Southgate refuses to blame Stones for England defeat

England manager Gareth Southgate refused to throw John Stones under the bus after the Three Lions’ loss against the Netherlands last night.

England has lost another semifinal of a major tournament over the last year, they did it thanks to a double mistake made by defender John Stones.

There is no way around this, the Manchester City defender committed two ghastly mistakes during the first and second extra times.

During the first one, Stones gave the ball away to Memphis Depay after failing to control a pass.

The Dutch forward tried his luck with a shot but Jordan Pickford stopped the attempt in time.

However, Promes was right there to push the ball forward and get Kyle Walker to score an own goal while he was trying to defend the ball.

Stones’ damage was already done, this was the beginning of the end for the England National Team.

Regardless of this mistake from Stones, the English were still alive and a single goal could take them all the way to the penalty shootout.

Manager Gareth Southgate decided to use his fourth substitution and gave Dele Alli a chance to help the squad during the final minutes.

By the time the second extra time started, England still hoped to score a goal but they were being dominated by the Dutch.

The problem was that John Stones isn’t really going through the best moment of his career, the England defender made a second terrible mistake that ended in a second goal scored by Promes.

England got eliminated thanks to Stones, there is no other way to look at it.

When asked about John’s mistake, manager Gareth Southgate refused to call out his player.

“I think we’ve had some players who, at the end of the season, have found it difficult in terms of amount of minutes on the pitch – and others having the complete opposite,” Southgate said via Four Four Two.

“I think fatigue has played a part tonight, a lack of match sharpness. I’m asking them to play in a way that puts them under huge pressure at the back.”

“If we didn’t play that way, we wouldn’t have got to the semi-finals we’ve got to, and we would never progress to being a top team because you saw the way Holland played that way as well.”

“They also made a really poor error at the back. But I have got to be there to support John because he’s going to get criticism after tonight.”

“But himself and Harry (Maguire), the way we ask them to play, they take huge strain of the game on their shoulders and they’re incredibly courageous to do that.”

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“So, that’s the way I believe they can play and we should play, and we didn’t lose because of how we wanted to play. The errors were uncharacteristic, really, and not errors that we would make.”

“It wasn’t risk, it was just poor execution and fatigue. Certainly, the last one was just fatigue.”

“So, I’ve got to not overreact to those things and I have got to be there to support them in what is a difficult moment for everybody.”

Stones already made another mistake like this for Manchester City.

The English player hasn’t exactly been at the top of his game throughout the whole season, he already made another massive mistake in a crucial match this season.

It happened in the Champions League quarterfinals against Tottenham Hotspur, Stones made the worst mistake of them all.

It was the very first goal that Tottenham Hotspur scored through Son Heung-min, John Stones basically gave the ball to the South Korean forward so he could score.

This was regarded as one of the main reasons why Manchester City ended up losing that match against the Spurs.

Stones got signed by the Citizens as one of the most expensive defenders in football history, but his time at the club hasn’t been what they expected.

Today after another two terrible mistakes, the club can only hope that he will recover from this new setback in time for next season.

There is a good chance that manager Pep Guardiola was watching last night’s match between England and the Netherlands just to check on his players.

Watching Stones make this mistake had to be tough to digest for the Catalan manager, who could go after a new defender during the summer transfer window.

Do you think Stones is completely to blame for England’s failure? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.

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