In Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy, England have two enviable centre forwards – use them both

Richard Jolly writes after getting to see England combining the powers of Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy, it is clear how they should be utilised together for Euro 2016.

England's striker Harry Kane celebrates the opening goal on Sunday night with teammate Jamie Vardy in their 2-1 international friendly win over Turkey. Paul Ellis / AFP / May 22, 2016
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England 2-1 Turkey

Man of the Match: Harry Kane (England)

This is a time of rare riches for England. In one respect, anyway.

Their managers have become accustomed to scouring the lower reaches of the Premier League for strikers. Now there is a first homegrown Golden Boot winner for 16 years, in Harry Kane. His closest challenger, Jamie Vardy, was voted the division's best player. Roy Hodgson's choices have become so enviable that he can rebrand England's record scorer, Wayne Rooney, as a midfielder.

His dilemma remains unresolved. Kane and Vardy? Kane or Vardy? Kane with Vardy in a supporting role? By the time the final whistle blew on England’s 2-1 win over Turkey, the conclusion was clear. The most compelling choice is to unite them in the forward line. Vardy flourished in a strike partnership. Kane struck when he was alone in attack but England looked more potent when the scorers of 49 league goals were twinned.

• See more: Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy put England on right Euro 2016 foot with Turkey win – in pictures

They are rivals and attacking opposites, but they dovetailed well. When Vardy won a penalty, Kane missed it, and theirs is an ever more complex rivalry. Vardy won the title and the Footballer of the Year award, distinctions that might have gone Kane's way. The Tottenham man pipped his Leicester City counterpart to the top scorer's tag and has held off his challenge to lead the line for England.

Kane began as the spearhead of a 4-2-3-1 formation. Vardy was a marginal figure on the left wing but assumed a centrality in a central role after a mid-match rethink. Roy Hodgson changed to a 4-4-2 diamond, a system that suits a team with in-form strikers, a host of different central midfielders but few natural wingers who are fit, in form and blessed with rare class. The injured Danny Welbeck may be missed.

Because Vardy did not win Footballer of the Year by playing on the left wing. His selection there was a concession to form and a continuation of a recurring theme: this has often been England’s problem position, given to someone who plays his club football elsewhere. Steven Gerrard spent much of the 2010 World Cup ostensibly manning the left flank, just as Paul Scholes did in Euro 2004. It brought the best from neither.

And restored to a striking berth after an hour, he sprung to prominence. His searing pace became more of an asset. His decider came after a corner, but it illustrated his transformation within the space of the same game. Despite skewing his spot kick wide, Kane was the constant, the eager runner who leads the line with willing diligence.

He has brought a changing of the guard. Rooney, who sat out this friendly, will probably start in a deeper berth. That poses a further problem for Hodgson. Dele Alli has been the season’s outstanding No 10. He ought to operate at the tip of the diamond. He has an instinctive alliance with Kane, illustrated when club colleagues combined – even though the scorer was offside – for the third-minute breakthrough.

The safe assumption is that Alli is in the initial 11 in Euro 2016, just not necessarily as an attacking midfielder, where he is closest to Kane. He is proof England have been Tottenham-ified.

Mauricio Pochettino's influence on Hodgson is ever more apparent. Five of the starting 11 ply their trade at White Hart Lane and even when the Manchester United and Liverpool contingents return to contention, each could figure in the preferred side. They bring momentum and confidence to the camp.

But so, too, does Vardy, who looked bullish and buoyant as a centre-forward. Just not as a winger.

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