Footage doing the rounds on social media on Friday afternoon has provided a fascinating insight into the respective moments which saw all of Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka informed that they had been chosen to step up for the Euro 2020 finale penalty shootout.
It’s coming Rome
It has of course been five days since hearts across England were broken once more.
The Three Lions made the short trip to Wembley last Sunday, for a highly anticipated European Championship showpiece meeting with Italy.
The clash marked a mammoth one for both sides, but even more so for the former, with England having not tasted international glory since all the way back in 1966.
When all was said and done in London, however, Gareth Southgate’s men, again, came up just short.
A fascinating 90 minutes, during which the hosts took the lead inside 120 seconds before eventually succumbing to a Leonardo Bonucci equaliser, saw the two nations locked at a goal apiece following the full-time whistle.
Extra-time, in turn, ensued, followed by a dreaded penalty shootout.
And it was the Italians who ultimately held their nerve, notching three spot-kicks to England’s two, to send Azzurri supporters across the globe into a state of euphoria.
A step too far for England… but didn’t they do England proud.
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) July 11, 2021
Young Lions stand tall
The aftermath of last weekend’s showpiece has of course since been widely examined and scrutinised on the part of both the media and fans alike across England.
This comes with Gareth Southgate’s choice of spot-kick takers for the crucial shootout having proven questionable at best.
Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, both of whom had been restricted to bit-part roles throughout the tournament, were introduced off the bench with just minutes remaining in extra-time, before being asked to step up from 12 yards when it mattered most.
The two Manchester United attackers, in turn, went on to fluff their lines, leaving 19-year-old Bukayo Saka, who had never before been entrusted with a penalty at senior level in his fledgling career, with the responsibility of keeping the hopes of a nation alive.
Arsenal’s young wide-man, though, too saw his ensuing effort kept out by Player of the Tournament Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Such shortcomings sparked an immediate, and altogether understandable inquest into why exactly the likes of Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish – both considerably more experienced than Sancho and Saka – had not stepped up.
If the latest footage, alluded to above, doing the rounds on social media is anything to go by, though, then it appears that England’s Young Guns were in absolutely no doubt when it came to their respective shootout credentials.
As showcased below, all of Sancho, Rashford and Saka immediately assured Southgate of their readiness to take on the responsibility of a spot-kick, after being approached by the England boss:
This clip England have just released of Southgate asking sancho, rashford and saka to take the pens. Not an ounce of fear to be seen. Respect pic.twitter.com/gL1rHjpt6i
— Spencer Morgan (@spencermorgan93) July 16, 2021