England can count on Kane and Vardy, says Neil Humphreys
Kane and Vardy can deliver for England in France, but only if used properly
(Harry Kane 3, Jamie Vardy 83)
(Hakan Calhanoglu 13)
Deep within the bowels of the Etihad Stadium, almost invisible to the naked eye, there was the hint of a trophy-winning double act.
There was a solution to England's silverware shortcomings.
But it was a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside the enigmatic woolly head of Roy Hodgson.
Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane represent the Three Lions' most potent attacking threat since the Shearer and Sheringham roadshow at Euro 96.
Vardy remains the tongue-flapping greyhound pup forever in search of a stick.
Kane is the all-round penalty box Action Man with no obvious weaknesses.
Together, they are an early, pre-retirement gift for their England manager.
And yet, Hodgson has unwrapped a silk purse and uses friendlies against Turkey to wonder how he can turn it into a sow's ear.
Both forwards scored yesterday morning (Singapore time) as the Turks suffered their first defeat since November 2014, but the suspicion persists that Hodgson is bending Vardy out of shape to accommodate Wayne Rooney at Euro 2016.
The Leicester City striker spent an hour on the left wing. He might as well have been left in the dressing room.
The role only negates his speedy strengths and magnifies his weaknesses.
Vardy isn't a winger any more than Rooney is a No. 10 at international level, but there's a concern that Hodgson may seek to prove otherwise.
The England manager argued that the Three Lions kicked off with a conventional 4-3-3, a formation that had served the side well during an undefeated qualification campaign.
But Danny Welbeck often occupied the left-sided role, a forward more suited to the nimble nature of flank play.
Vardy's invigorating willingness to dash between centre backs doesn't lend itself to idle work on the touchline.
His title-winning exploits at Leicester made the 29-year-old a refreshing throwback to uncomplicated centre forwards stalking the last defender, knowing that they could prevail in a foot race.
Only when Hodgson altered the restrained formation in the second half, by pushing Vardy closer to Kane, did the fabulous Fox begin to irritate back-pedalling defenders.
Kane's missed penalty was earned after Vardy's characteristic "kick and rush", slicing through Turkey's spine and stealing a spot kick from Mehmet Topal.
But a coach known for his regressive tendencies seems reluctant to return to a 4-4-2 line-up that maximises England's resources.
It's not a 4-4-2 in the traditional Hodgson sense, with two banks of four dug in with the defensive stubbornness of wartime trenches topped with rusty barbed wire.
It's a pair of strikers ahead of a polished diamond.
Thanks entirely to Mauricio Pochettino, the Three Lions now boast two confident, attacking wingbacks in Danny Rose and Kyle Walker who can compensate for the obvious lack of width that comes with a midfield diamond.
In the second half, the formation teased with glimpses of real potential. Dele Alli served Kane.
Substitute Danny Drinkwater did likewise with Vardy as Hodgson took advantage of the telepathic relationships forged on the training grounds at Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester.
WORK IN PROGRESS
Of course, it's still a work in progress.
Kane proved he wasn't a one-season wonder at Spurs by winning the Golden Boot, but he appears to have been mistaken for serial winner Thierry Henry.
Hodgson's decision to appoint Kane as England's designated set-piece specialist was not vindicated against Turkey.
In truth, it looked a still-born idea, with the Spurs striker squandering several decent chances with wayward shots.
Besides, the England player most qualified to be on the end of a Kane cross is Kane.
It's an exercise in futility.
But the 22-year-old wasn't alone in his flawed decision-making. Vardy's soft tumbles to the turf are starting to repeat themselves.
In a re-enactment of his dive against West Ham, Vardy engineered contact by running across Topal and falling to the floor like a machine-gunned jellyfish.
He got away with it at the Etihad Stadium yesterday morning. He probably won't in France.
Vardy's strange decision to get married this week means he will miss Saturday's friendly against Australia, allowing Hodgson the excuse to select Rooney.
But three into two doesn't go.
A 4-3-3 may facilitate Rooney's inclusion, but it doesn't play to the strengths of Vardy, Kane or their in-form teammates at Leicester and Tottenham respectively.
Both Alli and Eric Dier are superior performers in the No. 10 and quarterback roles that have previously been earmarked for Rooney.
Playing above an attacking diamond, Vardy and Kane promise a productive partnership, as long as they are pulled closer together.
Vardy might be getting married tomorrow, but he needs to be closely wedded to the big man in white if England are to have any chance of a honeymoon in Paris.
"We want to keep winning as a team and keep a winning mentality going. With the team we have got, we are capable of going forward."
- England striker Jamie Vardy
"It was a good win against a tough side. of course, there is stuff we can work on, we know that but, overall, I thought we were the better side and we deserved the win."
- England striker Harry Kane
"(Harry) kane has cemented himself as the No. 1 guy in that (striker) position. He plays it the best out of the guys we’ve got. We’ve still got Daniel Sturridge who can come in but the only person I can see who is going tocause kane some problems in that role up there is young (Marcus) Rashford."
- Former England strikerIan Wright