Football

Duff & Hamann Slam Southgate's Negativity As England Throw Away Euros Final Lead

Duff & Hamann Slam Southgate's Negativity As England Throw Away Euros Final Lead

FOOTBALL'S GOING ROME!

It's not an exaggeration to say Italy have saved the future of football by winning the Euro 2020.

Okay, it might be a bit of an exaggeration, but by god it was great to see the Italians coming out on top.

Roberto Mancini's side were poor in the first half, but dominated proceedings after the interval. Leonadro Bonucci's goal was well deserved and they look to be in the ascendency.

They could not make the breakthrough over the remaining part of the game. However, they finally got their just rewards when Gianluigi Donnarumma saved Bukayo Saka's decisive penalty in the shootout.

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Focus will now turn to England's failings.

They were in a dominant position in the game, but this quickly changed when they attempted to defend deep and hold onto their lead from just before the hour mark.

That has to come down to Gareth Southgate's management, with his conservative nature ultimately the team's downfall.

Speaking on RTÉ after the game, both Didi Hamann and Damien Duff were scathing in their assessment of the England boss.

Hamann, who said England were 'scared' of winning, said that Southgate needs to take full responsibility for England coming up short. He also questioned the decision to let Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford take penalties after coming on so late in the game, with both players missing.

They only have themselves to blame. I think the manager has to take a lot of responsibility...

They didn't have a plan. They didn't have plan two years ago, they scored early against Croatia.

Of course this is a young squad, but they've had two big games in the last few years. They scored early which is obviously what (Southgate), but they didn't have the answers on how to manage a game...

It's a negative team selection. He's got seven defenders on the pitch...

Throughout the tournament they were too cautious at best, negative at times. To score after two minutes, you can't see a game out for 88 minutes, not even the Italians could do that!

I think the way that he managed the game today was poor...

I think the manager has got to take all the responsibility for the way they've played...

You've got two player who come on in the last couple of minutes and hardly played any part. You're handing the responsibility to these two guys?

If you know you need them for penalties, maybe you should use them a bit more in the six games beforehand.

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Duff shared a similar opinion.

He also pointed out that there was a very different approach from the Italians late on.

In the 119th minute, Chiellini is doing overlaps on the left hand side trying to win the game. That's the difference.

Maybe you could say Southgate's personality rubs off on his team somewhat. They are pragmatic, they're not a great watch.

You're getting up at 2am last night to watch the Copa America final, you ain't getting up at 2am to watch England.

Duff would also go on to question Southgate's rationale in picking his penalty takers.

Thank god for Italy.

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Gary Connaughton

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