Paul Stewart column: How England need some creativity

Harry Kane would benefit from a rest but Tottenham can't afford to be without him
Harry Kane would benefit from a rest but Tottenham can't afford to be without him

When I agreed to write this column, my only concern was about writing something for the sake of writing it.

Anyone who knows me, knows that if I have nothing to say worth saying I usually keep quiet.

I wanted to write an article about Joey Barton, the Fleetwood manager, but I’m waiting for Fleetwood Town to contact me so I can sit down for half an hour because I think its important that I give readers a real insight into the footballer turned manager – the national media view can be tainted somewhat.

The international matches this week didn’t warrant a column, apart from mentioning the fact that the new UEFA Nations League is just a way to try to entice crowds – ultimately they are still friendly matches.

I am sure the managers of the players selected will share my view that they were two games the players could have done without, especially coming so soon after the World Cup and so early in what will be a long season for most of them, with Premier League, Champions League and cup competitions.

Club managers are certainly going to have to protect these players because, without the correct rest when possible, they may find themselves missing influential players due to long-term injury.

Harry Kane is one such player – Spurs do not have the luxury of being able to rest him as they don’t have another striker with enough quality to replace him.

If I were to comment on the England games, then what stands out most for me is that we do not possess a midfield player with the quality to unlock opponents or to boss a game.

I can’t help but think that if Gazza was playing now he may well be the missing piece of the jigsaw.

I think it only right that I give a mention to Alastair Cook, who retired from international cricket this week.

It was fitting that he stepped down after scoring a century.

In this day and age, it is hard to identify role models but he would be one sportsman who certainly fits this category because he is exemplary on and off the cricket pitch.

He may have struggled for runs in this last series and maybe that was a factor in his retirement, but one cannot argue that he deserves all the plaudits he is receiving.

Rather than me dominating this column every week, I would like to hear from you.

If there is any topic you would like to discuss or any questions you would like to ask me, I will happily address them at some point in my article.

Feel free to contact me via The Gazette sports desk at tango@blackpoolgazette.co.uk or write to Paul Stewart c/o Gazette Sport, Avroe House, Avroe Crescent, Blackpool FY4 2DP.

I would welcome your thoughts, so please do get in touch.

Finally please join me next Friday (September 21) at Viva Blackpool on Church Street for an evening with yours truly.

I have some hilarious stories of my time at Spurs with Gazza and my time at Liverpool with Rush, Fowler and the ‘Spice Boys’. I’ll also tell the story behind the scandal that brought the game to its knees and changed football forever.

For further details contact the venue via (01253) 297297, www.vivablackpool.com or @vivablackpool