England stars appear to make a subtle dig at manager Gareth Southgate after being ‘shocked’ by a decision of his in the Italy defeat.
Some of the players were surprised by the manager’s call to put Bukayo Saka in the first five penalty takers against the Azzuri, according to reports.
The 19-year-old Arsenal forward’s penalty was saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma to hand the opposition victory in the Euro 2020 final with some fans and pundits feeling more experienced England players should have been taking a spot-kick.
Yep, thought so. Southgate goes to Sancho, then when deciding who will take the 5th he’s choosing between Grealish and Saka. And picks Saka. pic.twitter.com/W2Z9Xglo6p
— Ryan (@SpursRyan__) July 12, 2021
Reports claim some of England’s players ‘were shocked’ that Saka was picked for the crucial fifth penalty in the shoot-out.
Yet you had experienced players such as Raheem Sterling, Luke Shaw and Jack Grealish that didn’t even make the cut as they were left for possible sudden death.
Having ‘never previously taken a penalty at senior level’ the Three Lions players ‘were shocked that a teenager had been put in a position to determine the outcome of their biggest match in 55 years’.
The list of penalty takers was decided by a ‘league table’ drawn up by England coach Steve Holland, who had been monitoring ‘players’ performances from the spot in training last season’.
The report goes on to say that if Saka had scored his penalty then he was ‘due to be followed by Grealish, [Jordan] Pickford and Kalvin Phillips in that order, with Sterling not due to take one until England’s ninth penalty at the earliest.’
Pickford was apparently set to be England’s sixth penalty taker, only for Grealish to insist on taking one and therefore moving up the order from eighth to sixth.
Rashford, Sancho and Saka were all subjected to abusive posts in the wake of their missed penalties in the shoot-out.
The Government and even the Duke of Cambridge were united in condemnng the abuse, and Three Lions captain Harry Kane said on Twitter: “Three lads who were brilliant all summer had the courage to step up and take a pen when the stakes were high.
“They deserve support and backing not the vile racist abuse they’ve had since last night. If you abuse anyone on social media you’re not an England fan and we don’t want you.”
I am sickened by the racist abuse aimed at England players after last night’s match.
It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this abhorrent behaviour.
It must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable. W
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) July 12, 2021
Meanwhile, Jack Grealish has hit back at Roy Keane who criticised the England man for seemingly allowing 19 year old Bukayo Saka to take a penalty ahead of him.
The playmaker posted on Twitter that he wanted to take a penalty and he ‘won’t have people say he didn’t want to take a peno’.
Keane, working as a pundit for ITV, slammed the likes of Grealish and Raheem Sterling for allowing the Arsenal teenager to take a penalty ahead of them.
This is what Grealish posted on Twitter in response to Keane’s comments, which were relayed by Sky Sports:
I said I wanted to take one!!!!
The gaffer has made so many right decisions through this tournament and he did tonight! But I won’t have people say that I didn’t want to take a peno when I said I will… https://t.co/3mBpKyMoUV
— Jack Grealish (@JackGrealish) July 12, 2021
Grealish has also been spotted liking a tweet that criticised Gareth Southgate’s tactics, before it was then unliked after people spotted it.
The quote read: “This England side… they spend the whole game with their ass in their own box while having so much quality in the squad. It’s sad.”
That was something said by former Premier league player Rafael van der Vaart when acting as a pundit for overseas TV for the final.
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) July 12, 2021
Fans reacted as England stars make a dig at Southgate after being ‘shocked’ by a decision of his…
@JakeTaylor200: Although I agree with the tweet, he’s not doing himself any favours is he?
@lc87norwich: Southgate is big on solidarity. Things like this won’t go down well for his future games under Southgate.
@Zakiemakie: He ain’t wrong though
@bjturrner: Not helping himself
@LionelSpeccy: @AJC98__ @holmesy_98 he’s got a right to be frustrated, he just wanted to play football and he wasn’t given a chance after showing how good he was, even in short spells yesterday you can see just how good he is. Criminal leaving him out.
@TheGingerPirlo_: Ooooooo. Jack breaking ranks. You can see why Southgate just doesn’t like him. 😁 He isnt wrong mind. Jack knows exactly where this went wrong.
@ReeceTay_29: Jacky boy don’t mess around
@BhaMelvs: Can’t say I blame his frustration, he’s our 3rd best player, yet didn’t get the minutes his talent deserved.
@imSoenda: So true though. What the hell was that after the first goal
@DomQ18: Completely spot on.
@Simm061: I’m a Birmingham fan and there isn’t a player I hate more on this planet BUT he’s right. England could’ve coasted past that Italy team with a more attacking side. GS has something against Grealish (don’t we all) but that shouldn’t effect the fact he should’ve been starting.
@Ryanmoss58: One of the reasons we got so far and this team is so liked is the togetherness in the whole squad. If he wants to ruin that by doing cryptic things like liking negative tweets about the manager then no wonder he doesn’t bloody start!!
@alirook: Whilst in Southgate we trust. Jack should have been used more. He’s a fantastic Player.
@Jon_Dudley: I am not surprised that he is frustrated as he was underused and would have genuinely made a difference in most matches we played. Southgate will never get the most out of the attacking talent and we are too cautious to ever scare any teams. RVV is 100% right!
@StevieRuss34: Throwing shade at Southgate completely agree he bottled it
@Suaxzo: I’ll be gutted if I was Grealish watching Saka and Mount get more minutes than me tbvh..
@BackpostTrez2: This was his tournament he should have started every game after his impact in the Germany game. Instead he has had to watch Mount do fuck all.
— QJ (@Qjenks59) July 12, 2021