Report: England players surprised by Southgate decision to let Arsenal ace Saka take penalty

Some England players were surprised by Gareth Southgate’s decision to let Arsenal ace Bukayo Saka take the fifth penalty.

According to the Telegraph, the attacker had enjoyed mixed results during training in the lead up to last Sunday’s final. However, the 19-year-old volunteered himself to take a spot kick.

Saka endured heartbreak during the European Championship final, missing the decisive penalty. It sent Italy on their way to a 3-2 win over their rivals after a 1-1 draw after extra time.

His attempt last Sunday was the first penalty he had taken in his senior career. The Arsenal man was distraught after his miss, earning comfort from his teammates, Southgate and various others.

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Shock from England players highlights decision

The shock from some England players only further highlights the shocking decision to let the Arsenal man take a penalty.

To trust the youngest member of the squad to handle the nation’s biggest moment in 55 years shows bad management.

However, we could talk about the penalties until the cows come home, there were bigger problems on hand.

England’s inability to push further up the field in the face of pressure from the Azzurri was worrying. Then there was the lack of presence of Harry Kane in the final third.

And then crucially, the stranglehold Jorginho and Marco Veratti had on the game. The Italian duo dominated the ball, and thus proceedings, showing off their titles as ‘pass masters’.

Various tactical battles were lost on the day, making it sadder to lose the final on one poor decision.

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