Old Trafford

Next Game

Man Utd v Tottenham

Saturday, 08 August 2015, 12:45

Barclays Prem

Neville: Youngsters lacking

Phil Neville feels England's struggles on the international stage are down to youngsters not being 'battle-hardened'.

Last Updated: 02/07/13 at 18:50 Post Comment

Phil Neville: Wants to see young stars playing more 'quality football'

Phil Neville: Wants to see young stars playing more 'quality football'

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Neville, who has called time on his distinguished playing career, formed part of an exciting crop of talent which graduated out of Manchester United's youth system in the early 90s.

He, along with the likes of David Beckham, Paul Scholes and brother Gary, was thrown into the first-team fold at Old Trafford by Sir Alex Ferguson and entrusted with the responsibility of delivering results at home and abroad.

United reaped the rewards of putting faith in players of promise, but that blueprint has not been followed by other top clubs or by the England national team.

A disappointing showing at this summer's European U21 Championship only served to highlight those deficiencies and Neville says more needs to be done to ensure that the stars of tomorrow are given the right stage on which to showcase and mould their ability.

After forming part of Stuart Pearce's coaching team at the U21 Euros in Israel, Neville said: "Our U21 players aren't playing enough quality football early enough.

"I got my experience at 18. Our lads now are 21, 22, 23 and a lot of them still aren't playing and getting the rigours of 40 or 50 games a season. When I was 21, I'd travelled the world playing football, playing three games a week, so my body and mind were battle-hardened.

"A lot of the kids now aren't battle-hardened until they get to 27 - and that's too late. We'll have missed another generation of international footballers.

"Before I went to the tournament, I got emailed a list of all the squads. Part of me felt then that we have got no chance at this tournament. I didn't say anything, but I looked at the Dutch list and the Spanish list and the number of full international players they had, and then at ours, and thought to myself: 'What chance are we giving ourselves?' People say it's easier said than done, but the Spanish, Germans and Dutch do it.

"We've hopefully got a World Cup in a year's time and a lot of players who didn't come with the U21s won't have been to a tournament before, whereas five or six Spanish players who won the U21 tournament will be at the World Cup."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

D

on't go to England at your age, you'll either be mugged or not appreciated. Or made to lump the ball long to a bloke who looks like a mascot.

megabrow (cufc)
Beckenbauer warns Schweinsteiger

F

rom the headline I presumed he meant boots, pants, jim-jams, toothbrush and paste, passport, tickets, premier inn long-term package, Scouse-English-Portuguese-German dictionary, 'How to be a 9 and 3/4' by B. Rodgers, few dozen tins of food and Evian because you can never be sure about the local food/water...

KevinBoatang
Firmino has 'everything' for PL - Willian

H

e looked like he was playing with a plastic pound shop ball in the wind against Juve, his passing was so bad.

paddy7s
Sergio Ramos: Exactly What United Need

Footer 365

Van Persie 'agrees Fenerbahce terms'

Manchester United striker Robin van Persie is close to joining Fenerbahce after reportedly agreeing terms with the Turkish club.

Roma keen to sign Man City striker Edin Dzeko but admit a transfer is not close

Roma have confirmed their interest in signing Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko this summer - but admit a deal is some distance from being agreed.

Manchester United are set to improve their offer for Morgan Schneiderlin

Manchester United will table an improved bid for Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin after their initial £20million bid was rejected, according to reports.

Mail Box

Has Everyone Forgotten About Khedira?

Sami Khedira is one of the signings of the summer and yet he's flown completely under the radar. Plus Dommy S's views of women's football get a right old shoeing...

Women's Success Won't Alter Viewing Habits

The Women's World Cup hasn't inspired everyone. Also in the Mailbox: a plastic's guide to Brazil, Nani regrets, tears over Henry, and The Beach Boys...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company