St Jakob Park

Next Game

Switzerland v England

Monday, 08 September 2014, 19:45

Euro 2016 Qualifying Group E

Last Game

Costa Rica 0 - 0 England

Tuesday, 24 June 2014, 17:00

World Cup Group D

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'

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."

Footer 365

Frank Lampard may be set for loan spell at Manchester City and he can expect a warm welcome

Kaveh Solhekol reports from the States as Manchester City close in on a dramatic loan signing.

Louis van Gaal says he is content with Manchester United squad

Louis van Gaal may not sign any more new players after being impressed with Manchester United’s pre-season form.

Transfer News: Manchester City in talks with Frank Lampard over loan move

Frank Lampard's representatives are in talks with Manchester City over a loan move, according to Sky sources.

Mail Box

Are Villa Fans The Lowest Of Them All?

With the possible exception of Blackpool, are any club's fans feeling any more depressed about the start of the season than Villa? We also have a bizarre suggestion and...

How Can Tim Sherwood Be Out Of Work?

Don't peple know his PPG was THE BEST EVER FOR A SPURS MANAGER? We also have mails on Luis Suarez, the new fashion for 3-5-2 and more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property