Gareth Southgate has revealed he wondered if he should have asked Bukayo Saka Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford take on penalties in the Euro 2020 final.
All three came on as substitutes at Wembley and missed from the penalty spot as England lost 3-2 on penalties to Italy last summer, prompting vile racial abuse on social media.
And Three Lions boss Southgate admits he will have to make difficult decisions when faced with a similar situation at this year’s World Cup.
“As I left The Grove (hotel) that day, I couldn’t help but think, ‘Did I create this situation here for the boys?'” he said.
“But it wouldn’t be right not to pick the players you think are best to take given the possible consequences of being absent would be. I have to pick them believing they will score.
England’s defeat by the Italians remains the team’s only defeat on penalties during Southgate’s almost six-year tenure, but penalties have plagued the national side after a string of major tournament defeats.
Asked if the possibility of being abused if they miss could cross players’ minds when taking a penalty in Qatar, Southgate replied: “Then we’re devastated!
“We’ve been talking about penalties and everything else for 55 years. So now we have another level that will make it extremely difficult for us to win anything.
He added: “Indirectly, we created another layer of difficulty to overcome a penalty shootout. I have to take all of these things into account and it’s incredibly complex.”
Despite losing the opening Nations League game in Hungary at the weekend, Southgate feels no pressure to play with his best side until the Winter World Cup for fear of “breaking the players”.
His men meet Germany in Munich on Tuesday night knowing they face an uphill battle to qualify for the 2023 finals, with Germany (twice), Italy (twice) and Hungary coming.
After a long season, Southgate said no chances would be taken with the players, stating: “We’d love to do that, but we’d end up breaking the players at this time of year.
“Without a doubt, we always want to try to achieve some continuity. We certainly seem to be more affected by this than other nations.”
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/06/06/england-gareth-southgate-reveals-anguish-rashford-saka-sancho-decisions-16781125/ Gareth Southgate reveals concerns over Rashford, Saka and Sancho decisions | Soccer