The Rising Under 21’s – Do They Deserve A Chance?

Written by Jamie Poole

England Under 21’s played a brilliant 3-2 victory at St Mary’s over Italy last night scoring a last minute winner to claim victory.

Jack Stephens a Southampton youngster scored a 93rd minute winner to earn a hard fought victory for the young lions and extended their unbeaten run to 15 games. So yes, us England fans do have something to look forward too! The Southampton defender Stephens smashed home the winner to secure a 27th home win in a row for Aidy Boothroyd’s side.

England under 21’s have not beaten Italy on this level  since 1997 but were deserved winners in this very entertaining game.

England celebrate the winning goal

England have never had much luck against Italy which will be very fresh in our minds after the 2015 defeat which ended the U21’s European championship campaign. Both sides have indeed qualified for the U21 Euro 2017 tournament which will be held in Poland.

However the question I am raising in this article is why these players are not being played at senior level. In my opinion the players who currently play for the senior squad have become to used to the national representatives that they aren’t bothered about playing with pride for their country anymore. From what I can infer players like Dier, Henderson and Rooney just don’t seem like they want to be there, they would rather be at home with their lovely wife.

The reason I speak about the U21’s game is because I believe these players should be given a chance to prove themselves. The thing that confuses me is the recent abysmal performances by the senior squad yet none of them are being dropped? I put this purely down to their club status. For example how on earth Vardy who has scored 0 in 13 games got in front of Charlie Austin who has scored 8 in 13, it bewilders me. I personally believe that Southgate who is the favourite to become permanent England manager should make a statement to the senior players by making them fight for their place instead of consistently rewarding them with a place in the starting 11.

By playing the Under-21’s they will be eager and they have much deserved their places considering they have not lost in 15 and have beaten world giants Italy. It’s not like England have anything to lose now anyway. Southgate needs to change something or he will very much follow the legacy that previous managers have left behind.

Should England make a massive re-shuffle? Which England Under 21 players should get a chance? Let us know in the comments below!

featured image by cchana