England manager unhappy with Henderson's failed penalty stunt

Southgate was surprised to see the midfielder taking the penalty instead of handing it over to one of his strikers

REUTERS June 07, 2021


England manager Gareth Southgate was upset with substitute Jordan Henderson for defying team orders as the midfielder decided to take a penalty and missed in Sunday's 1-0 win over Romania in the country's final Euro 2020 warm-up.

Henderson returned to action for the first time since being sidelined with a groin injury in February by taking the field as a halftime substitute but he denied striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin who won the spot kick and was expected to take it.

The Liverpool captain saw his shot palmed away by Romania goalkeeper Florin Nita in the 78th minute after Marcus Rashford had netted England's first penalty 10 minutes earlier before the striker was replaced shortly afterwards.

"We had Marcus Rashford on penalties then James Ward-Prowse but both came off," Southgate told ITV. "We expected Dominic Calvert-Lewin to take it and I was expecting Hendo to go over to him and let him take it. We will pull rank next time."

Henderson told the BBC: "I was confident but it was a good save. It wasn't a great penalty but I am not too bothered. It would have been nice to cap the comeback off with a goal."

Southgate made nine changes to the side that beat Austria 1-0 on Wednesday and started with Everton central defender Ben Godfrey in the right back slot after Trent Alexander-Arnold was forced to pull out of the squad with a thigh injury.

Alexander-Arnold limped off late in the game against the Austrians but Southgate remained tight-lipped on whether Godfrey would be picked to replace the Liverpool right back.

"I will keep my powder dry for now," said Southgate.

"We just want to check how we are after the game medically, check we have nothing to go through and will make the decision over the next 24 hours.

Southgate was also undecided whether Jack Grealish, who stood out against Romania with tireless running and pinpoint passing, would start in England's opening Group D match against Croatia at Wembley next Sunday.

"We have a lot of competition in those areas of the field and he has had an important contribution to win the penalty. He is in the frame with several others.

"In the first half we did not work hard enough without the ball, we were too stretched and did not press well. After halftime I thought we improved and it was helpful we went to 4-3-3 later and I have to say it was a good exercise."

England also play Scotland at Wembley on June 18 and take on the Czech Republic in their final group match at the same venue four days later.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