Roy Keane and Gary Neville had different takes on England’s penalty approach against Italy

Keane Neville

“As Mike Tyson always said, everyone’s got a plan until they’re punched in the face.”

Roy Keane and Gary Nevile disagreed over England’s approach to their penalty shootout defeat against Italy in the final of Euro 2020.

Neville stated that England’s penalty-takers, three of whom missed, would have been selected in advance due to several reasons relating to data and suitability for the role. Keane, however, said that, no matter how much a team prepares for a penalty shootout in a final, you cannot replicate the pressure of the situation.

Italy win Euro 2020 after penalty shootout victory over Italy.

Italy and England played out a 1-1 draw in normal and extra-time. Luke Shaw gave Gareth Southgate’s side the lead after just two minutes, but the Azzurri took control of proceedings and equalised in the second half through Leonardo Bonucci. Italy were the better side but were unable to find a second goal.

The game went to penalties and England raced into a 2-1 lead before Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka missed their spot-kicks. Rashford hit the post and Gianluigi Donnarumma saved penalties from Sancho and Saka.

Some have criticised Southgate for his choice of penalty takers, as all three England players were substitutes in the game. Sancho and Rashford only came on in the last minute of extra time. Saka, meanwhile, is just 19.

Roy Keane and Gary Neville on England’s penalty shootout defeat.

On ITV, Keane and Neville disagreed about England’s approach to the shootout. Neville argued that England would have prepared well in advance for the shootout and based their penalty-takers on evidence from training. Keane, however, said it wasn’t that simple, and that you cannot replicate the tension of a penalty shootout.

“They will have worked all of this out over the last few weeks in camp,” Neville said on ITV.

“They will have done sessions on it. They will have looked at who is scoring the most, who has got the best record. It will be scientific, it will be data-led. Look, Marcus does everything right apart from the most important thing… But he’s such a great goalkeeper (Donnarumma) and once he goes that side, he’s always got a great chance of saving it.”

Roy Keane on England’s penalties.

“You know what I’m intrigued about,” Keane said.

“When people say, ‘they would’ve planned for this. Sports science. Data.’ You cannot replicate this, Gary. You cannot replicate a player walking up in a huge final in front of the supporters with a huge goalkeeper in front of you. As Mike Tyson always said, everyone’s got a plan until they’re punched in the face.”

“For all their plans, it didn’t work.”

Keane went on to criticise some of the older players in the England squad – such as Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish – for not offering to take a penalty ahead of teenager Saka.

Clip via ITV.

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