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Stones and Garbutt start but England U21s are knocked out

24/06/2015  Comments (41)  jump
John Stones returned to the England U21 starting XI this evening for their third and decisive group game but Gareth Southgate's side lost 3-1 to Italy and were eliminated.

The 21 year-old's Everton teammate, Luke Garbutt, made his third start of the tournament but England fell behind to goals by Belotti and Benassi inside the first half hour.

Benassi added a third with 18 minutes left leaving England needing a miracle to progress to the knockout phase.

Nathan Redmond scored a late consolation to make it 3-1 but with the scores level between Portugal and Sweden, neither England nor Italy ended up progressing.  

Reader Comments (41)

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Colin Glassar
1 Posted 24/06/2015 at 20:34:07
Stonesy and Luke are looking very shaky against the Italians. Losing 2-0 so get yer bags ready lads.
Colin Metcalfe
2 Posted 24/06/2015 at 21:06:17
Ings looks terrible! How much did the RS pay?
Colin Glassar
3 Posted 24/06/2015 at 21:13:44
England really are crap at international football. The founding fathers have become the floundering carthorses.

ps: That Danny Ings is absolute rubbish.

Bill Gall
4 Posted 24/06/2015 at 21:18:13
Do England remind you off someone who promises lots but fails when it matters?
Mark Pierpoint
5 Posted 24/06/2015 at 21:35:47
I hope that we are not paying Garbutt too much! A long way to go for me...
Steve Cotton
6 Posted 24/06/2015 at 21:40:29
Ings was the worst player on the pitch by a country mile. God help the team he plays for... who is it again?
Keith Harrison
8 Posted 24/06/2015 at 22:14:35
Well, that should put paid to anyone coming in with big bucks for Stones for a couple of years. Tries to play too much football most of the time. No-one really shone tbh.
Tony Abrahams
9 Posted 24/06/2015 at 22:12:40
Top level football, that competition. Harry Kane, he set the Premier League alight last year, but never scored a goal, itÂ’s tough.

ItÂ’s true what they say about having to learn how to play tournament football. We are a country that doesnÂ’t do pressure very well, possibly because we put to much on ourselves in the first place.

Trevor Lynes
10 Posted 24/06/2015 at 22:25:40
What it really illustrated for me was the fact that Stones needs an old head with him like Jags or Distin. He stood still for their first goal and there was no communication at all at the back.

All the hype about our country’s young players was badly exposed once again and they cannot improve if they are not playing top football regularly. All of these lads would struggle against top European players of their own age.

Craig Fletcher
11 Posted 25/06/2015 at 01:33:22
Tony (9) well said.

Coming from a non-England perspective, it always seems to me that English football teams almost freeze under the burden of expectation/pressure. Of course, there is such a thing as great "tournament teams" as well - the Germans of course being the best example. Not always in World CupÂ’s the best/greatest/most talented individuals by any stretch, but theyÂ’re home bankers to reach the play-off stages of a tournament at least.

Mark Andersson
12 Posted 25/06/2015 at 03:18:10
IÂ’ve said for years That England are to national football the equivalent to Everton. A big let down... but, every once in a blue moon, they win with style.

Can anyone remember the last time? For Everton, it was last season game against Man Utd.

Jim Bennings
13 Posted 25/06/2015 at 07:11:51
Stones, so elegant and sexy with the ball at his feet but gets totally murdered every time he comes up against forwards who are a bit of a handful. This is exactly why last season I kept saying heÂ’s not a great defender yet, to be a great defender especially at centre half, first and foremost you need to be able to defend.

So far with Stonesy his game is all about trying to walk the ball out of defence, which is great but the priority is to be a man mountain that wins personal battles.

I really still donÂ’t feel safe with just Stones and Jagielka as the partnership next season, I expect a lot of similar goals conceded to the season just gone.

John Graham
14 Posted 25/06/2015 at 07:15:36
Looks like the U21s were set up for a draw. Very few flair players. Terrible going forward so pressure on defence from the start. CanÂ’t see many making it into the seniors. Championship players at best. Need some of the new cricketing bravado now.
Harold Matthews
15 Posted 25/06/2015 at 05:51:40
Very disappointed. Our shooting was abysmal. Our defending even worse.

A silly childish Garbutt foul led to their first goal. Stones dithering between backing off and closing down and not blocking the shot with the bravery of Jags or even Galloway resulted in the second. Young lads with lots to learn.

