Harry says England U21s not good enough

October 16, 2008

Harry Redknapp does not believe England Under-21s are up to standard - despite their 27-match unbeaten run.

Stuart Pearce's youngsters booked their place in next summer's European Championships finals with a nervy 2-2 draw against Wales on Tuesday, handing them a 5-4 aggregate victory.

But despite remaining undefeated over 90 minutes since losing in France almost three years ago, Redknapp, the Portsmouth manager, does not believe the current crop have the quality to to become full international stars.

Following a 3-1 victory for the senior team in Belarus, which gave them a perfect record after four World Cup qualifying games, Redknapp wrote in The Sun: "While we roar on to the 2010 finals in South Africa, there is a more worrying situation happening immediately beneath the top level.

"England's Under-21 team are not producing what they should - despite qualifying for their Euro 2009 finals.

"On paper, everyone is celebrating the 5-4 aggregate win over Wales, secured at Villa Park on Tuesday. But I look through that young Lions team and I see good players, but no-one outstanding.

"I don't see our next David Beckham or (Wayne) Rooney. No-one dazzles."

Of Tuesday's narrow aggregate win over a Welsh team plucked mainly from the lower leagues, Redknapp added: "Yes, they are through to the finals next summer. But the under-21s is all about fine-tuning players for the national team.

"In the end, England got through courtesy of an own goal after Wales absolutely battered them."