Stuart Pearce launches attack on English youngsters

Pearce launches attack on English youngsters
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Stuart Pearce accuses Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Phil Jones of "apathy" by claiming that the pair refused to play for the England Under-21s.

Stuart Pearce has accused Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Phil Jones of "apathy" by claiming that the pair refused to be part of the England Under-21 squad for this year's European Championship.

Pearce was replaced as manager by Gareth Southgate after the Three Lions lost all three of their group games at the tournament.

The former defender has now expressed his frustration at certain players not having the desire to represent their country at a lower level.

"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 – who could have played for the England Under-21s this summer?" he told Sky Sports News.

"The odd one was injury, [but] apathy played a big part of it – the Oxlade-Chamberlains of this world, the Phil Joneses, because 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 with the Under-21s any more."

Pearce also hit out at Gareth Bale for his apparent refusal to play for Team GB at the London Olympics.

"I've spoken to him seven months prior about going to the Games," he added. "I'm going to put the squad out on the Friday morning – on Thursday he rings me and says his back's not so good, he's going to have to pull out of the squad.

"He plays his first game for Tottenham pre-season the same day as we play our first Olympic game. We have got the brightest talent in Britain at the time didn't want to go to the Olympic Games."

Pearce took charge of the England Under-21s in 2007 and was dismissed earlier this year.

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