I donÂ’t know what it is with England and tournament football. As David James pointed out. The players are good enough but they operate well below their normal form.

Colin Glassar
16 Posted 25/06/2015 at 07:19:22
I donÂ’t want to pick on any particular player, like the Daily Mail did with their hatchet job on Stonesy, but Danny Ings summed up for me everything that is bad/wrong about English football.

As soon as a young player has half-a-dozen decent games for his team, heÂ’s labelled the next great white hope. HeÂ’s put into the England team and is expected to lead us to the promised land. Ings, Vardy, Austin, Kane etc....these are very good Championship players who surprised Premier League defences but this coming season will be marked out of many a game and will disappear from the international scene (maybe Kane will make it).

There is no progression in football these days. If you shine in a few games youÂ’re put on a pedestal by the media and a national clamour begins for the player to jump into the national team without any sort of apprenticeship or preparation. This way weÂ’ll never win anything.

David Barks
17 Posted 25/06/2015 at 08:07:00
Stones is still a kid, of course heÂ’s not a great defender yet. And not should be. Defending is something you learn with experience, years and years. One’s natural talent only helps this process and means they are that much better when that experience comes. Rio grew into a great defender, as did Terry, and so may others.
Phil Sammon
18 Posted 25/06/2015 at 08:28:29
I completely agree Colin (16)

What really bugs me is how the so called Â’expertsÂ’ in the media all fawn over the likes of Spain and Germany and the way their national teams operate. The way they group together players and bring them through the ranks as polished units rather than individuals.

Then in the next breath they are clamouring for any 18-year-old to be in EnglandÂ’s First Team after three good games despite little to no U21 tournament experience.

I hate International football.

Ian Jones
19 Posted 25/06/2015 at 08:20:26
John Stones should mature into a great defender but is prone to a few errors or poor judgement. As many have said, he is still learning the game. However good he looks coming out of defence with the ball, his main responsibility is defending, and I suppose it could be said that many of the great defenders of the past and recent times also relied on the defensive unit as a whole.

I think I am right in saying he started at Everton as a right back and also played there for England U21s. So is he a right back playing out of position? Perhaps not a marauding wing back type of right back but one who seems to read the game... Lee Dixonish! – and then moved to play centre back

Colin Glassar
20 Posted 25/06/2015 at 08:45:45
Stones will become a great defender but he still has a lot to learn. A couple of times he was, almost, caught arseing around too much on the ball but he will learn from these mistakes.

Garbutt huffed and puffed but was mainly ineffectual, as were all the English players. Too much money, too much hype, too little football brain and devilry. The talent is there, the nouse is seriously lacking despite most of them being very rich men. Too much, too early = lack of desire and drive.

Andrew Ellams
21 Posted 25/06/2015 at 08:50:06
Ian, when he is at right back he looks like a centre-half playing out of position.

The middle is definitely where he is best, but as David Barks says, he is in a position that is highly dependent on experience. There arenÂ’t many that look world class at his age.

Ian Jones
22 Posted 25/06/2015 at 08:54:57
Hi Andrew. Fair enough. Agree about experience. Cannot beat that. What about in a 3 man central defence with 2 wing backs with Jagielka being pushed further back so that in time he can replace Tim Howard in goal.

Slightly more serious. The England Ladies team are not doing too badly. They are gradually moving through the tournament.

Sam Hoare
23 Posted 25/06/2015 at 09:12:58
John Stones is still only 21 which is incredibly young for a CB who rarely reach their peaks until around 30. He has all the ability in the world and the more he plays hopefully the better he will get. I would be very surprised if he doesnÂ’t become a mainstay for the England team but to do that he will obviously have to work incredibly hard.

Luke Garbutt is not yet in the same league and needs to make a regular impression in the Premier League which it sounds like he may get the chance to do on loan at Bournemouth. He has a great left foot but like Stones needs to work on his primary job, defending. IÂ’m not sure whether he is marked for greatness but would be surprised if he does not become a regular starter for some Premier League team over the next decade. Hopefully us.

Paul Thompson
24 Posted 25/06/2015 at 09:31:12
Only watched the first half – that was enough, but did watch the other two games. Wasn’t impressed with Garbutt in any of them. Stones was his usual combination of bold and bewildering. He’ll be fine, but as others have said, only in a tight unit with an old head alongside.

