England keeper James wants England ‘B’ team to supplement U21’s

Bristol City keeper David James suggests England should bring back their 'B' team because the Under-21 side is not bringing players through to the full national team.

Bristol City keeper David James suggests England should bring back their 'B' team because the Under-21 side is not bringing players through to the full national team.

James wrote in a column for The Observer: “I recently got to thinking: what is the point of England Under-21s, and is it working?

“The Championship is littered with former England Under-21 players, most of whom never made it to the senior squad.

“Some of our best English players never seemed to bother with that level of football – Wayne Rooney never played there (he had one appearance for the Under-19s before going straight to the senior side the following year); Michael Owen played just once for them.

“If you look at the list of most-capped players at Under-21 level, only three were selected for the World Cup squad this year: James Milner, Gareth Barry and Jamie Carragher.

“The general consensus is that the Under-21s serve primarily as a great shop window – the best route for a young player to command better club contracts. That doesn't do much for our national ambitions.”

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