Gareth Southgate takes blame for penalty misses in post-match interview 6 months ago

Gareth Southgate takes blame for penalty misses in post-match interview

Southgate continues to be our moral centre

Euro 2020 ended in heartbreak for England last night. Despite the squad's passionate fans chanting it for the past four weeks, football failed to come home.

Advertisement

However, despite their loss on penalties, this was still the furthest the Three Lions have gone in 55 years. And manager, Gareth Southgate, has taken full responsibility for his team's loss to Italy in the final.

Luke Shaw's initial goal set up a hopeful first half, but Leonardo Bonucci managed to equalise the scoreboard with an undeniably cracking shot. England failed to build on their early success in the second half - at times looking weak in midfield - and as the tense game went into extra time, the prospect of penalties hung heavy in the air above Wembley.

After another nail-biting 30 minutes, it was time for penalties. The late substitutes Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho missed their shots before Bukayo Saka, who had come on much earlier, saw his attempt saved by Italy’s goalkeeper, Gianluigi Donnarumma.. "It's coming to Rome," shouted the Italian team in celebration.

Southgate's sportsmanship and compassion have won him huge praise during the course of the championship. And the image of him on the pitch consoling Saka after the 19-year-old's miss, is already a defining image of this often magical Euros.

Advertisement

Here's what Southgate had to say post-match

“I chose the guys to take the kicks. I told the players that nobody is on their own in that situation. We win and lose together as a team. They have been tight throughout and that’s how it needs to stay. It is my decision to give him [Saka] that penalty. That is totally my responsibility. It is not him or Marcus or Jadon. We worked through them in training. That is the order we came to.

“What they have to know is none of them are on their own. We win and lose as a team. Penalties are my call. We worked in training. It’s not down to the players. Tonight it hasn’t gone for us. We know they were the best takers we had left on the pitch. Of course, it’s going to be heartbreaking for the boys but they are not to blame for that.”

Advertisement

“He’s such a super boy. He’s been a star, and he’s going to continue to be a star. We’ve got to be there to support and help him. He’ll get a lot of love from outside because of what he’s done in this tournament," he said of Saka.