England go out of the U21 Championship in Denmark. England lost 2-1 to the Czech Republic, with the Czech’s scoring 2 late goals. Stuart Pearce’s campaign will be viewed as a failure. Not because they failed to progress out of the group stage but mostly because they failed to show any improvement over the three games. Only 2 goals scored and not many chances created. Running off the ball by players was either labored or non-existent. The style of play was also not very pleasing on the eye with passes often going astray. England’s players need to learn to be patient with the ball and to enjoy having possession. This extends to the senior team. Many times players looked like they were rushing their passes or choosing the wrong option. It’s also frustrating considering a few of these players already play in the premier league, so more was expected of them.
England’s problems go much further then just the U21’s as it really at a junior youth level that improvements must be made. Technique should be emphasized at a young age till it is embedded into their DNA. Too often strength and power is put first before the basic elements of the game. Athletes are being created and not footballers. The discussion will go in England about what went wrong in Denmark. About players that weren’t there or players that under performed. In truth it probably would have made no difference if some players had chose to go to Denmark. England’s failure to evolve technically and tactically has now got them to the point were they are playing catch up to other nations. They could do worse then to import some youth coaches from either Spain, Holland or even France to change their systems. However their pride would most likely prevent that. Others will point to the fact that they have already tried two foreign coach’s already and nothing has changed. However if the three lions ever want to lift the world cup again something radical will have to happen.