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

Arts and Entertainment
Joe Cocker performing on the Stravinski hall stage during the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland in 2002
musicHe 'turned my song into an anthem', says former Beatle
News
Clarke Carlisle
sport
Sport
footballStoke City vs Chelsea match report
Arts and Entertainment
David Hasselhof in Peter Pan
theatreThe US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
News
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
News
Coca-Cola has become one of the largest companies in the world to push staff towards switching off their voicemails, in a move intended to streamline operations and boost productivity
peopleCoca-Cola staff urged to switch it off to boost productivity
Environment
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'