England U21s not street-wise enough, insists Aidy Boothroyd
England ended Euro 2019 campaign with just one point from three games
Last Updated: 24/06/19 11:08pm
Aidy Boothroyd admits England were not street-wise enough in their disastrous European U21 Championships campaign, going home with just a point from three games.
Their 3-3 draw with Croatia on Monday night in San Marino was again strewn with defensive errors and attacking endeavour in equal measure, and did not ease the pressure on manager Boothroyd.
Boothroyd did not hide his pain at England's performance at the tournament, but hopes he and the players will learn lessons from the early exit.
He told Sky Sports: "The teams we've played so far have been street-wise, and we're not, and we need to get that into our game.
"Scored six, nine against, it's not tournament-winning statistics, but there are many positives from the way we go forward, and clearly issues we need to address with a new team for next season.
"Why aren't they learning their lessons? It's a good question which I'll be asking tomorrow before we depart. I think at this level, if you make individual errors you get punished."
"We've clearly got the talent, but talent needs structure and steel.
"I think it's more to do with the organisation on the pitch and match-management, what's expected from our players in each situation."
Boothroyd, who signed a two-year extension in May, will see a large bulk of the current squad ineligible for the next tournament due to age restrictions and was left bitterly- disappointed at his side's showing at the tournament.
"It's difficult to put it into words, when you throw yourself into something for two years, and it's over in less than two weeks, it is very painful, but lessons can be learned, and that is important, not to brush things under the carpet."
England's development slumps
Since winning the Under-17 World Cup in October 2017, England's youth sides have struggled across the age groups in tournaments. In the seven tournaments since, they have won the Toulon Tournament, reached the last four of the Under-17s Euros, but otherwise failed to reach a knockout phase.
- October 2017 Under-17 World Cup - WON
- May 2018 - Under-17s Euros - Semi-finals
- June 2018 - Toulon Tournament - WON
- July 2018 - Under-19s Euros - Group stage
- May 2019 - Under-17s Euros - Group stage
- June 2019 - Toulon tournament - Group stage
- June 2019 - Under-21s Euros - Group stage
- July 2019 - Under-19s Euros - Failed to qualify