Manchester United legend Andy Cole has launched a scathing attack on the Football Association after the England U21 side crashed out of the European Championships during the week.
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Much was expected of Gareth Southgate’s side at the tournament in the Czech Republic this summer and after losing to Portugal in the group stage opener, they bounced back to squeeze past their Swedish counterparts in the next game.
That result left them needing just a point in their final game against the Italians to reach the semi-final, but in typical English fashion they couldn’t handle the pressure and fell to a 3-1 defeat to finish bottom of the group.
Cole, who only won 15 caps for the senior team during his career, says the blame lies firmly at the doorstep of the FA and has questioned why certain youngsters were not called up to the squad, citing Germany and Spain as perfect examples when it comes to providing their players with tournament experience:
“The under-21s tournament was a huge disappointment, but nothing changes with the FA. England are not going to change for anybody,” the former United star wrote on his official blog.
“I understand certain players missed it who yes, could have been involved in the tournament.”
“If you look at Spain or Germany, they have young players who get in the senior squad, but when it comes to a major tournament of course they are going to play.”
“If you are that age, you play in the tournament. Just because you play a few times for the senior squad, all of a sudden the English perspective is you are too good to play in a major under-21 tournament. What’s that all about? That’s a joke,” Cole added.