Paul Merson claims England will be terrible if Tottenham star plays at full-back again

By Coral Barry

Paul Merson has slammed Roy Hodgson for virtually playing Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy as full-backs against Portugal last week.

England’s Euro 2016 begins on Saturday against Russia and Merson was horrified to see Kane and Vardy on the flanks in the final warm-up game and is worried anything resembling that strategy will ruin the Three Lions’ chances at the tournament.

The performance has raised doubts about the logic of trying to play Wayne Rooney with Kane and Vardy at the same time, and Merson has urged Hodgson to play to his team’s strengths and ditch the experimentation if he wants to open the Euros with a win.

“Which England team are going to turn up?, said Merson speaking to Sky Sports. “The one that played against Portugal?

“That was a shockingly terrible performance. Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane played full-backs, England never kept the ball and they were set up all wrong.

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“It was unreal. I’m going to be patriotic and back England to win [against Russia], but they’ve got to improve.”

England arrived in France with five Tottenham players in their ranks with Kane joined by Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Kyle Walker and Danny Rose.

It remains to be seen how many Spurs stars get the nod ahead of the Russia game, but Kane has been tipped to start with Rooney just behind him while Alli is considered capable of taking the tournament by storm.

England narrowly claimed a victory in the 1-0 win over Portugal in their final warm-up game and arrived in Paris on Monday.

In other Tottenham news, Spurs have already decided on their next transfer swoop after it was confirmed there were closing in on Vincent Janssen.