Football

Roy Keane Slates England Duo For Allowing 19-Year Old Saka To Take Final Penalty

Roy Keane Slates England Duo For Allowing 19-Year Old Saka To Take Final Penalty

England and penalty shootout heartbreak, it is a couple we are all too familiar with.

There was just something poetic about Gareth Southgate's side losing to Italy on penalties tonight. Sure, you feel sorry for the individuals involved, but it just feels right.

Of course, Bukayo Saka deserves more sympathy than most. The 19-year old missed the fifth and final spot kick to hand Italy the win.

But should he have been put in that position in the first place? Roy Keane doesn't think so.

Speaking on ITV after the game, he questioned why more senior players such as Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish for not stepping up in Saka's place.

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If you're Sterling or Grealish, you cannot sit there and let a young kid walk up ahead of you.

You can't, I don't care what anybody says...

You can't sit there, see a young kid at 19 who is shy walking up in front of me, and I've played a lot more games and have a lot more experience?

Sterling has won trophies. I'm not saying he wasn't prepared, maybe Gareth had him sixth or seventh.

You can't sit there, that must be hard to take. You pull this young kid and say 'listen, I'll step up for you".

Neither Grealish or Sterling would take a penalty in the shootout, a strange choice considering how often they find themselves on the scoresheet at club level.

Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho would also miss from the spot, with both players coming on with only a few seconds of extra-time remaining.

In the end, this may have cost England.

When Gareth Southgate looks back at this one, he will certainly wish he could choose his five penalty takers again. It's an opportunity that may never repeat itself.

SEE ALSO: People Are Furious About Gary Lineker Making Light Of Wembley Stadium Invasion On BBC

Gary Connaughton

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