Former Chelsea and Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has had his say on Arsenal star Bukayo Saka missing the crucial penalty in the Euro 2020 final against Italy last night.
The teenager came on in the second half and had a fairly good game. He was a nuisance to Giorgio Chiellini and remained a threat even after he was forced to play in a number 10 role in extra time.
Saka’s courage and character before the penalties probably convinced Gareth Southgate that he was the man to lead England to glory. However, making a teenager take the most important spot-kick in the country’s history was a poor decision and it backfired.
Jose Mourinho: I feel sorry for Bukayo Saka
Mourinho has had his say on Southgate’s decision. He believes that forcing Saka to take that penalty at that stage of the shootout was a bit too much for his young shoulders, and we couldn’t agree more.
He told TalkSport this morning (07:39 am): “I think it’s hard to leave especially Saka as the last one. I think it’s too much for a kid to have everything on his shoulders in this moment.
“For Saka to have the destiny of a country on his shoulders, I think, is too much. Saka, I just feel very sorry for him.”
The Insider’s View:
Mourinho is absolutely spot on. Saka is a phenomenal player who is good enough to do most things on a football pitch. However, to ask him to take the most important penalty kick in the history of English football isn’t right at all.
England had more experienced players like Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish behind Saka. Jordan Henderson, who has taken and scored penalties before, was strangely subbed off as well, which really was absurd.
The burden of an entire country was on young Saka and the pressure got to him. It’s really heartbreaking to see him in tears, but this will only make him stronger, and there’s absolutely no doubt about the fact that he will become a superstar for England and Arsenal in the coming years.