England had everything going for it to win their first European Championship but both Southgate and his players failed in the attempt. For a few moments it seemed that the English were going to play their best game in this tournament and prove that they were worthy of taking the title, but it was just a mirage. England were again the same racana team that we saw from the first game, with many stars and a lot of names but without a game proposal beyond Kane and Sterling and that ended up at the mercy of an Italy that imposed its game and knew how to avoid the changes system proposed by Southgate during the meeting. Quite the opposite of the English.
The Three Lions team took the lead after two minutes and could not read the game or control the game. England wanted to be more Italy than Italy itself and defend that 0-1 but they ended up falling into their own trap and did not know how to do it while all the talent that that team has both on the pitch and on the bench was wasted trying manage that advantage when they could well have gone for the second goal before the azzurra reacted. A bad read by Southgate and a very poor game proposition.
True to the English style, the technician was slow to make the changes. Extra time seemed inevitable, but with Sancho and Rashford on the bench the changes should have come earlier to try to shake up the game and look for the goal in extra time before gambling it all on a penalty shootout. But not. Precisely Sancho and Rashford entered the 117 to shoot the penalty and the law of football fell harder than ever on them, failing both shots. This immobility of Southgate is reminiscent of Solskjaer’s in the final of the Europa League against Villarreal and with the same result.
Probably England had a name to name one of the best teams in this European Championship. And in the same way that the coach’s decisions were the ones that led this team to the final, it was also their decisions that ended up condemning them to a penalty shoot-out. The same if Southgate had moved the bench before the result would have been the same, but at least you die trying and not throwing a match and a final that you had in the palm of your hand. With these players England has to step up and propose another type of game.