England manager Roy Hodgson 'doesn't begrudge Italians' victory

 

Kiev

Roy Hodgson conceded last night that in comparison to Italy’s cool midfield general Andrea Pirlo his England players simply lacked the nerve in the high-pressure tournament penalty shoot-outs, as they were eliminated from Euro 2012 in the quarter-finals last night

It was a familiar course of events for the England supporters in Kiev last night who witnessed yet another capitulation from the penalty spot after their team had first gained the upper hand with Riccardo Montolivo’s miss with Italy’s second spot-kick. After Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney scored, Ashley Young hit the bar and Ashley Cole had his effort saved.

It was England’s fifth straight defeat in a penalty shoot-out, their sixth out of seven in the national team’s history, and it was distinguished by Pirlo’s immaculately chipped penalty for Italy, with his team trailing 2-1. “This sort of cool, calculated way that Pirlo had the confidence to chip the goalkeeper,” Hodgson said, “ you either have that as a player or you don't, and no amount of coaching or training will help reproduce that.”

With Italy dominating much of the game from the mid-point in the first half – they completed 815 passes to England’s 320 and had 64 per cent of the possession – Hodgson said that he would not “ begrudge” the Italians their victory.

“For long periods it was an even game and interesting tactical battle,” Hodgson said. “They didn't get behind us on too many occasions. We didn't do as well with the ball as we should have done. Which team deserved to win it, that's a matter for debate but, talking for my own team, we put up a very good effort. Had we won it, we wouldn't have been apologising for the victory.”

Joe Hart, who failed to save a penalty, said that he blamed himself for not doing better: “ "I thought it was going to be our night because of the side we had, the heart we had, the quality we had, but unfortunately it wasn't to be, we didn't do well in the shoot-out, myself included.

"I'd like to be optimistic now but that's not the feeling in my heart at the moment. I'm an emotional guy and I put everything I had into these past couple of weeks.

Theo Walcott said that Young and Cole could come back stronger from their penalty misses against Italy that meant England were eliminated from Euro 2012 in a penalty shoot-out for the fifth time in succession. Walcott said: “The two Ashleys are strong enough lads to come back from this and the lads will be with them. They are two of the most experienced players in that dressing room and they will bounce back from this even better players. I do not worry about that at all.”

“I don’t know how to answer why we cannot win penalties shoot-outs. It can go either way. It is a difficult one. Anyone can win.

“I think penalties is always down to luck. It is a lottery. It is just the way it goes in football. You can practice and practice as much as you want but when it comes to the occasion, the biog stage, it is always difficult. I hate watching it when I am back at home. I feel for every single player. It is not one of those scenarios you want to be involved in when you are on a losing side. I feel it as I am on the losing side. It is a sad way.”

Wayne Rooney said it was “a horrible way to go out”. He said: “ We are all gutted. It was a tough game we all worked hard. To lose on pens is a horrible feeling for everyone. We can hold our heads up high, a lot of young players in squad and that will help them in next tournament.”

 

More:

England v Italy player ratings

How the penalty drama unfolded

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Tepper had a stunningly successful career as a songwriter
people
Arts and Entertainment
Len Blavatnik
music
Sport

Today in the Premier League, Everton face Manchester United, and Arsenal take on Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium. A victory for Jose Mourinho's side, and they could win the Premier League title as soon as Wednesday with a win over Leicester.

Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
The original field in High Wycombe, which is used as the banner image on a number of websites belonging to local Tory associations
general election
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions