England boss Roy Hodgson has hit back over Stuart Pearce’s claims he was denied the players he needed to make an impact at this summer’s European Under-21 Championships.
Though Pearce’s side went to Israel with high hopes, they ultimately flopped, failing to win a game as they crashed out at the group stage.Pearce estimated he had been without 17 players, eight of them with senior caps, for the tournament.
He specifically named Manchester United duo Danny Welbeck and Phil Jones, plus Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who all went to Brazil for England’s senior friendly at the beginning of June instead.
Asked whether he regretted the move, Hodgson said: “No. Under-21 tournaments are for the development of players.”I defy people to name the last four winners of the Under-21 and Under-20 Championships.
”Don’t suddenly start suggesting if we don’t win these tournament we are hopeless.
”A lot of the players, who are good at the age of 21 are helping the senior team. That is what counts above all.
”Gary Neville played God knows how many games for the England at senior level but never played one Under-21 game.
”When you are not the senior team manager your job is to provide players for the senior team.”