Gareth Southgate said he was to blame for Englandthe failure of Sunday’s penalty kick in the Euro 2020 final rather than the three players who missed the shootout.
Italy won 3-2 on penalties at the end of a grueling night at Wembley which finished 1-1 after extra time. Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka have all been unable to convert their penalties as England’s 55-year wait for an international trophy continues.
Southgate claimed he went through the same process which resulted in a shootout success against Colombia at the 2018 World Cup and in the UEFA Nations League a year later and took on the burden of England’s seventh outing of the tournament on penalties, 25 years after he disappeared as a player against Germany in the semi-finals of Euro 96.
“What they need to know is that none of them are alone,” said the 50-year-old. “We win and lose as a team and the shooters are my choice. We worked on them in training, it’s my decision. It’s not up to the players.
“Tonight it’s not gone for us, but we know they were the best takers we had left on the pitch. We tried to bring these players onto the pitch. We had to take some out already. a few during the game itself So yeah sure it’s going to be heartbreaking for the boys but they’re not to blame for that it’s my calling as a coach.
“It’s a process that we went through: we followed what they did with their clubs over a long period of time, and then what they also showed in training. worked for us in Russia and in the League of Nations. Tonight it didn’t quite work out. “
England boss Southgate has revealed Prince William went to the locker room at the final whistle to congratulate the 26-man squad on their achievement this summer, reaching a first tournament final since 1966 and capturing the imagination of the country with more than half of the expected population. watched the final on television in addition to the 65,000 spectators.
“Right now the players are naturally very calm,” Southgate said. “The Duke [of Cambridge] just went down to see them in the locker room and rightly thanked them for what they did and didn’t hesitate to congratulate him.
“I said we can’t have any recrimination. They have to leave here with their heads held high. They’ve done more than any other team in the last 50 years. In terms of players, they should be incredibly proud of that. that they did.
“Those opportunities in your life are incredibly rare, but credit Italy, they’ve been exceptional throughout the tournament. The way they used the ball tonight was a little better than us. I think they were enough. strong in defense to stop us creating anything consistently about their goal. “