England captain Harry Kane’s World Cup quarter-final penalty miss will haunt him for the rest of his life, according to former striker Alan Shearer.
Gareth Southgate’s side exited the tournament in Qatar after the Tottenham forward blazed over his second spot-kick late on in the 2-1 defeat to France.
Shearer believes that will live with Kane forever, telling BBC Radio 5 Live: “That’s the life of a centre-forward. You put yourself in those positions and it will haunt Harry for the rest of his life.
“You don’t score every one and some chances mean more than others and it will hurt like hell.
“The biggest one I ever missed was against Sunderland and it still haunts me to this day.
“He won’t sleep well for a long time, that’s his personality and I know how much it means to him and the rest of the team.
“He will think he has cost England. We look at it a different way – he has saved us on many occasions.
“It hurts. It really hurts but you can imagine how the players feel if it hurts us so much.”
The emergence of 19-year-old Jude Bellingham as a world-class talent at a major tournament was a particular highlight but the versatility and options available mean Shearer thinks Southgate – contracted for another two years – has plenty of reasons to continue in the job.
“Some people will find a way to criticise, they always do, but it was just down to one of those things and I can’t find any criticism of the manager,” he added.
“Yes, he should (stay). I don’t have any doubt about that because he has had success in a way.
“I know he hasn’t delivered a trophy but you have to look at the bigger picture – not only this tournament but others where he has taken us into a final and a semi-final.
“In terms of his future I would say stay on because there are lots of really talented players in that England squad and he has managed to get the best out of them at different times.
“I would think he would look at that over the next couple of weeks and I hope he will decide to stay on and take us to where we want to go and deliver that trophy.”
Another former England striker Gary Lineker also believes there are plenty of positives to take from the tournament and what it means for the future.
“Despite the heartbreak, we should be immensely proud of this young @England side. They have talent. They give everything. They have values,” he wrote on Twitter.
“They are a credit to their sport and our country. And in these times of division and discord, they’re an example to all. And they will win.”
Former England defender Gary Neville admits the France defeat squandered a great chance to make it to a World Cup final.
However, he was was positive about the team’s performance as a whole at the tournament and what it meant for the future.
“It’s a massive missed opportunity definitely. That is not being harsh, that is how the players and Gareth Southgate will be feeling,” he told Sky Sports News.
“Knowing it only comes round four years and seeing what’s in front in the semi-finals – Morocco have done absolutely brilliantly and will be a really tough opponent – but you think England versus Morocco in a World Cup semi-final… the opportunity doesn’t come any better than that.
“You do have to get over the line. The best teams, the ones that are remembered, do get over the line but I still feel it is an evolution and part of the journey.
“I feel like the right things are happening on the pitch, technical ability is growing and belief is growing.
“It’s better and the ones who are going to be in the next tournament are going to be able to take that belief in that we can compete with these nations.”