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2013 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Thread

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Post by Duty281 Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:33 am

First topic message reminder :

Starts on the 5th June in Israel. Only 8 teams are in it, so it will all be over in a fortnight. Very simple format, 2 groups of 4, with the top 2 from each group going through to the Semi-Finals. The groups are:

Spoiler:

The schedule (all times BST):

Spoiler:

Squad Lists
BBC's Preview

From an England perspective, it does look like a good squad. Butland, Caulker, Henderson, Rose, Zaha, Shelvey, and Wickham are all names that jump out at you. England are once more led by the experienced Stuart Pearce, who has led England in this tournament in 2007 (lost on penalties in the semis), 2009 (tonked in the final by Germany), and 2011 (knocked out in the groups). Hopes are high, but England haven't triumphed in this tournament since 1984.

All games for UK viewers are live on Sky Sports with commentary of England games on Radio Five Live.


Last edited by Duty281 on Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:45 am; edited 7 times in total

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Post by Ent Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:10 am

chris.wilkerson13 wrote:We could have a team of Butland; Walker Jones Caulker Rose; Morrison* Rodwell Wilshere; Ox Welbeck Zaha. Now I know injury barred a couple of them but they would never have been allowed to go fit anyway.


*who I honestly prefer to Henderson and Shelvey but thats a loose pick

Most of those lads are full internationals, welbeck for one has started most games at a major tournament.

Wilshire and rodwell are injury prone and are better off with a rest.

They didnt need to go to this tournament, they wouldn't have gained anything - aside from maybe oxlaide-chamberlain and even he was scoring in the maracana instead of coming here.

I question what the players have learnt from this, you'd never go to a major tournament with out a settled line up, practice games and constant changes in the starting line up.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:28 am

I feel the exact opposite, and international football is full of teams who have prioritised their youth tournaments over friendlies with the national squad. Tournament psyche, success and experience is bred from these events.

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Post by GSC Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:29 am

Juan Mata played in the last U21 tournament for Spain. They take it seriously
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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:35 am

The Norwegians flew back players who had been with the national squad to make sure they played

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Post by Crimey Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:36 am

To be fair in regards to Mata, Spain don't exactly need him in the full national side anyway.

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Post by Thomond Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:41 am

How many guys who were elligible were missing? I could understand if England had qualifiers on but missing tournament football for pointless friendlies is the dumbest thing the FA have ever done.

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Post by The Special Juan Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:42 am

I love watching England fans turn on their own team. It really is quite something. (not directed at anyone here I might add!!)
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Post by GSC Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:45 am

Mata was still in the WC squad prior.

I said it previously, the German FA and Bundesliga recognised a problem with a lack of local youth and rectified it. Onus now upon the FA and PL to do the same.
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Post by Ent Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:48 am

chris.wilkerson13 wrote:I feel the exact opposite, and international football is full of teams who have prioritised their youth tournaments over friendlies with the national squad. Tournament psyche, success and experience is bred from these events.

I'm not sure that holds true when you look at the statistics.

Youth development is important obviously but the suggestion is that you send already developed players to a youth tournament so you can increase your chances of winning - who benefits from this?

The likes of welbeck and Sturridge have 15 appearances for the u21s and played at previous tournaments, no point in them playing in it again.

Wilshere is short of caps for both but largely due to injury and is only coming back - would have been risky picking him.

Really you are talking about taking phil jones and rodwell. Jones is playing for united in the cl, breaking into the full national side with a realistic chance of being first choice for brazil and rodwell is injury prone and just back from injury. Oxlaide - chamberlain could have benefitted and should have joined up with the squad.

I don't see the situation being similar to sending a top player with full caps to the tournament for experience because he is being kept out of the full side by mega stars.


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Post by Thomond Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:48 am

The German model is what every national team (especially with the population in England) who wants to improve should follow. They did great work in the space of ten years and now Germany are up there with the best, you can get success quick in large countires if you make changes.


Going to plug this piece I wrote as it pretty much sums up my thoughtso nthe matter, written last year though: http://v2journal.com/england-where-next.html

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Post by Duty281 Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:38 am

Thomond wrote:How many guys who were elligible were missing? I could understand if England had qualifiers on but missing tournament football for pointless friendlies is the dumbest thing the FA have ever done.

Luke Shaw, Raheem Sterling, Callum McManaman, Martin Kelly, Gary Gardner, and Will Hughes were those who were injured.

Phil Jones, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere, Jack Rodwell, and Danny Welbeck were simply unavailable.

Maybe now the FA will be forced into a shake-up at grassroots level simply because of all the negative press this is causing. Or maybe we'll have to wait until after the U20 World Cup for anything to materialise.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:54 am

I'm not so sure it's the amount of foreigners in the Prem that's the problem, because even 15 years ago when the Prem was dominated by English players, we were still crap

All about the coaching. We simply do not have anywhere near enough qualified youth coaches throughout the country
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Post by Crimey Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:05 am

GSC wrote:I said it previously, the German FA and Bundesliga recognised a problem with a lack of local youth and rectified it. Onus now upon the FA and PL to do the same.

The same German FA that have just seen their own U21 side leave the competition at the same stage?

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Post by GSC Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:43 am

The same German FA that have seen players like Draxler, Holtby, Schurrle, Ozil, Reus, Gotze come through?
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Post by NickisBHAFC Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:50 am

GSC is spot on.

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Post by Ent Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:53 am

Crimey wrote:
GSC wrote:I said it previously, the German FA and Bundesliga recognised a problem with a lack of local youth and rectified it. Onus now upon the FA and PL to do the same.

The same German FA that have just seen their own U21 side leave the competition at the same stage?

2 narrow defeats, one to a Dutch side with a lot of full internationals. The Germans know they are sending a young side to this competition, to gain experience - it's the start of bringing through the next crop.

So much is wrong other than a handful of players being made in available.

No link to the senior side, either from coaching or formation/tactical approach to games.
No warm up games.
No continuity or plan for starting 11 going into tournament.
Players playing inappropriate amounts of football, either full slogs in the championship or barely getting a kick in pl sides.
Low standard of youth team/reserve football in the league.
Academy recruitment etc etc

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Post by Lowlandbrit Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:05 pm

At the end of the day people can say England didn't have enough PL players all they want, but it's not like Norway or Israel do. Player quality isn't the problem with England (at any level; how many national teams would be delighted to have a full team of players playing in the PL?).

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Post by mystiroakey Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:29 pm

Its hyperboyle.. Our under 21's have performed very well but clearly were faigued and all disjointed in the tourny..

The players we have coming through are looking good. This is as good as it has been since the early 90's . we dont have a RIGHT to be the best like we do in Cricket..Very Happy

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Post by Crimey Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:35 pm

I do think there is a lot of hyperbole, but at the same time this is a bitterly disappointing performance that requires explanation. 

We don't have the right to be the best, but we can expect more from our U21s, Norway and Israel are not world beaters, the positions of their respective senior sides reflects this. 

The team has seriously underperformed, Pearce will be the scapegoat, but there are other issues for the poor performance. I don't agree that it's completely down to the lack of English players in the Premier League, there is still a great pool of players to choose from. I do think that fast-tracking players to the senior side is an issue, but realistically if there is a very good 18 year old, there isn't much use putting him in the U21s if he can be a use to the senior national side. It's when players like Walcott are brought into the senior side at a young age but barely play when they could be gaining experience in the U21s that questions have to be asked.

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Post by mystiroakey Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:31 pm

I really don't want pearce to be the scapegoat or leave ,.I think he is doing a very good job. And we must understand that its a very hard task to do well in a 8 sided tourny. Yes the players underperformed. They were good enough to get through this group. But we do have more talent than norway and israel.

So yes lets blame the players for underperforming. But I think its time to just give these lads a bit of a break and not forget how they got to the tourny in the first place.

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Post by The Special Juan Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:13 pm

Spain benefit from having their B teams in the football league.  Maybe the FA could look at that?
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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:08 pm

I dont see Sturridge, Welbeck, Wilshere, Jones or Ox as developed players. I do think being in a tournament setting with England through youth stages helps growth, and not just for those individuals. It helps the ones they are playing with in that team if they are there and maintaining their presence. Otherwise the team is just cut up consistently and stripped of basic rhythm and also top quality. Its also not just those names up there as this has been happening for years. It gives little respect to the team either. The u21 squad is seen as young players who arent good enough to sit on the England bench.

I dont think its a particular coincidence that we dont produce our best football in tournaments and there is a clear link in the minds of every other major country between the u21 football and main squads.

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Post by Ent Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:39 am

chris.wilkerson13 wrote:I dont see Sturridge, Welbeck, Wilshere, Jones or Ox as developed players. I do think being in a tournament setting with England through youth stages helps growth, and not just for those individuals. It helps the ones they are playing with in that team if they are there and maintaining their presence. Otherwise the team is just cut up consistently and stripped of basic rhythm and also top quality. Its also not just those names up there as this has been happening for years. It gives little respect to the team either. The u21 squad is seen as young players who arent good enough to sit on the England bench.

I dont think its a particular coincidence that we dont produce our best football in tournaments and there is a clear link in the minds of every other major country between the u21 football and main squads.



I don't think there is, If you look back I don't see any correlation with u21 performance and success in world cups or European championships.

Spain hasn't gone well before they started winning, with a first win in 15 years when the senior team had already won the euros and World Cup.

Italy won the WC in 06 after winning u21 in 04 but only 2 players in the squad made the transition. They won 4 in a row prior to that with no real success.

The Germans had a freak batch of players and the senior squad had made the euro final the year before they won it.

The best argument is probably the Dutch getting to the WC final having won 2 recent u21s but even that was a one off for the Dutch.

As for the players, welbeck, Sturridge and jones have all played on this tournament 2 years ago and are full internationals. Wilshere is very injury prone and wasnt worth the risk. Oxlaide-chamberlain should have gone, but I'm sure he learnt a lot from his experience in brazil.

A lot more issues than a handful of players being made available for selection.

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Post by Ent Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:06 am

Risky from the Dutch - mass changes for the game vs Spain- should they lose they will face Italy in the semis rather than Norway.

They are well ahead on goal difference so perhaps they are playing for a draw?

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:42 am

Its definitely more than that issue, but its not just those specific players, the whole point im basically making is around the attitude to this tournament and in turn how our better younger players are used. Whilst im in the camp that thinks it would have benefited those names anyway, I just think the attitude towards it is painted by the hierarchy as one that isnt interested and in turn with the players. Im certainly convinced Ox would have learned more if the team had got to the quarters rather than his game in Brazil. He has played in some pretty big stadiums, he hasnt had anywhere near as much focused tournament exposure. 

Its not the success either. Winning it isnt the point in my eyes. Its a learning experience. Same to the way I dont particularly care if West Ham win youth cups as long as they make some progress but they are being trained a certain way leading to their performance. Its all about attitude and approach, and both are wrong at u21 and lower levels.

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Post by Ent Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:54 am

I agree that it's about learning, but what do you learn going to a tournament with a team that has no practice games, no relationship to the first team, no settled line up etc etc

I'd say going to the country where the World Cup will be held for a friendly is a good learning experience, the appropriate players potentially could have joined up afterwards.

I think the tournament is taken seriously, just that there is a lack of competency in the whole structure of underage football in the country.

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Post by mystiroakey Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:47 am

All i know is that the players that come out of my teams academy seem to have done very well.

However the truth of this is that palace have been a very poor(monetary) team. We are a team that makes money out of breeding players and then selling them on. The reason this players have got to a decent level is because the team has been forced to play them..

Now that we are in the PL the pressure of success and staying up could mean many of our youth players dont get to play as much ..


Its time to think out of the box..

How do other nations approach these problems..

Well the problem is leagues compete against each other in europe..

In america there college system seems a great idea.. But there are no competeing leagues trying to take there players away from them.. How do we fix the real problem in this country..

Its not as if we produce bad players- they just end up bench warming. We won the under 17 WC the other year..

people saying we have low quality grass roots are missing the key problem and in fact are just plain wrong. We do produce- but then the players get lost in a capitalist system

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:56 am

It may be a case that because of the way we pick that some of our U17s might have been a bit more physically dominant. Conor Wickham for one looked extremely good a couple age brackets down, but the game has caught up with him a touch more and now he needs to learn other sides to it

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Post by mystiroakey Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:02 am

Do you know what has happened to the other players in that team. I can only think of Joshua McEachran that is doing anything of note at the moment!!

Where did the players all go?

I have a feeling that all of them are proping up the resevrve teams at united , liverpool and chelsea!

However if they were playing regular football that other clubs(like the palaces) have to do. They would surely have developed well!!

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Post by Crimey Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:20 am

Looking at the squad: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/8713980.stm

there are quite a lot of names in there that are progressing at an okay pace.

Jack Butland is moving to Stoke, so he'll probably be playing regular Premier League football. 
Nathaniel Chalobah is back at Chelsea, but had a very successful loan spell at Watford.
Andre Wisdom has just broken into the first team at Liverpool for a while.
Conor Coady made his full team début and Premier League début for Liverpool last year and is seen as a bright prospect. 
Josh McEachran started to break into the first team at Chelsea before losing his way a bit, decent enough loan spells at Swansea and Middlesbrough.
Ross Barkley couple of good loan spells, had good first team exposure at Everton and might even be moving to Manchester United.
Connor Wickham might have gone backwards since then, but he's still getting decent first team football at Sunderland and Di Canio is supposed to be a fan.

They were all 16 or 17 at this point, so in 3 years you can't expect them to be pulling up trees and I'm not sure immediate first team exposure is always a good thing either, I can still see all of them becoming successful footballers.

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Post by Ent Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:26 am

I don't know if they play appropriate amounts of football.

E.g. Ince and zaha have been playing full seasons in the championship at a young age and both have had dips in form etc

Then you have those that are mentioned that aren't getting a lot of football for the elite teams.

I think a lot of this is down to the poor standards of reserve and youth football tha have developed of late with league restructuring etc.

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Post by Duty281 Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:44 am

The thing with the England U21s is that only a few from one batch will go on to hit the dizzy heights of regular Premier League football and playing at major tournaments for the senior side. The rest will be largely forgotten about by England, but it doesn't necessarily matter - another batch will be along in a couple of years. Look at England's U21 Squad for the 2000 European Championships:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000_UEFA_European_Under-21_Football_Championship_squads#England

How many of those 18 hit the heights? Mills, Lampard, Carragher, Robinson and possibly Ledley King. No need to panic, most of our current U21s are already in the senior side!

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Post by mystiroakey Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:57 am

You would think a natural progression for under 17's is to start playing reagular football(especially after winning the flipping world cup!!) then be the first picks for the under 21's

So whats happened..

You get the under 17's picked from the top clubs youth set ups from man u , liverpool, chelsea, etc..

then they go back and play in the reserve teams.. The under 21's are then picked from lesser teams bercause they are given the chance to play football because there team owners cant afford the best talent from elsewhere!   (the better talent maybe were the ones that got picked by the top clubs in the first place , played in the under 17s now are out of the picture because there is no chance to progress to the full club sides!!).


This system doiesnt seem right to me.. The winners from the under 17 level should have been in the running to get in the u21 team.. Not one of them played.. Whats going on!

This is not a conicidence this is highlighting a major issue..

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Post by Duty281 Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:54 pm

Semi-Finals:

15th June: Spain v Norway, Semi-Final, 16:30
15th June: Italy v Netherlands, Semi-Final, 19:30

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Post by Ent Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:33 am

Final time, should be a good game.

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Post by Ent Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:27 am

Great game so far! 1-1.

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Post by Ent Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:38 am

3-1 Spain, thiago hattrick.

Not a pen in my book.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:42 am

That was never a pen
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Post by The Special Juan Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:22 am

Where's Macheda? Run
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Post by The Special Juan Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:51 am

Laugh This is great. Pitch invaders everywhere. Someone just ran up and hugged a Spanish player too!!
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Post by Duty281 Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:46 am

The Spain machine rumbles on, their second consecutive U21 title.

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Post by Crimey Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:03 am

Scary to think that Spain are top dogs at youth level as well, we could be seeing Spanish domination for a long time now. It must be so refreshing to be Spanish, from a national footballing perspective, after so many years of being the underachievers to be genuine world beaters, arguably the greatest international side of all time and it looks to be continuing for a long time.

It's also weird when you consider that in Spain this success won't be universally supported, considering the regional fractions.

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Post by The Special Juan Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:18 am

A good idea for an article unless it's already been done is to answer the question of who is the greatest sporting nation in the world? You have to think it's Spain these days because:

They're undoubtedly the greatest team in the world's biggest sport (and possibly ever)
They have one of the best tennis players ever (and a few other good players too)
They are dominant in Moto GP
They have a great F1 driver
They have a great cyclist

Any more to add?
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Post by Crimey Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:21 am

They do seem to do very well in the most universally played sports. I imagine if Spain did embrace sports like rugby and cricket they wouldn't take long to catch up.

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Post by Ent Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:51 am

Spain were great tonight, Italy were good too - big dave from de gea at 1-1.

Interesting to see Spain's change in tactic with munain out of the side and thiago further forward and driving into the box more. Also more direct running with morata in the side.

Always room for improvement, wonder if the senior side will do the same...

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Post by Duty281 Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:10 pm

The Special Juan wrote:A good idea for an article unless it's already been done is to answer the question of who is the greatest sporting nation in the world?  You have to think it's Spain these days because:

They're undoubtedly the greatest team in the world's biggest sport (and possibly ever)
They have one of the best tennis players ever (and a few other good players too)
They are dominant in Moto GP
They have a great F1 driver
They have a great cyclist

Any more to add?

Easily England.

