Euro 2020 ended in heartache for Newcastle United coach Graeme Jones, as England lost on penalties to Italy.
The Magpies coach has been on loan with England, after a sensational 2021 with Newcastle.
After helping Newcastle survive, Jones played a role in taking England to the final of the European Championship.
It was a tense game that went the distance, with the Three Lions coming agonizingly close to ending their trophy drought.
It was England’s first final since 1966. The efforts of Gareth Southgate’s team united the nation after a tough 16 months.
For a long time, it looked as though football was coming home. Luke Shaw put England in front early on, and they took that lead into the interval.
But the more the game went on, the more we sat back, and the more pressure the Italians put us under.
Eventually, Leaonardo Bonucci equalised in the 67th minute. 90 minutes couldn’t separate the two sides, and neither could extra time.
A penalty shootout would determine the winners of Euro 2020. Sadly, it was Italy who triumphed.
Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka missed for England. The trio have since received disgusting abuse.
But they were brave enough to step up, and sadly the lottery of penalties didn’t go our away.
Graeme Jones has done Newcastle proud, and England have done the nation proud
Alas, it has been a sensational tournament for England. There is no shame on losing in penalties in the final. To even get that far was a remarkable achievement.
Now attentions will turn back to domestic football, with coach Graeme Jones heading back to Newcastle.
The 51-year-old had been on loan with England, joining Southgate’s backroom staff ahead of the tournament.
According to the Athletic, he has been well liked by the squad – just like he is at Newcastle.
Jones’ arrival at St James’ Park earlier in the year played an important role in our survival.
He’s adored on Tyneside, and he was just a penalty shootout away from being a European Championship winning coach.
While there will be a lot of sadness in the England camp right now, everyone involved should be incredibly proud of what they accomplished.
Newcastle winger Jacob Murphy has echoed these sentiments, sending Jones a message of support on Instagram.
The club posted a picture of Jones and Southgate after the game, praising the England for their efforts.
In response, Murphy commented: “Done us proud Bonner.”
Jones is an excellent coach, and Newcastle United are lucky to have him.
It’s a testament to his ability that Southgate wanted him as part of his setup for the Euros.
Jones is loved by the Newcastle players, and they will be excited for his return with pre-season already under way.