Opinion: Rashford and Sancho deserve support, not blame after England’s Euro 2020 failure

Euro 2020 has ended in tears for England with Italy crowned European champions.

Gareth Southgate’s last-minute substitutions for the shootout backfired, with both Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho missing their penalties, as well as Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka.

I have no doubt there will be newspapers – presumably the Daily Mail – who will take aim at the players mentioned above, but it was the England manager who was guilty of not making the right changes at the right time.

Ultimately it should fall on Gareth Southgate.

Before the game, if I said this match would go to penalties, I think most football fans would have predicted an Italy win.

Then to expect two young lads, who haven’t featured much in the competition, to come on with 2 minutes to play in the final and expect them to stand up in a penalty shootout with the pressure of a nation on their shoulders?

Talk about setting players up to take the blame away from himself.

A throwback to 1998 when David Beckham was sent off and England were knocked out of the World Cup.

An effigy of the Manchester United midfielder was hung outside a pub in London prior to our away game against West Ham in the 1998/99 season.

Embed from Getty Images

Other United players to be poor treated by England — including Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes, Wayne Rooney, and the Neville brothers.

However, not only did the Jack Grealish substitution feel a bit late tonight, Southgate was far too conservative in his thinking not to make the most of England’s attacking players available to him on the bench.

This is not a new criticism for Southgate but the difference tonight is England paid the price.

A special mention to my player of the tournament, Luke Shaw, for scoring the opener just 2 minutes in — the quickest goal scored in a European Championships final.

Along with Harry Maguire, United’s defensive duo were terrific throughout the Euros for England.

Rashford’s attention will turn to whether his injury requires surgery ahead of the new season and Sancho will soon have a spring in his step when his switch to United is officially announced.

Congratulations to Italy!

Read more: Jesse Lingard set for return to Manchester United training

More Stories England Euro 2020 Gareth Southgate Italy Jadon Sancho Marcus Rashford


  1. Spot on.it boils down to the manager’s tactics & decisions.Why a proven leader who & winner like Henderson is brought in as a sub only to be substituted just before the shootout was baffling. Isn’t that the very leadership that South needed at a critical time like the shootout??To use youngsters like Rashford, Sancho & Saka as sacrificial lambs while overlooking glaring errors in tactics, team selection.,substitions & the very timing of those substitutions will be a great injustice not only to the players concerned but the game of football itself.

  2. Totally agree with this statement The way he treaded Those two I would not go for this treatment again . But his thing was already clear to me When he called Foden back and not Greenwood

  3. Yeah, u got it right at on the spot.. There’s few things i ilike to add. Why play mount when he’s not forwarding too much to attack and create chances while putting saka which is nonesense because he’s too inexperience and he didn’t do any damages at all.. Should have line sancho and rashford up which is better choice given the results against denmark. Grealish also not bad as well. Stupid selection and southgate is the doppelganger of ole solskjaer because both has the same stupid mind alike. too scare to sub early or not trusting the attacking players like grealish, sancho and rashford.. Kane and sterling has to put with the bullshit of mount and saka not attacking at all. Yeah i feel you Sue Harks, He call foden back and not greenwood. From what i remember foden and greenwood was punish for that incident right. It was foden who brought the girls in and yet greenwood was punished meaning he was not select to be in england. It’s disgusting to me.

  4. I totally agree with you. Southgate has fail England again with him decision. I think this is the high we let him go, and bring in an attacking minded manager.

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