This whole saga is getting very conflated. I do not care if footballers are black, white, pink, yellow or brown; we are all the same underneath. That, my friends, is fact. Those who throw out racist abuse are fools, idiots and are as palatable as what I sometimes find on the bottom of my shoe.
What it really comes down to is performance, nothing more and nothing less. Natalie Elphick, who has taken a lot of stick, does have a point. If Marcus Rashford had not done all of those photo opportunities, no matter how well intentioned, he would have been on the training field. If that had been the case, maybe, just maybe, he would have got his kick within the environs of the goal and not missed it completely. If that had happened, it would have then been down to the skill and experience of the goal keeper.
Although I respect Gareth Southgate immensely, from working at the grass roots to bring into fruition what has probably been the most balanced and focused English team, I feel that he was wrong in bringing Marcus Rashford and Sanchez onto the field, purely to take penalties.
Like every team, they take time to get into the game, to settle down and wind themselves up; then they are at their best. But to drag Rashford and Sanchez off the touchline at the last minute, they had no opportunity to do that and it was inevitable that they would take poor penalties.
So the manager and the players are equally to blame.
But, because it was black players who missed the penalties, out crawls Diane Abbot from the woodwork. It is nothing about being black or white whatsoever and for people to tag on racist issues are being totally disingenuous.
As to English supporters booing the Italian national anthem, they are pure idiots, are not English as we have always believed in fair play and should never have been allowed into the stadium in the first place