Israel Under-21s 1 England Under-21s 0 match report: Stuart Pearce rounds on players as Israel inflict final insult at European Championships

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

Teddy Stadium

And so the final humiliation. What is expected to be final act of Stuart Pearce's reign with the England Under-21 team was another deserved defeat and with it their worst ever performance in the finals. Only Israel themselves, who somehow qualify for Eurovision Song Contests as well as European football, have previously ever returned 'nul points', which they did in the 2007 tournament. Back in those days Pearce's England pups were regarded as brave fighters who only lost the semi-final in one of the longest ever shoot-outs. From reaching the final two years later, his sides have regressed to tonight's low point.

While he will take much of the blame and pay with his job after winning only three matches out of 15 at his four tournaments, Pearce announced in a show of defiance that it was time for the players to accept their share of responsibility. “I'm not coming out here and defending anyone,” he said. “I'm sick to the back teeth of doing that in this tournament. If you don't turn up and work hard enough, you won't get any success and that was typical of today and probably the two games prior to it. They should be here answering questions on why their performances were so poor.”

Unfortunately none of those questioned since the first defeat by Italy, which was followed by a 3-1 humbling by Norway, seemed to have any idea of the reasons. The only suggestion from within the dressing-room was that some players gave the impression of wanting to be on holiday rather than putting their reputations on the line.

As an illustration of the broader problem facing English football, Israel's winning goal was made by Omri Altman, who has been at Fulham for two years without yet making the first team. He had already set up the captain Nir Biton to hammer a shot against the bar from 25 yards with Jason Steele groping. 

Watched by the senior team manager Roy Hodgson, England started with seven of the ten players who are available for the next qualifying campaign, which begins in September in a group also including Wales. They do not offer great hope that the campaign will be significantly better. Jordan Henderson, who is no longer eligible, had to be summoned at half-time because the central midfield pairing of Chelsea's Nat Chalobah and Josh McEachran had been particularly disappointing; McEachran looking like a player who has gone backwards.

Wilfried Zaha, given another chance after a poor game against Norway, Tom Ince, who was replaced at half-time and Connor Wickham were all ineffective again. They did not make a chance in the whole of the second half and were beaten in the 80th minute when a clever passing move ended with Ofir Krieff driving in a low shot from 20 yards.

The noisy crowd of 22,813 loved it all and there was no obvious evidence of the hard-line Beitar Jerusalem supporters, who object to Israeli-Arab players (the home country fielded two), causing any problems.

England 4-2-3-1: Steele; Clyne, Lees, Wisdom (capt), Rose; McEachran (Redmond, 71), Chalobah (Sordell, 78); Zaha, Shelvey, Ince (Henderson, 46); Wickham.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
News
people
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
filmThe singers widow and former bandmates have approved project
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
News
i100
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Environment
The vaquita is being killed by fishermen trying to catch the totoaba fish, which is prized in China
environmentJust 97 of the 'world's cutest' sea mammals remain
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?