Alan Shearer felt asking Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford to take penalties for England in their decisive shootout against Italy on Sunday night put excessive pressure on the two players.
Sancho and Rashford both entered the game late in extra-time with the specific intention that they would take penalties in the shootout. Rashford's penalty hit the post while Sancho's was saved by Italy keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma
"I feel for Rashford, Sancho and Saka," Shearer said on BBC following the game.
"It is a lot for those young boys to take on in the future and it is so, so cruel.
"It was a big, big ask, a big ask to put two players on with a minute to go, and to say, 'You're going to go and take a penalty for us.' You're under enough pressure anyway as a player.
"The extra pressure that you're putting on those two individuals when you've had no feel of the football, you're not involved in the game at all, then when you're put in that situation it is a big, big ask.
"When you've not played a huge part in the tournament or in the game, to come on for a minute and be put in that situation, mentally you've got to get yourself right. You've not kicked a football - you've been sat on your backside for three hours. It's a big ask."
Shearer and Ferdinand on England shootout defeat
Rio Ferdinand felt that Sancho and Rashford would have wanted the responsibility.
"That's happened for years," said Ferdinand.
"People have put players on - maybe not as late as that - but towards the end, the last three, four, five minutes. Players come on this pitch as penalty takers because they are recognised. Rashford is a recognised penalty taker for Man Utd.
"This happens. We look down the years of tournament football. It's the biggest players, the best players in the world at times,miss penalties. These are young kids. They've got to look at that, big players of the past - Baggio etc.
"It is a big ask, but these two boys would have said, 'Get me on there'. They would have had the character to want to get on there."