David Bernstein admits England Under-21 selection policy left manager Stuart Pearce in difficult position

FA chairman wants a review of why so many players were lost to the England senior side

Netanya

David Bernstein, the departing Football Association chairman, has promised a review of the selection process that sees England's brightest, young talent unavailable for tournaments like the European Under-21 Championship.

A second defeat in two group matches, 3-1 against Norway on Saturday, meant England are already eliminated after their worst performance in four competitions under Stuart Pearce. After winning only three games out of 14 at those finals, he seems certain to be replaced once his contract expires at the end of the month.

Club England board members will discuss his future in the next fortnight, including the new FA chairman Greg Dyke, who officially takes over on 13 July, in their deliberations.

Bernstein said Pearce had "done well over a long period, particularly with all the factors, he's operated with quite a difficult hand". Those factors include the unavailability of players – 13 of them this time – which has affected every one of the tournaments.

Pearce, reluctant to make excuses in advance, or rock the boat while it was still afloat, came out more strongly following Saturday night's defeat. He said: "The team that takes their best players will win the tournament, the teams that don't, won't, they'll go home early. You need teams to come with their strongest players and most senior internationals."

Norway flew four players back from a World Cup qualifier on Friday night and were put on stand-by against England, although only one of them was required to come on.

Bernstein said that England's policy was that nobody selected for the post-season friendlies, at home to Ireland and away to Brazil, would take part in any under-age tournament this summer.

He added: "I do think we need to look at the strategic approach to all these tournaments. I also absolutely support these tournaments, I think they're fantastic, the players benefit from being here, so I can understand Stuart's frustration.

"But if the two clash, then at the end of the day the England senior team simply has to have priority."

Despite the Under-21 tournament being moved to odd years so as not to clash with the senior competition or a World Cup, there always will be crossover, because there are two Fifa international dates every June.

This year, England's senior manager Roy Hodgson insisted on having several players with him who are still eligible for the Under-21s. Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was seen as the one who might have benefited most from being at a tournament for two weeks, but Bernstein said: "He played half an hour of one match, he got the flavour of Brazil, which was important, and did remarkably well in that half an hour.

"He possibly saved a match that we might have lost. I'm sure Roy was extremely happy to have him there.

"You have always got to support the England senior manager in the pressure that he is under of wanting his strongest squad, particularly a World Cup preparatory match in a different country where we had not played for 30 years."

He dismissed the notion that a player could then have joined the Under-21s in Israel. Bernstein said: "We took the view with the climatic situation, the extent of travelling involved and remembering that some other players had travelled back and forth across the Atlantic on club tours."

Bernstein was speaking at a function organised on the theme of kicking racism and violence out of sport, with special reference to Israeli football. England and Israel meet tomorrow in the final group A game, in Jerusalem, when Pearce is expected to give a game to a number of squad players, while still wanting to finish what is likely to be his last match in charge with a win.

Earlier in the day the former England defender Sol Campbell blamed young players for "believing they've made it" and insisted something had to be done about the number of foreign players in the Premier League.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss