German youngster Emre Can admitted the heavy 5-0 defeat at the hands of Portugal in the European Under-21 Championship semi-final at the weekend was ‘shameful’.
The Liverpool man was one of a number of players who under-performed against their Portuguese counterparts and admitted he and his teammates have let their country down with a poor showing on Saturday evening:
“I talked a lot this tournament, big talk even,” he said [via Guardian Sport].
“I wanted to win the title. I don’t know why, but for some reason, I didn’t show my best out there. If I am honest, it is just shameful.”
“From the first minute onward we failed to find our rhythm.”
“Our mentality also wasn’t there – we just had everything missing tonight, but excuses and apologies are no help now,” Can added.
Can played in his more favoured central midfield role at the tournament and reminded Reds manager Brendan Rodgers of his qualities as he scored Germany’s equaliser against Serbia in the opening game of the group stages with a classy finish from just outside the area.
The 21-year-old was one of a few signings from last summer that emerged from the season with any credit, but his form did tail off towards the end as he struggled playing in various different positions across the back-line.
He was given a torrid time in the 4-1 defeat by Arsenal at the Emirates in April and was sent-off for two bookable offences before turning in a poor performance on the last day of the season against Stoke City.
Competition for places in midfield for the Reds will be fierce next season, with new signings James Milner and Roberto Firmino expected to take up at least two spots and that could result in another stint in defence for Can.
With Liverpool desperate for some silverware after a difficult few years, fans will be hoping this experience of disappointment at international level does not affect Can’s mentality for the club season ahead.