Football

Neville criticises call-offs

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Phil Neville has claimed the new generation of English players are lacking the necessary desire to get to the top.

The Everton captain was reacting after 12 players pulled out of the England Under-21 international against Italy this week.

"It really saddened me to look at the England Under-21 squad and see 12 pull-outs, when you have a situation where the full national manager is looking to blood and build a fresh young England team," Neville said in The People.

"I find it disgraceful. I felt ashamed that players who have dropped down from the England team to the Under-21s are pulling out of friendly games against Italy.

"I don't see those matches as friendly games at all. It was Italy away from home for England - you should want to play in that game."

Neville says there are exceptions, including rising England star Jack Wilshere, who made his first start for the senior team against Denmark this week.

"You look at James Milner - who turned up every time he was picked for the Under-21s - and I think Jamie Carragher played something like 40-odd times for the Under-21s," he said.

"It's something to do with hunger, desire, something wanting to get to the top.

"The dying breed of players like Carragher, (Steven) Gerrard, me and my brother Gary - maybe we wanted it more than some of the younger generation do.

"But there are younger players who do want it. I look at the way Jack Wilshere plays and I see the hunger in his eyes - you can just see it."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Football
James Milner
Premier League
Everton
Phil Neville
Jamie Carragher
Jack Wilshere
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