The team as a whole were mediocre to awful throughout. The midfield were completely bossed by the Portuguese and Italians. Kane - who is a very good player - had to more or less make his own chances. Ings is a carthorse and will be lucky to get off the bench at Liverpool.

Incidentally, the women have been more entertaining and if the England-Canada game was not being shown after midnight, I would have happily watched it.

Graham Mockford
25 Posted 25/06/2015 at 09:38:17
Jim Bennings #13

"Stones... ...gets totally murdered every time he comes up against forwards who are a bit of a handful"

A tad overstated perhaps.

I know you love to dig players out but when exactly did this happen last season?

I mean the lad didnÂ’t have the best game last night but for me he was one of the few positives that came out of last season. Of course he will get better as a defender but heÂ’s already good enough to be a regular starter at 21.

Dave Abrahams
26 Posted 25/06/2015 at 09:51:27
I take little notice of the media, I find you get more sense and football know how on ToffeeWeb.
Phil Walling
27 Posted 25/06/2015 at 10:17:23
Not a lot of significance in a mid summer fixture of this kind although enough to say that like most of their England colleagues Â’our twoÂ’ were totally underwhelming.

As ever, both Stones and Garbutt have been hopelessly over-hyped and have much to learn. It will be interesting to see if they can hold down a regular Premier League place next season although the latter will find less competition whilst on loan at Bournemouth.

As posted previously, Season 15-16 should see the end of the Â’potentialÂ’ tag for a host of our younger players who, by seasonÂ’s end, should be judged on what they achieve rather on what they might do in an undetermined time frame.

Paul Kennedy
28 Posted 25/06/2015 at 10:26:29
What a good decision to let Garbutt go out on loan!!!!
Jeff Beaumont
29 Posted 25/06/2015 at 10:56:22
Reminded me of us last season.

30 passes to get to the half way line, most of them sideways or backwards including half a dozen back to the keeper & then devoid of ideas to get any further.

Jim Bennings
30 Posted 25/06/2015 at 11:17:29

It happened at Villa Park in May, it happened when he struggled against the gangly Conor Wickham at home to Sunderland and in the Cup match at West Ham to name a few.

We can go on about Jagielka and Stones being this an that but are either one of them truly commanding in the air?

If ever a goal summed up Everton’s defending throughout the whole of last season it was the last day against Spurs, a free header for Harry Kane inside the box, much the goals conceded at Aston Villa weeks earlier.

Two clean sheets away from home all season.

It’s not just John Stones though that needs to work on becoming solid, our entire defence needs working on and probably you can understand the talk of Ogbonna, Dann for example.

Paul Hughes
31 Posted 25/06/2015 at 11:42:35
Jeff (29),

I completely agree – it was just like watching us last season, sideways passing, no penetration, two or three touches when one was required.

Stones will be a good ’un, but he’s still young for a defender. I remember a young Rio Ferdinand being on the end of a 6-0 we gave to West Ham - he was awful that day, but it must have been a good lesson.

Garbutt looked like what he is, a player with a handful of first-team games against experienced players. A year learning on his feet at Bournemouth and we’ll have much more to judge him on.

Ings stank out the gaffe, which was amusing.

Tony J Williams
32 Posted 25/06/2015 at 12:14:09
I will be a little controversial here. The one thing that actually impressed me was Stones ability to hold his own against the rough and tumble forwards.

Both of Benteke’s goals for Villa was when he was being marked by Jags (if memory serves my correctly) and the Kane goal was to the left of the six yard box, again this is Jags domain.

Strange you should pick the Sunderland game too, two flukey deflected (one offside) and handballed goals. One were Stones was actually rugby tackled by Fletcher in the run up to the offside and handballed goal.

Andrew Ellams
33 Posted 25/06/2015 at 12:22:42
I thought Stones kept Carroll out of the game in the cup replay at West Ham. Admittedly the goal came from an error he made but he mostly outstanding that night.
Tony Abrahams
34 Posted 25/06/2015 at 12:43:24
I’ve only seen Giruud really bully Stones. It was in the FA Cup at Arsenal, but he’s played against him twice since and done okay.

Nobody’s perfect, you always learn better off your mistakes unfortunately, and Stones is going to be a top player, no doubt.

