Anyways, Naruto is a shounen and it's understenable tgat the author went for the ship
Naruto being a Shounen doesn't really excuse that. The only reason something is Shounen or a different demographic, only depends on the Magazine the Manga is running in. Other than that, it doesn't really mean much. There are plenty of Seinen Manga that could be Shounen, Shounen that could be Shoujo, Shoujo that could be Josei. These labels only come because of the magazine it's running in. To a degree, these magazines obviously have things they want to show and don't want to show, but even these things are rather limited and Mangakas can do whatever they want, no matter the demographic.
It's just the fault of Kishimoto's writing, that the romance wasn't good. Of course, you can argue that Romance wasn't the focus of the manga, which is obviously true. But why include it then ? Bad romance is bad, no matter the focus, it doesn't excuse it.
And no, I never expected Naruto to be with Sakura. It was obvious it's not going to happen. But if Kishimoto was going to make Sakura and Sasuke happen, he needed to write it in a way, that is believable and not just toxic.
Even Naruto and Hinata made more sense, especially because of the movie dedicated to them made this more acceptable, although still not as properly developed as it should have been.
There are other Shounen Manga and Anime that also have Romance and handle it better, be it Cross Game, Rurouni Kenshin, Inuyasha, Eureka 7 and the list goes on.