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England's national Under-21 football team, also known as Englandmarker Under-21s or England U21(s), is considered to be the feeder team for the England national football team.

This team is for English players aged 21 or under at the start of a two-year European Under-21 Football Championship campaign, so players can be, and often are, up to 23 years old. Also in existence are teams for Under-20s (for non-UEFA tournaments), Under-19s and Under 17s. As long as they are eligible, players can play at any level, making it possible to play for the U21s, senior side and again for the U21s, as Aaron Lennon, Micah Richards and Theo Walcott have done recently. It is also possible to play for one country at youth level and another at senior level (providing the player is eligible). Nigel Quashie is a former (2004-2006) Scotland international and former England U21 player.

The U-21 team came into existence, following the realignment of UEFA's youth competitions, in 1976. A goalless draw in a friendly against Wales at Wolves' Molineux Stadiummarker was England U21s' first result.

England U21s do not have a permanent home. They play in stadia dotted all around England, in an attempt to encourage younger fans in all areas of the country to get behind England. Because of the smaller demand compared to the senior national team, smaller grounds can be used. The record attendance for an England U21 match was set on 24 March 2007, when England U21 played Italy U21 in front of a crowd of just under 60,000 at the brand new Wembley Stadiummarker, also a world record attendance for a U21 game. The match was one of the required two "ramp up" events the stadium hosted in order to gain its safety certificate in time for its full-capacity opening for the 2007 FA Cup Final in May.

Competition History

Year Progress
1978 Semi Final
1980 Semi Final
1982 Champions
1984 Champions
1986 Semi Final
1988 Semi Final
1990 Failed to qualify
1992 Failed to qualify
1994 Failed to qualify
1996 Failed to qualify
1998 Failed to qualify
2000 Group Stage
2002 Group Stage
2004 Failed to qualify
2006 Failed to qualify
2007 Semi Final
2009 Final
As a European U21 team, England compete for the European Championship, with the finals every odd-numbered year, formerly even-numbered years. There is no Under-21 World Cup, although there is an Under-20 World Cup. For the first six (1978-1988) European Under-21 Football Championships, England did well, getting knocked out in the semi-finals on four occasions and winning the competition in 1982 and 1984. Then, as one might expect with a rapid turnover of players, followed a lean period.

After losing to France in the 1988 semi final, England then failed to qualify for the last eight for five whole campaigns. In the qualifying stages for the 1998 tournament, England won their group, but fate was not on their side. Because there were nine groups, and only eight places, the two group-winning nations with worst records had to play-off to eliminate one of them. England lost the away leg of this extra qualifying round and were eliminated on away goals to Greece. In effect, England finished ninth in the competition despite losing only one of their ten matches.

England qualified for the 2000 finals comfortably. Under the 1996-appointed Peter Taylor England won every match without conceding a goal. But with 3 matches to play, Taylor was replaced in a controversial manner by Howard Wilkinson, who won the next two matches. The three goals conceded in the 3-1 defeat to group runners-up Poland were the only blemish on the team's qualifying record. England got knocked out in the group stage of the European Championship finals in 2000 under Wilkinson.

After enlisting former international star David Platt as manager, England qualified for the 2002 tournament in Switzerlandmarker. Again England did poorly in the group stage. Platt's England failed to qualify for the 2004 tournament and he was replaced by the returning Peter Taylor. Taylor's England qualified from the group but lost to a strong France team in a two-legged playoff and failed to qualify for the 2006 tournament.

The next campaign started shortly after the 2006 finals - the qualification stage of the 2007 competition. UEFA decided to shift the tournament forward to avoid a clash with senior tournaments taking place in even-numbered years. The qualification stage was heavily reduced, being completed in a year's less time. In a 3-team qualification group, England qualified over Switzerland and Moldova, and then won a two-legged play-off with Germany to qualify for the finals to be held in the Netherlandsmarker. At the tournament, England progressed through to the semi-finals where they led for the majority of the match against the hosts. However, after a late equaliser and a marathon penalty shootout, England were eliminated.

