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The 23-year-old forward enjoyed another fine Premier League season, scoring 29 goals for Spurs. It was his third straight season with more than 20 goals, cementing himself as the Three Lions’ top option up front.
Chelsea defender Gary Cahill was the team’s captain for the friendly against Germany, but he was suspended for the qualifier against Lithuania.
Gareth Southgate’s right-hand man Steve Holland admits he was shocked at the lack of leadership during England’s Euro 2016 defeat by Iceland.
Holland has been Southgate’s most trusted lieutenant for the past four years, first with the under-21s and then when both men stepped up to the seniors following Sam Allardyce’s inglorious exit last year.
Throughout that time he has been on a part-time deal with the Football Association, spending most of his time on his day job at Chelsea, but he severed ties with the Blues at the end of their title-winning season and is now fully focused on the Three Lions.
Speaking for the first time as England’s assistant manager ahead of Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against Scotland, Holland emphasised the need for a greater fortitude and mental resilience in the squad, with last year’s shock 2-1 defeat in Nice the most obvious touchstone.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day but the first thing is to recognise is the performance in the Iceland game in the last tournament was not what everybody was expecting. We have to try to do better than that,” he said.
“You go one up and everything looks fine and everybody’s playing then suddenly bang! Bang! It is 1-2 and then you are looking on the pitch, maybe you were in the stadium or sitting like me on holiday watching it, looking round at the players thinking, ‘Bloody hell, they’ve gone, where are the leaders? Where is the leadership?’
Holland’s harsh assessment should not come as a major surprise, echoing, as it does, Southgate’s own thoughts.