Next Game

Italy v England

Tuesday, 31 March 2015, 19:45

International Match

Wembley

Last Game

England 4 - 0 Lithuania

Friday, 27 March 2015, 19:45

European Qualifiers Group E

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."

TEAMtalk Facebook Fan Page

The TEAMtalk fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

hould have stayed because we carried him for 6.5 years. And then he has a breakthrough season, and was gone soon after. MU fans, you would be as disgusted had C Ronaldo left in 2007 and not 2009.

godof86
Is Van Persie Slipping Sadly Into The Night?

G

ood grief. Someone guessed that the form English player at the moment might be in his national side with some other players? And that's espionage? Now if they discovered that Emile Heskey was going to be in the starting line up.... at right back.... THAT would be espionage. Give it a rest Roy.

RogerRedHat
Hodgson hits out at Kane leak

H

e may get away with if Liverpool can swap the video with one of Skrtel dancing or something, but if they review the one shown on TV he's screwed.

hump3.
Skrtel denies violent conduct

Footer 365

Tottenham striker Harry Kane to make first England start in Italy

Harry Kane will make his first start for England in Tuesday night's friendly in Italy, Roy Hodgson has confirmed.

Southampton striker Graziano Pelle starts for Italy against England in Turin

Southampton striker Graziano Pelle has been handed a start for Italy in their friendly against England in Turin.

No Team GB football teams for 2016 Brazil Olympics

The FA has formally withdrawn its proposal to enter a Team GB Men’s and Women’s side at the 2016 Olympics.

Mail Box

Can Wenger Coach Young Players Anymore?

One Mailboxer wonders whether Wenger has still got ability to bring through young talent. Plus £50m for Sterling, stop being matey with footballers and Blackpool...

Forget About Flair And Play Like Greece

'Forget about flair and play like Greece' is one outsider's advice to the England national side, while an Arsenal fan wants to sell Theo Walcott to get Marco Reus.

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