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England U21 a failing team despite many talents

  • England‘s U21s go home for the second tournament in a row in the group stage of the U21 European Championship
  • 2: 1 against Croatia in the last group game it wasn’t enough to get through them
  • A number of eligible players were missing as they were fully called up England Squad of Gareth Southgate
  • U21 manager Aidy Boothroyd now under pressure – is it his fault?

When the final whistle rang Portugal, England‘s U21 knew that getting out of their group at the U21 European Championship would be an unlikely task.

After losing their opening game to Switzerland 1-0, a 2-0 defeat against Portugal was the last thing the team needed when they started to watch a second group stage in a row in the European Championship.

Come wednesday England hit Croatia, and knew that one more goal – along with one goal against – would get them out of the group. With less than 20 minutes normal driving time, Curtis Jones‘Aim looked like it would get her through after that Eberechi Eze‘s punishment, but joy turned into heartbreak as Domagoj Bradaric scored in stoppage time to send Croatia through at England‘s cost.

On paper, England have some of the best young players in the world and are definitely below par for not making it out of the group. The squad selected for the European Championship includes a number of players with first-class experience, from Everton‘S Ben Godfrey and Tottenham‘S Ryan sessegnon – currently on loan at 1899 Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga – too Liverpool‘S Curtis Jones and Burnley‘S Dwight McNeil. Talent alone is not enough, of course, but where are they? Englandgoes wrong at U21?

Senior squad campaigns

Some of the players in the squad have already sniffed and educated life in the senior national team England international-become-pundit Danny Murphy argued that some players consider it a “punishment” to be under the age of 21. Both are from the U21 national team Callum Hudson-Odoi and mason Grünwald had previously been capped for England. There are now such as Reece James, Bukayo Saka, Jew Bellingham and Phil Foden were all involved in the last World Cup qualifiers for the senior national team. With England Manager Gareth South gate Since they are obviously ready to give youth a chance, it makes sense that some of the U21s could consider the youth team “second best” – especially those who are already on the national team.

Obviously, it’s not a new problem either. The 2019 squad was also bombed out in the group stage, although it was strong again. Many of this squad have since made it to the senior national team with varying degrees of success:

dean Henderson (Manchester United)

Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan, on loan from Chelsea)

James Maddison (Leicester city)

Phil Foden (Manchester city)

Harvey Barnes (Leicester city)

mason Assemble (Chelsea)

Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth AFC)

Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton)

Tammy Abraham (Chelsea)

Solanke Aside from that, these players all play for clubs near the top of the Premier League (or in Tomori‘s case, series A). Failure could be considered an anomaly, but two out of three years indicate serious structural problems at the core of the England Set up youth.

Underachievement – is Boothroyd’s fault?

Maybe some of the blame lies with the manager Aidy Boothroyd. He was involved in the England Youth teams since 2014 and has headed the U21s since 2016. During this time he has led the team to three European Championships and only one semi-final defeat – against Germany in 2017 – to show for it. Yes, the U21 won the Toulon tournament under Boothroyd in 2018, but it’s been quite a struggle since then.

Would have England‘s U21 was in full strength, maybe they would have done better. if South gate want something similar Foden, Bellingham, Saka and James for the senior national team, that goes beyond that Boothroyd‘s control. But even without these players, there is still a good team there that should actually come out of the group stage of the European Championship. If not done before the end Portugal, Close up Croatia and Switzerland should have been reachable.

The future of the U21s

Looking ahead, there are undoubtedly some talented youngsters in the English line-up. Celtic‘S Karamoko Dembele and Aston Villa‘S Louie Barry, 18 and 17 respectively, have played for the U18s this year and are both very much appreciated, while the talented 17-year-old Harvey Elliott, currently on loan at Schwarzbrand from LiverpoolHe was appointed to the current U19 squad. Then there is Jobe Bellingham – the younger brother of Jew – who played for Englandof the youth teams and will not be 16 years old until September. There are definitely more talents coming through.

Of course, players will slip through the cracks too. Jamal Musiala, who turned 18 in February, played for Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga that season and he represented England up to under 21 years. However born in Germany He swore allegiance to a German mother and a Nigerian-British father and made his debut last month. With the potential to be one of the best players in the world, this is undoubtedly a loss for England.

All eyes will be on the senior team as Euro 2020 is taking place this summer, a year later than originally planned, and that could be enough for Boothroyd to remain in office. It is certainly difficult to imagine that a senior national team manager could keep his job after finishing the group stage twice in a row at major tournaments. However, Boothroyd himself described the job as “completely impossible” – could it go on its own? We have to see that in the next few weeks.

One thing is certain, however Englandthe under 21 year olds could – and should – do better.

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