England U21s have suffered unfair criticism

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After a disappointing European U21 Championship campaign, England have fallen victim to a barrage of criticism, due to their lacklustre performances in Israel.

Suffering three defeats and only managing one goal in the process would suggest disparagement is deserved; however, as usual, the British media have falsely emphasised the failures of our young players which will cause further detriment to their promising careers.

The team is incredibly talented and, if given the chance to play regularly together, England, as a national side, would easily form a formidable team, capable of trumping any tournament. 

The difference between the English full-national side, in comparison to European nations is quite obvious: chemistry.

Italian and Spanish players have an understanding with one another from playing club football collectively. This is evident in the current World Cup and European Championship holders, Spain. The team is essentially built up from players who represent Barcelona and Real Madrid, at club level, with the relationship between Xavi Hernandez and Andreas Iniesta standing out.

Their genius often outweighs the obvious; they weren’t born with telepathic communication. They developed this bond overtime since their beginnings at La Masia.

Similarly, Italy’s World Cup triumph was made up of an almost synonymous connection between Andrea Pirlo and Gennaro Gattuso, developed at AC Milan. 

This is the difference between England as a national team which is highlighted further in Under-21 tournaments. Perhaps if Chelsea starlets Josh McEachran and Nathan Chalobah played regularly together, their understanding of each others game would have helped England put in a better show.

Finally, English youth players have also been branded as ‘not good enough’ and their talents have been degraded over the week.

Apparently England does not produce enough young players who are good enough to compete internationally. These claims are extremely bizarre; England have a wealth of young talent which includes Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Moreover, this transfer window has fuelled speculation regarding top club moves for Southampton’s 17-year-old, full-back, Luke Shaw and Derby County’s 18-year-old midfield maestro, Will Hughes.

This has followed Wilfried Zaha’s coveted move to Manchester United which further shows that England continues to produce fabulous players.

With the recent opening of St. George's Park National Football Centre in Burton, there is no doubt that currently, or in the future, England will continue to develop great footballers.


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Wilfried Zaha
England Football

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