England Manager Gareth Southgate has said he is optimistic that players from the U21 set-up have what it takes to look disconsolate at the highest level.
The dejected faces of the players following their defeat by Germany in the semi-final of the Euro U21 have given fresh cause for hope that a golden generation of despondency is just around the corner.
“I spoke to Aidy Boothroyd prior to the tournament about the importance of practising disappointed faces in training, and I’m delighted that it’s paid off,” said Southgate.
“The way Nathan Redmond immediately pulled his shirt up over his face when he missed his spot-kick was top drawer.
“I’m not exaggerating when I say that the desolation the boys showed was as good as anything I’ve seen at senior level.”
Despite their performance, Southgate said that next year’s World Cup might come too soon for the players.
“At the moment we’ve got players in the senior squad who are more than capable of looking utterly crestfallen as early as the group stages.
“However, I see no reason why the likes of James Ward-Prowse and Jordan Pickford can’t look forlorn at Euro 2020 and inconsolable at Qatar in 2022.”