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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Jacob Leeks

Tony Adams demands England captaincy change as he brands Gareth Southgate a "good loser"

England legend Tony Adams has called for Harry Kane to be stripped of the Three Lions captaincy as he urged Gareth Southgate to bring in an experienced coach.

Southgate's side crashed out of the World Cup with a quarter-final defeat to France, though it was a performance to be proud of. But Adams believes it is England who should be featuring in the semi-final against Morocco on Wednesday.

And he insisted that could very well have happened had Southgate brought in a coach who has a record of being part of winning teams. He labelled the England boss a "good loser" and demanded Kane be stripped of the captaincy.

"They need an experienced, serial winner around the place. Gareth doesn’t lack courage, he has tremendous courage. But he’s a good loser. It’s hard to say that but it’s the truth," Arsenal legend Adams told The Sun.

"They need another voice, an experienced head who’s won stuff at the highest level for their clubs who can have a word in some ears about what you need to do to get over that line which we don’t seem able to cross.

"We’ve got good players but I stand by changing the captain. Harry Kane is the No 9 and did not shirk responsibility for missing that penalty. But we’ve got to think about what we do now with the captaincy.

HAVE YOUR SAY! Should Harry Kane be stripped of the England captaincy? Comment below.

Adams believes Harry Kane should be stripped of the England captaincy (David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

"That’s more of an issue than the coach and, as I said before, I believe Declan Rice should have the job. Is Kane going to be the shining star at the next two tournaments? When are we going to get to the point where we take him off and change it? It’s hard to do when he’s captain."

Kane became England captain in 2017, leading them to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup, the final of Euro 2020 and the quarter-finals of this year's World Cup. The Tottenham star is one of five players in the Three Lions squad who also captain their club sides.

If he stays in the job, it is highly unlikely Southgate would even consider taking the captaincy off Kane though. He is now England's joint-record scorer alongside Wayne Rooney having registered two goals at the World Cup.

Adams' suggestion for the Three Lions next captain, Rice, also skipper his club West Ham. He took over the armband on a full-time basis after Mark Noble's retirement but frequently deputised for the former midfielder last season.

The Hammers star started every game for England in Qatar at the base of midfield. He would be a leading candidate to take over from Kane if the striker does lose the armband under a new manager.

Kieran Trippier, Jordan Pickford and Harry Maguire all also captain their respective clubs, while Jude Bellingham serves as vice-captain for Borussia Dortmund. Those four and Rice would likely be the ones at the forefront of consideration for the role.

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