Whatever happened to England likely lads of 2012?
- Credit: Archant
England Under-21s return to Carrow Road on Thursday night for a match against the Netherlands - CHRIS LAKEY takes a look at their last visit
The last time England Under-21s stepped out at Carrow Road was almost six years ago.
It was part one of the 2013 European Championship play-off against Serbia and it's fair to say the Norfolk leg on October 12, 2012, was a lot less controversial one than the away trip.
A penalty from Craig Dawson settled the issue at Carrow Road, in front of a crowd of 17,266, but the return match four days later – which England won 1-0 – was marred by ugly scenes at the final whistle.
Connor Wickham scored the goal in the final minute which sparked scuffles between players and staff, with Danny Rose sent off, assistant Steve Wigley involved in a fight and England players racially abused.
It was all a far cry from Carrow Road, where a good crowd watched England's stars of the future on parade on a nervy evening from the Young Lions.
It was the seventh consecutive home win in a competitive match for England, equalling a record dating back more than 27 years – but whatever happened to the likely lads of 2012?
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Jack Butland, 25: Was in Gareth Southgate's 2018 World Cup squad but forced to play second fiddle to Jordan Pickford. Made 28 Under-21 appearances and has eight senior caps. First called into senior squad for the Euros in 2012 after former City keeper John Ruddy broke his finger. Was relegated with Stoke last season.
Adam Smith, 27: Bournemouth right back made 11 appearances for Under-21s but has never played for the senior team. Started at Spurs, for whom he made one appearance, and was loaned to seven clubs before heading to the south coast in 2014.
Steven Caulker, 26: Has one senior cap to add to his 10 at Under-21 level. Began his career at Spurs, before moving on to Cardiff and QPR. Was a surprise loan signing for Liverpool in 2016 – the last of his three appearances was Norwich when he came on in the final minute, as a striker, and played a part in Adam Lallana's injury time winner. Now with Dundee.
Craig Dawson, 28: West Brom player who scored twice on his Under-21s debut against Azerbaijan in September 2011 – and his 66th-minute penalty proved the difference on the night at Carrow Road. Played 15 matches for England U21s, scoring six goals, but never represented the senior side.
Danny Rose, 28: Spurs left back was in the 2018 World Cup squad. Has 23 senior caps and 29 at Under-21 level. Was out for nine months with injury from May 2017.
Jordan Henderson, 28: The Liverpool man was captain the last time the Under-21s played at Carrow Road. Went on to play for them 27 times and has 44 senior caps. A former England captain, he is a firm favourite of Gareth Southgate's. Currently Liverpool skipper.
Jack Rodwell, 27: Made a £12m move from Everton to Manchester City in 2012, but played only 16 games before joining Sunderland in 2014. Fell out of favour there and his contract was ripped up in the summer. Last seen training with Everton as he looks for a new club. Has 21 Under-21 caps and three for the seniors.
Wilfried Zaha, 25: Began at Crystal Palace, moved to Manchester United but in two years made two appearances and is now back where he started – and playing well. Tricky winger who played 13 times for the Under-21s and twice for the seniors – probably not quite up to that level but we will never know as has since switched to Ivory Coast.
Tom Ince, 26: Much travelled – didn't make it at Liverpool and since then has been at Blackpool, Hull, Derby, Huddersfield and, now, Stoke. Has 18 Under-21 caps but never played for the senior team. In March 2015 he ruled himself out of future under-21s selection, which perhaps hasn't helped his senior chances.
Raheem Sterling, 24: This was Sterling's first Under-21s call-up – at the age of just 17. Left Liverpool for Manchester City in 2015 for around £50m. Often on the defensive in light of controversial headlines and is a bit Marmite to many fans – but media treatment is generally viewed as unfair. Has eight Under-21s caps and 44 at senior level – but just two goals.
Marvin Sordell, 27: Scored three goals in 14 Under-21s games. Came through Watford youth system and has since served the like of Bolton, Burnley, Colchester and Coventry with varying degrees of success. Now with Burton.
Subs: Jason Lowe, Connor Wickham, Jason Steele, Ryan Bennett, Tom Lees, Josh McEachran, Andros Townsend.
Manager: Stuart Pearce
England U21 (4-2-3-1)
Smith, Caulker, Dawson, Rose
Henderson (c), Rodwell (Lowe 46);
Zaha, Ince, Sterling (Townsend 67);
Unused subs: Steele, Bennett, Lees, McEachran, Townsend.
Booking: Sterling. Goal: Dawson 66 pen.