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Tottenham Defenders Solid In Second Successive England U21 Win

The efforts of three Tottenham defenders helped their national youth side to a decisive win over the Serbia U21s which puts them through to the finals.

Srdjan Stevanovic - Getty Images

Amid scenes of appalling behaviour from both the home crowd and ultimately the opposing players, Tottenham defensive trio Steven Caulker, Adam Smith and Danny Rose played their parts in a crucial tie which sees England progressing to the U21 Euro finals, in a match which may sadly be remembered for the latter earning a red card for retaliation against alleged racial abuse from one of his opposite numbers.

All three of the Spurs youngsters (not joined on this occasion by unused sub teammate Andros Townsend) looked comfortable and confident as components of England's defensive efforts, though none managed to escape a booking at some point during the often scrappy game. While Caulker and Rose's cards were allocated as punishments for slightly overly aggressive challenges (understandable considering the trying circumstances), Smith's was collected for a passage of play which I feel merely exemplified the same traits which have impressed so far in all of the player's games to date. Recovering well to catch up with Nemanja Kojic, Smith executed a cool challenge to stop a counterattack, and was unlucky to see yellow for his efforts. Regardless, the full back was again solid on the overlap going forward and ultimately turned in another good performance for the side.

Though the controversy Rose was involved in after the final whistle will be the likely talking point surrounding the left back in the game's aftermath, I was impressed again by his efforts as a player during the actual period of play. The Sunderland loanee continued to demonstrate decent technical ability, and was particularly unlucky not to notch up an assist after Craig Dawson failed to turn a decent free kick from the end of his boot into an empty net. It's a big shame that Rose won't get to play a further part immediately in England's campaign, because like Caulker and Smith he has made the most of the experience and will surely have impressed anyone from the Tottenham setup who has tuned in so far.