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Roy Keane Criticizes Englands Senior Players For Allowing Bukayo Saka To Take A Penalty During Euro 2020

England’s senior players were chastised by Roy Keane for failing to lead by example by failing to take a penalty kick in their shootout loss to Italy.

England lost the Euro 2020 final 3-2 on penalties as 19-year-old Bukayo Saka missed the vital final spot-kick, following earlier misses by Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho.

The Arsenal striker needed to score to keep England’s dreams alive, but Gianluigi Donnraumma saved his penalty.

Bukayo Saka (middle) is consoled by England teammates after his penalty miss led to Italy’s European Championship victory. Roy Keane was critical of England’s older players for failing to defend Saka in the shootout, but he had sympathy for the winger, stating that more senior players should have stepped up instead to relieve the pressure on him.

‘You can’t have a young kid stand up in front of you if you’re [Jack] Grealish or [Raheem] Sterling,’ the former Republic of Ireland and Manchester United midfielder told ITV.

‘You can’t sit there and say, ‘I see a 19-year-old kid walk in front of me, and I’ve played a lot more games, and I’ve won trophies…’

‘I’m not saying he wasn’t prepared, he might have been six or seven, you can’t sit there, it must be hard to take a penalty,’ Keane said. ‘I’m not saying he wasn’t prepared, he might have been six or seven, you can’t sit there, it must be hard to take a penalty,’ Keane said.

Go in front of this child and tell him, “Listen, I’m going to step up in front of you.”

Former England right-back Gary Neville, on the other hand, argues that rather than being chosen on a volunteer basis, England’s order would have been justified based on performance in penalty practice.

‘We probably expected to see Grealish or Sterling run up first before Saka,’ Neville said.

‘But, they would have looked at who has missed when and who has taken one; Grealish hasn’t taken one in two seasons.’

So there’s clearly something wrong with his penalty taking.

And Gareth will have taken notice of this and made a mental list of the players most likely to score.

Former England striker Ian Wright backed with Neville’s assertion, claiming that Rashford and Sancho’s late additions to the game as stoppage time substitutes were only for the purpose of preventing penalties.

‘I’m sure they talked before, and these players would have known they were going to take one,’ Wright added.

That’s why Rashford and Sancho entered the game at the time they did.

‘Some players have stated that they will not accept one.’

You hope the players who do take them can take them.

But the strain in this stadium, in the final, is beyond anything I can imagine.

Even with Rashford’s penalty, he sent him the wrong way, and he’s trying to send it into the side netting, but he’s missed the goal.

England’s penalty takers would have been chosen based on the previous session of spot-kicks in training and who had done best, according to Neville.

‘They would have worked out in camp over the last few weeks, done sessions on it, looked at who was scoring the most and who had the greatest record,’ says the coach.

It would be scientific and data-driven, according to Neville.

‘With the exception of the most vital thing, Marcus does everything perfectly.’

The one (Sancho) you’d argue is a poorer pen since the goalkeeper always saves them when he goes that way.

Indeed, this one (Saka) as well.

He’s a fantastic goalie, and when he goes to that side, he has a good chance of saving it because he’s so huge.

Keane, on the other hand, disagreed with his former United team-mate’s opinion on picking England’s penalty takers, claiming that the emotion of the moment could not be reproduced by data from training sessions.

‘I’m curious about when they say people would have planned for this,’ he continued. ‘Sport science, data, you can’t recreate this.’

‘Walking up to a massive final in front of your fans with a huge goalie in front of you is something you can’t imitate.’

“Everyone has a plan until they’re punched in the face,” Mike Tyson once quipped.

You’re up against a colossus of a goalkeeper.

Make the goalie save it, hit the target, but Gary, you can’t do it again.

‘For all their planning, it didn’t work.’ Frank Lampard, on the other hand, thought it was too difficult to choose England’s penalty takers with confidence, and that Sterling going up might not have been the greatest decision.

Following the shootout, the former England midfielder praised Italy on their victory as they were held to a 1-1 draw after Leonardo Bonucci’s second-half tap-in cancelled out Luke Shaw’s second minute-opener.

‘Italy were deserving victors from a purely football perspective,’ Lampard told the BBC.

‘That shuffle and wait technique (of taking penalties) is simpler in the training field behind closed doors, but it’s a different kind of pressure in the stadium.’

I’m not convinced Raheem is a penalty taker at heart.

You’re attempting to decipher things that are exceedingly difficult to decipher.’

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