In 2009, England finished as runners-up, losing 4-0 to Germany in the final.

Note: The year of the tournament represents the year in which it ends.

Coaching Staff

Head coach

Tenure Head Coach/Manager
1977-1990 Dave Sexton
1990-1993 Lawrie McMenemy
1994-1996 Dave Sexton
1996-1999 Peter Taylor
1999 Peter Reid
1999-2001 Howard Wilkinson
2001-2004 David Platt
2004-2007 Peter Taylor
2007- Stuart Pearce
The original and most successful coach is Dave Sexton, who led the U21s from 1977 to 1990. In this period he combined his duties with managing the top-flight clubs Manchester United (1977-1981) and Coventry City (1981-1983). After Coventry he took a position within the FA as their first Technical Director, at Lilleshall. He handed over U21 responsibilities to England manager Graham Taylor's assistant Lawrie McMenemy for three years before resuming control from 1994 to 1996.

Peter Taylor took over in 1996, and although never winning the tournament, his teams had an excellent record. He was controversially removed from the position in early 1999 however, and replaced initially by Peter Reid, who resigned after just one match in charge to dedicate more time to his other job as manager of Sunderland. Howard Wilkinson took over afterwards, yet could only produce four wins in ten competitive matches and quit after a year and a half in charge. David Platt was in charge from 2001 to 2004, but had little success before Taylor's return. Taylor left in January 2007, as the senior national manager Steve McClaren wanted the U21s to have a full-time manager. Taylor, at the time was combining his duties with his role as Crystal Palace boss.

On 1 February 2007, Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce was appointed as head coach on a part-time basis until after the European Championships in the summer of 2007. Nigel Pearson, Newcastle United's assistant manager, agreed to become Pearce's assistant. Their first match in charge was a 2-2 draw against Spain on 6 February 2007 at Derby County's Pride Park Stadiummarker.

For the match against Italy Nigel Pearson took charge as Stuart Pearce had club commitments. Steve Wigley assisted Pearson.

Pearce was dismissed as Manchester City manager on 14 May 2007, before the 2007 European Championships, but on 19 July 2007 he was named full-time U21s coach. His contract was extended in the summer of 2009.

Other staff

Assistant Coach Steve Wigley
Coach Brian Eastick
Goalkeeping Coach Martin Thomas
Physiotherapists Dave Galley
Mike Healy
Doctor Dr. Mark Waller
Masseur Paul Small
Exercise Scientist Gary Phillips
Video Analyst Steve O'Brien
Kit Manager Mark Simkin


Players

The most caps

Rank Player Club(s) U-21 Caps
1 James Milner Leeds United, Newcastle United, Aston Villa 46
2 Tom Huddlestone Derby County, Tottenham Hotspur 33
=3 Scott Carson Leeds United, Liverpool 29
=3 Steven Taylor Newcastle United 29
=5 Jamie Carragher Liverpool 27
=5 Gareth Barry Aston Villa 27
7 David Prutton Nottingham Forest, Southampton 25
=8 Jermaine Pennant Arsenal 24
=8 Fabrice Muamba Birmingham City, Bolton Wanderers 24
=10 Jermain Defoe West Ham United 23
=10 Nigel Reo-Coker West Ham United, Aston Villa 23


Note: Club(s) represents the permanent clubs during the player's time in the Under-21s. Those players in bold are still eligible to play for the team at the moment.

Statistics up to and including England vs Lithuania, 17 November 2009.

