Jack Grealish Hits Back At Critics Saying He Didn't Want To Take A Penalty
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The Aston Villa midfielder used his Twitter account to respond to those saying that he allowed other players to take penalties before him by claiming that he did want to take one.
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..."
Grealish and several other England players had been the subject of criticism from pundits and fans for their perceived aversion to taking a penalty, when younger players such as Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho stepped up.
Saka, Sancho, and Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford have been the subject of racist abuse after they missed their spot-kicks.
Speaking on ITV, former United and Ireland midfielder 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."
Jose Mourinho told talkSPORT: "The decision of the penalty talkers, I think it is hard to leave Saka as the last one. I think it is hard for a kid to have everything on his shoulders at that moment. I just feel very sorry for him.
"In this situation where was [Raheem] Sterling, where was (John) Stones, where was (Luke) Shaw?
"I feel that Gareth is such an honest guy. Such a protective coach of his players. I don't think he would ever say players were not ready [to take a penalty]."
However, Gareth Southgate later said that he selected all of the penalty takers, an argument that seems to be backed up by the late introduction of Sancho, who was seemingly brought on specifically for the shootout.
Southgate said: "I chose the penalty takers based on what we've done in training and nobody is on their own. We've won together as a team and it's absolutely on all of us in terms of not being able to win the game tonight,
"But in terms of the penalties, that's my call and totally rests with me."
The England manager also slammed those who abused his players after the defeat, calling the racist abuse 'unforgivable'.
He said: "It's just not what we stand for.
"We have been a beacon of light in bringing people together in people being able to relate to the national team, and the national team stands for everybody, and so that togetherness has to continue.
"We have shown the power our country has when it does come together and has that energy and positivity together."