Have a decent chance of winning the Football, Cricket, Rugby Union, and Rugby League World cups. Who else can say that?
Only country to win the Football and Rugby Union World cups - the 1st and 3rd biggest sporting events in the World.
Have a few World champion boxers.
Best cyclists in the World.
Best rowers in the World.
Have some of the greatest golfers in the World - Rose, Donald, Westwood, Poulter.
England alone, excluding the rest of the UK, got more golds at the Olympics than the likes of Italy, France, Spain, and Germany.
Darts is a sport isn't it? England dominate there. Same goes for snooker.
I think we do OK for Horse Racing as well.

And I've might missed a few, but there we go. Greatest sporting nation in the World? England.

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Post by NickisBHAFC Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:38 pm

Duty281 wrote:
The Special Juan wrote:A good idea for an article unless it's already been done is to answer the question of who is the greatest sporting nation in the 
They have a great F1 driverworld?  You have to think it's Spain these days because:

They're undoubtedly the greatest team in the world's biggest sport (and possibly ever)
They have one of the best tennis players ever (and a few other good players too)
They are dominant in Moto GP
They have a great cyclist

Any more to add?

Easily England.

Have a decent chance of winning the Football, Cricket, Rugby Union, and Rugby League World cups. Who else can say that?
Only country to win the Football and Rugby Union World cups - the 1st and 3rd biggest sporting events in the World.
Have a few World champion boxers.
Best cyclists in the World.
Best rowers in the World.
Have some of the greatest golfers in the World - Rose, Donald, Westwood, Poulter.
England alone, excluding the rest of the UK, got more golds at the Olympics than the likes of Italy, France, Spain, and Germany.
Darts is a sport isn't it? England dominate there. Same goes for snooker.
I think we do OK for Horse Racing as well.

And I've might missed a few, but there we go. Greatest sporting nation in the World? England.



No chance Wink

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Post by The Special Juan Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:42 pm

Duty281 wrote:
The Special Juan wrote:A good idea for an article unless it's already been done is to answer the question of who is the greatest sporting nation in the world?  You have to think it's Spain these days because:

They're undoubtedly the greatest team in the world's biggest sport (and possibly ever)
They have one of the best tennis players ever (and a few other good players too)
They are dominant in Moto GP
They have a great F1 driver
They have a great cyclist

Any more to add?

Easily England.

Have a decent chance of winning the Football, Cricket, Rugby Union, and Rugby League World cups. Who else can say that?
Only country to win the Football and Rugby Union World cups - the 1st and 3rd biggest sporting events in the World.
Have a few World champion boxers.
Best cyclists in the World.
Best rowers in the World.
Have some of the greatest golfers in the World - Rose, Donald, Westwood, Poulter.
England alone, excluding the rest of the UK, got more golds at the Olympics than the likes of Italy, France, Spain, and Germany.
Darts is a sport isn't it? England dominate there. Same goes for snooker.
I think we do OK for Horse Racing as well.

And I've might missed a few, but there we go. Greatest sporting nation in the World? England.

I admire your patriotism.
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Post by Duty281 Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:42 pm

Of course we do Nick. Only teams that can stop us are Germany, and possibly Spain. I think England's fast counter-attacking game will cause Spain no end of problems though, especially when you consider English players have the greatest stamina in the World. So only Germany in our way.

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Post by Duty281 Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:43 pm

The Special Juan wrote:
Duty281 wrote:
The Special Juan wrote:A good idea for an article unless it's already been done is to answer the question of who is the greatest sporting nation in the world?  You have to think it's Spain these days because:

They're undoubtedly the greatest team in the world's biggest sport (and possibly ever)
They have one of the best tennis players ever (and a few other good players too)
They are dominant in Moto GP
They have a great F1 driver
They have a great cyclist

Any more to add?

Easily England.

Have a decent chance of winning the Football, Cricket, Rugby Union, and Rugby League World cups. Who else can say that?
Only country to win the Football and Rugby Union World cups - the 1st and 3rd biggest sporting events in the World.
Have a few World champion boxers.
Best cyclists in the World.
Best rowers in the World.
Have some of the greatest golfers in the World - Rose, Donald, Westwood, Poulter.
England alone, excluding the rest of the UK, got more golds at the Olympics than the likes of Italy, France, Spain, and Germany.
Darts is a sport isn't it? England dominate there. Same goes for snooker.
I think we do OK for Horse Racing as well.

And I've might missed a few, but there we go. Greatest sporting nation in the World? England.

I admire your patriotism.

Everything we have, trumps Spain. And trumps any other foreign land.

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