The most goals

Rank Player Club(s) U-21 Goals
=1 Alan Shearer Southampton 13
=1 Francis Jeffers Everton, Arsenal 13
=3 Frank Lampard West Ham United 9
=3 Darren Bent Ipswich Town, Charlton Athletic 9
=3 James Milner Leeds United, Newcastle United, Aston Villa 9
=6 Mark Hateley Coventry City, Portsmouth 8
=6 Carl Cort Wimbledon 8
=8 Mark Robins Manchester United 7
=8 Shola Ameobi Newcastle United 7
=8 Jermain Defoe West Ham United 7


Note: Club(s) represents the permanent clubs during the player's time in the Under-21s.Those players in bold are still eligible to play for the team at the moment.

Statistics up to and including England vs Spain, 18 June 2009.

Current squad

Players born in or after 1988 are eligible for the next UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship.

The following players were named in the squad for the European Under-21 Championship qualifiers against Portugal on 14 November and Lithuania on 17 November 2009.

Name DOB Club Caps (goals)
Goalkeepers
Scott Loach Watford 11 (0)
Frank Fielding Blackburn Roversmarker 2 (0)
Alex McCarthy Yeovil Town 0 (0)
Defenders
Michael Mancienne Wolverhampton Wanderers 21 (1)
Kieran Gibbs Arsenal 14 (3)
Micah Richards Manchester City 13 (3)
Kyle Naughton Tottenham Hotspur 6 (0)
Ryan Bertrand Reading 4 (0)
Chris Smalling Fulham 3 (0)
Ciaran Clark Aston Villa 0 (0)
Kyle Walker Sheffield United 0 (0)
Midfielders
Fabrice Muamba Bolton Wanderers 24 (0)
Danny Rose Tottenham Hotspur 8 (1)
Tom Cleverley Watford 5 (0)
Fabian Delph Aston Villa 4 (0)
Jack Cork Coventry City 3 (0)
Dan Gosling Everton 1 (0)
Henri Lansbury Watford 1 (0)
Forwards
Andy Carroll Newcastle United 4 (2)
Daniel Sturridge Chelsea 4 (1)
Zavon Hines West Ham United 2 (2)


Recent call-ups

The following players have also been called up to the England under-21 squad and remain eligible:







Name DOB Club Caps (goals) Most recent call-up
Goalkeepers
Defenders
James Tomkins West Ham United 7 (0) v , 14 November 2009
Sam Hutchinson Chelsea 0 (0) v , 9 October 2009
Miles Addison Derby County 1 (0) v , 4 September 2009
Joe Mattock West Bromwich Albion 4 (0) v , 25 March 2008
Midfielders
Jack Rodwell Everton 10 (2) v , 14 November 2009
Michael Johnson Manchester City 2 (0) v , 14 November 2009
Junior Stanislas West Ham United 2 (0) v , 14 November 2009
Lee Cattermole Sunderland 15 (3) v , 9 October 2009
Jack Wilshere Arsenal 4 (0) v , 9 October 2009
Mark Davies Bolton Wanderers 0 (0) v , 16 February 2009
Adam Lallana Southampton 1 (0) v , 18 November 2008
Forwards
Danny Welbeck Manchester United 4 (0) v , 14 November 2009
Theo Walcott Arsenal 21 (6) v , 9 October 2009
James Vaughan Everton 3 (0) v , 4 September 2009
Freddie Sears Crystal Palace 3 (1) v , 4 September 2009
Note: Names in italics denote players that have been capped for the Senior team

Results and fixtures 2009–2011

2011 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Qualification Group 9

Current table

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
6 4 1 1 9 5 +4 13
5 3 2 0 10 5 +5 11
5 2 1 2 8 6 +2 7
6 1 2 3 3 7 −4 5
6 0 2 4 7 14 −7 2


Key: Pts Points, Pld Matches played, W Won, D Drawn, L Lost, GF Goals for, GA Goals against, GD Goal Difference

Matches






















Friendlies

See also



References

  1. BBC News - Wembley opener attracts thousands
  2. BBC News - Wembley game 'sold out' in hours
  3. The Guardian - Early set-back on Wembley's big day


External links




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