Former England U21 boss Stuart Pearce has accused Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Phil Jones of ‘apathy’ towards representing the junior side of the highly reputed England side.
Pearce was removed from his post as the U21 manager after his side loast all three starting games of their 2013 European Championship run. The manager blames it on the players who were unwilling to play for the U21 side.
The former boss told Sky Sports News, “In our wildest dreams, do you honestly think that England or any nation in the world can turn up at a major tournament without six or seven… I think there were eight players with senior international caps that didn’t actually come who could have played for the Under-21s this summer.
“The odd one was injury. Apathy played a big part in it. The Oxlade-Chamberlains of this world, the Phil Joneses… If they didn’t want to come… Once they go through the golden ivory towers of the seniors, they don’t want to come and play in the Under-21s any more.
“There’s no nation in the world that could suffer that. However we solve that – if it’s a case of stopping players going into the seniors because they don’t want to step down – like the Spanish boys do, and they’re happy to do so… Our boys, for whatever reason – the powers, the Premier League, the finance they get at such a young age, the lack of real passion to play for your country – no matter what… we have to solve that problem.”
If Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jones actually missed the U21s for the glory of the senior squad, then it is a sad thing because the honour of representing your country, no matter what the competition is, is a big things, and a lot of people wish to get that chance but they never really do.