I hope we sign another centre-back and play 3-5-2 next season. Reason is easy, we would have more protection when our fill backs push on like they do.

Also, Stones can bring the ball out of defence to were Barry receives it anyway, there’s no need for a midfielder to receive a ball that deep.

James Stewart
35 Posted 25/06/2015 at 12:58:47
An Under21s side without its best players: Sterling, Barkley etc – not what people were expecting. The majority of that side are not even Championship level
Graham Mockford
36 Posted 25/06/2015 at 13:30:14
Jim #30

Your original post said 'gets totally murdered every time', you really stand by that?

Did he play all season without any mistakes, of course not he's 21 in his second full season. But the picture you paint of him being bullied by physical players is not borne out by what most people have seen.

Dave Abrahams
37 Posted 25/06/2015 at 16:49:51
No one made more mistakes than Alan Hanson when he first played for Liverpool, and he turned out to be one of the best defenders they have ever had.

John Stones will also be a great defender for us, so learn to appreciate him while he is here, unfortunately he will leave sooner or later, that’s how good he is.

Harold Matthews
38 Posted 25/06/2015 at 23:37:41
John Stones is a wonderful footballer who will enjoy a successful career but his game lacks the one thing he will never learn. Blind, mad bravery. YouÂ’ve either got it or you havenÂ’t. He doesnÂ’t have it.

Tim Howard has it in spades. All goal-keepers have it. The madness to throw themselves almost onto the boot of a full blooded shot, determined to save the day with their face or body.

Certain types of centre back also have it. Everyone as mad and brave as a keeper. Jags would head the ball off someoneÂ’s boot if he had to. So too would Terry, Skrtel, Vidic, Shawcross, Cahill, Dawson, Kompany, OÂ’Shea, Williams and many others. All as hard as nails and probably enjoy taking one in the face.

Stones, like Baines and most of the Everton squad, canÂ’t get himself out of the way quick enough. Willing to twist and block a shot with the seat of his pants but never with his face. I watch him do it all the time.

When facing a shot head on, as demonstrated by the second goal, he places his face and body in line with the non-shooting foot and twists his right boot across to the shooting foot, thereby turning his back.

Maybe Ferdinand and Hansen had a similar trait. I donÂ’t know. They certainly werenÂ’t hard types. Like our lad they could tackle hard and fast from most angles but IÂ’m not sure about the kamikaze block with body and face. That takes a special kind of natural born nutter. Skrtel and Vidic have probably shaved with a bread-knife since the age of ten.

Peter Barry
39 Posted 26/06/2015 at 03:31:23
Why do so many Evertonians go so overboard in their praise of what in the great scheme of things turn out to be merely Â’competentÂ’ players and saddle them with so many overblown claims of Â’futureÂ’ greatness. It does neither Everton nor the players any good to be saddled with the mantle of such preposterous claims of Â’futureÂ’ greatness.

Barkley is a player to whom this has been applied in the past and it now seems he will never hit the heights some of our supporters predicted he would and the same people are even now applying the same rhetoric to Stones, Garbutt and even Deulofeu.

By all means praise the finished article who has PROVED he can CONSISTENTLY do the stuff and support the development of our youngsters but please donÂ’t saddle young players with the mantle of Â’Great ExpectationsÂ’.

Ian Jones
40 Posted 26/06/2015 at 08:32:59
Harold at 38. Spot on re bravery of players.
Dick Fearon
41 Posted 27/06/2015 at 20:10:52
Ive said it many times before and say it again.
A centre backs main job is by hook or crook, chip or lob, hoof or pass, get the damn ball as far away from his own goal as quickly as possible.
There are 9 others in the side who should be exhibiting the fancy skills.
Look at the likes of Rio Ferdinand in his pomp, Terry, Cahill, Jackie Charlton, Labone, TG and TE Jones, and just about every CB you can think of.
Not one of them is or was a dribbling play making genious.
On the other hand each and every one would be described as no nonsense safety first characters that strictly obeyed that first principle of get the ball upfield as far as possible and with a minimum of fuss.
Stones is in danger of being remembered more by mistakes made playing the short game than the easy stuff.
Will Jones
42 Posted 27/06/2015 at 21:37:47
If he ever reads this, well done my son!!!! You will can become a true blue! Just ignore the hype and focus on being your best in 5 years time not yesterday!

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