Roma coach Jose Mourinho said England coach Gareth Southgate shouldn’t have left Bukayo Saka to take the last penalty. ‘Where’s Raheem Sterling, John Stones? Where’s Luke Shaw?’.
Italy overcame England in the Final at Wembley, after beating the Three Lions in a penalty shootout.
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Manchester United full-back Shaw gave England a 1-0 lead after one minute and 57 seconds, the quickest goal in e Euros Final ever, but Leonardo Bonucci equalised in the second half.
It ended 1-1 after 120 minutes and Southgate decided to bring on Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho towards the end of the extra time, and the two youngsters both missed their spot kicks in the shootout against Gianluigi Donnarumma, whilst Bukayo Saka was left with the decisive fifth penalty.
Donnarumma saved the effort from the young Arsenal forward and Mourinho questions the decision to give the three youngsters the responsibility in the big Final, especially Saka.
“On the decision of the penalty takers, I think it’s hard to leave Saka as the last one,” Mourinho tol talkSPORT.
“I think it’s too much for a kid to have everything on his shoulders in this moment, but I don’t know, I have to ask that question to Gareth because many times what happens is that players who should be there are not there, players who should be there, they run away from the responsibility.
“And because I feel Gareth is such an honest guy and is so protective of his players, I don’t believe Gareth would ever say if ‘Player A’ or ‘Player B’ ran away or hid or said they were not ready to take one.
“Because, don’t ask me who because I will not tell you, but I was told 100 per cent that one player that could be in this team and was not in this team, one of the reasons was in the World Cup semi-final, he should have taken a penalty and he refused.
“So, sometimes these situations happen and honest people like Gareth don’t expose the player. I don’t know in this case, I really don’t know, but I think it doesn’t matter if you’re a great penalty taker or not.
“In this situation, where was Raheem Sterling? Where was John Stones? Where was Luke Shaw? Why didn’t Jordan Henderson or Kyle Walker stay on the pitch?
“Because in reality it’s very, very hard for Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho to come and take a penalty after one touch on the ball.
“But for Saka to have the destiny of a country on his shoulders… I think it’s too much.”