Kane x Sterling > Kane x Son – and that could be more crucial than ever at this World Cup
It’s not exactly news that Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling play well together, but the numbers behind their England partnership are pretty staggering.
Before England’s opening game we wondered whether Gareth Southgate’s practical, realistic approach to management, while a double-edged sword, might be just the ticket for this tournament and the unique challenges it presents.
It’s fair to say it’s so far, so good on that front, while Spain – who joined England and France as convincing opening game winners in a round of games not always kind to the fancied sides – showed another thing that may well be hugely important: the ability to resemble as closely as possible an excellent club side.
It was a feature of the great Spain sides a decade ago, whose players were for unsurprising and obvious reasons drawn chiefly from Barcelona and Real Madrid. Even those few national teams capable of coming close to matching Spain for quality couldn’t do so for familiarity.
Against Costa Rica, Spain fielded an all-Barcelona midfield with the absurdly young and offensively gifted Pedri and Gavi doing their bits while Sergio Busquets did Sergio Busquets things behind them. They know each other’s games, and the complementary nature of their strengths and ages all look set to help Spain enormously moving forward in this tournament.
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