England Under-19s head coach Noel Blake maintains the Football Association are always developing technically gifted players - and that "beating us with a big stick" when the senior team comes up short only hinders their work.

The Three Lions' Euro 2012 exit has once more ignited debate over whether England have men of the technical ability to compete alongside the likes of Italian playmaker Andrea Pirlo.

However, Blake, preparing to take his Under-19s to the European Championships in Estonia next week, told Press Association Sport: "When things happen at senior level, people come out and beat us with a big stick. There are a lot of good things going on with football development in England, at the clubs as well as with the national teams."

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