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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
science
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
tv
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
News
Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders were pictured embracing in 2012
people
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

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried