Roy Keane questioned why Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling did not step up and take penalties for England in the Euro 2020 final against Italy.
The Three Lions suffered another agonising bout of spot-kick heartache on Sunday. Despite Jordan Pickford making two saves, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all missed. As a result, the Italians won 3-2, marking their second European Championships triumph and the first since 1968.
However, the wait for major tournament glory goes on for England, who will now look to the World Cup in 2022.
Manager Gareth Southgate revealed that his squad had worked on his order of takers in training. As such, he brought Sancho and Rashford on late on in extra time.
Speaking to ITV Sport, though, ex-midfielder Roy Keane led the inquest into the reasons for the Three Lions’ woes. He questioned why Aston Villa captain Grealish or Manchester City star Sterling did not step up.
“If you’re Sterling or Grealish you can’t just stand there and let a young boy like Saka go pitch in front of you,” the pundit said.
“You can not. You can’t let a shy 19-year-old go ahead of you.
“They have much more experience. Sterling has won titles. He has to get up and shoot before the kid does.”
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England’s woes were added to by the fact that the penalty shootout was going so well early on.
Domenico Berardi and Harry Kane both scored, but after Andrea Belotti missed, Harry Maguire gave the Three Lions the advantage.
From there, though, England failed to score another penalty.
Lineker calls England scared
Southgate’s men proved they have one of the most fearsome attacks in Europe during Euro 2020.
Sterling and Kane have proved vital, while the likes of Grealish, Phil Foden and new Manchester United addition Sancho have all contributed.
Taking to Twitter, though, Gary Lineker claimed England need to be braver.
He wrote: “I think going forward England have to find a way of being more attack minded.
“Braver in possession and throwing more people forward.
“We have the forward talent to scare teams, at present we seem scared ourselves to release that talent.”
Southgate did deploy a back five, which worked from the off when Luke Shaw netted inside two minutes. However, Italy then settled and dominated, leading to the penalty shoot-out.