service to the club as a player and as a coach. While we are sad to see him go, we respect and understand Michael’s decision.

Read Also: EPL: Ronaldo hits 800 career goals as Man United recover to beat Arsenal

“He will always be known as one of the finest midfielders in the history of Manchester United, and, more recently, as an excellent coach who has worked tirelessly under two managers to help develop the strong squad which Ralf will now take charge of.

“We are grateful for the steady leadership Michael has shown through this period of managerial transition, and, while he is now stepping away from day-to-day involvement, he will always be welcome back as a legend of the club.”

Carrick joined United from Tottenham for £18.6million in 2006 and won five Premier League titles, the FA Cup, the League Cups, the Champions League, the Europa League and the Club World Cup.

The 40-year-old was promoted to the United coaching staff by Jose Mourinho in 2018.

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EPL: Ronaldo hits 800 career goals as Man United recover to beat Arsenal

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Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice – including the 800th goal of his career – as new interim boss Ralf Rangnick watched Manchester United beat Arsenal 3-2 in an incident-packed encounter at Old Trafford.

The Gunners got their reward for a lively opening but it came in strange circumstances as Emile Smith Rowe volleyed into an open goal on 13 minutes with David de Gea lying prone in the United six-yard area.

The Spanish stopper received treatment for a minor knock after a coming together with his own team-mate, Fred, and after a lengthy delay referee Martin Atkinson had no choice but to award the goal as there was no obvious infringement involving a visiting player.

United were furious but improved as the half wore on and Bruno Fernandes marked his 100th appearance for the club with a smart first-time finish following a neat move down the left.

Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United celebrates

Read Also:  Yaya Toure takes coaching role at Tottenham academy

The hosts suddenly looked far more threatening and stole in front on 52 minutes when Ronaldo grabbed a landmark goal with a lethal first-time finish. However, the lead only lasted a couple of minutes as Martin Odegaard swept a similar effort into the far corner to drag Mikel Arteta’s men level.

United refused to be denied though and Ronaldo stepped up to convert a penalty 20 minutes from time to ensure caretaker boss Michael Carrick signed off undefeated.

The result means United move up to seventh while Arsenal stay fifth and miss the chance to break into the top four.
Next up, United host Crystal Palace on Sunday while Arsenal visit Everton on Monday night.

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EPL: Ronaldo nets brace as Man United bets Arsenal in five-goal thriller

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