The vile Bukayo Saka agenda needs to stop

• Completely unjustified blame

• A vile agenda which has lasted for months

• No lessons learnt after Euro 2020 final

England v Iceland - International Friendly
England v Iceland - International Friendly / Richard Pelham/GettyImages

Three years have now passed since the Euro 2020 final, which saw vile racist abuse directed at Bukayo Saka and two of his fellow England stars.

Rather than progress, however, it appears that many of England's so-called 'fans', particularly those who support rival clubs of Arsenal, have decided that there is only one man to blame for anything negative involving the Three Lions - Saka.

Friday evening saw the national team play their last Euro 2024 warm-up match, which resulted in an embarrassing 1-0 loss at home to Iceland - giving some fans flashbacks of Euro 2016... which I am sorry to bring up at all.

The reaction

Saka played just 25 minutes after coming on as a substitute, as his fitness continues to be managed, and came on when England were already losing but, obviously, it is entirely his fault that they failed to win, right? Well, that's what a lot of, to be frank, idiots want you to believe.

Because obviously! Despite boasting a 100 per cent pass accuracy and winning 100 per cent of his ground duels in the short time that he was on the pitch, the 22-year-old was blamed, and at least heavily criticised, by many in the aftermath of the result.

Rather than focus on what looked to be an error from his Arsenal teammate Aaron Ramsdale, or lazy defending from Kyle Walker which contributed to Iceland's winning goal, newspapers across the country and media outlets across the world opted for the below image for their coverage of the game.

Bukayo Saka
England v Iceland - International Friendly / Catherine Ivill - AMA/GettyImages

It is not the first time that the two-time England Player of the Year has been used as the poster boy for a bad England result despite having little impact on the team losing, and I think that there is a clear reason why he is chosen over others, but I'll let you figure that out for yourself.

As well as the previous image, which dominated the back pages and social media of both national and international media outlets, jibes towards a moment when the star threw a paper plane, which had been discarded on the pitch were also made because, again, that was clearly the biggest talking point in the game... not.

Frankly, the reaction from the game has been nothing short of embarrassing, but we should not be surprised, as the onslaught had begun before the game had even kicked off. A presenter for Canadian TV channel TSN Sports, before the game, made a jibe about Saka limping - showing his blatant disregard for the impacts of being played while injured for most of the season.

Just stop it - get behind the players

To put it simply, this harmful media-driven narrative, which has been adopted by far too many of England's ironically called 'supporters', needs to end - and it needs to end now.

While criticism can obviously be justified at times for all players, including Saka, the feeling of a need to slate him for, quite literally, nothing, is just absurd and totally unnecessary. It is as if people have learnt nothing following the aftermath of the Euro 2020 final and it is no wonder that clubs are reluctant to send their young stars to England.

And finally, to those who have joined in with this rhetoric, and needlessly slated Saka to fuel a personal vendetta or club rivalry - you have no right to celebrate his inevitable goals at Euro 2024, none at all.