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Jack Grealish: I wanted to take England penalty but Gareth Southgate made right decision yet again

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Jack Grealish has hit back at critics and said he was ready to take a penalty last night after being criticised for not stepping up during England's shootout defeat.

The Aston Villa captain, who has become England's poster boy this summer, was not one of the five chosen to take a spot-kick as Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sanho and Bukayo Saka all missed as Italy won the European Championship.

Grealish and England team-mate Raheem Sterling have taken criticism from figures including Roy Keane and Jose Mourinho for allowing 19-year-old Saka to take the decisive fifth penalty ahead of his more senior peers.

 (AP)
(AP)

Following the match, Roy Keane said: "If you're (Raheem) Sterling or (Jack) Grealish, you cannot sit there and have a young kid [Saka] go up for a penalty ahead of you, you can't.

“You cannot let a shy 19-year-old go up in front of you. They have a lot more experience, Sterling has won trophies, they had to get in front of the young kid and stand up."

Mourinho added: “In this situation, where was Sterling? Where was [John] Stones? Where was Luke Shaw? And why did [Jordan] Henderson or [Kyle] Walker not stay on the pitch?

“In reality it is very hard for [Marcus] Rashford and [Jadon] Sancho to come and take a penalty after one touch of the ball.”

Grealish, who has taken and scored just one penalty in 264 career appearances for club and country, made clear his intention on Monday morning while defending manager Gareth Southgate.

He tweeted: I said I wanted to take one!!!!

“The gaffer has made so many right decisions through this tournament and he did tonight! But I won’t have people say that I didn’t want to take a peno when I said I will…”

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