Ex-coach turns on Arsenal and United stars
The former England international was deeply unhappy with the pair for dropping out of the Under-21 squad preparing to play in the European Championships and instead appeared for Roy Hodgson’s senior side in a couple of friendly matches.
The Young Lions endured an embarrassing campaign which saw them lose every one of their three group games as they finished bottom and Pearce was relieved of his post which he held for the past six years.
Pearce made his comments via telephone on Sky Sports and The Mirror reports the 51-year-old as saying: “There were eight players with senior international caps who could have played for my Under-21s.
“Apathy played a big part of it – the Oxlade-Chamberlains of this world, the Phil Joneses, because they didn’t want to come.
“Once they go through the golden ivory towers of the seniors they don’t want to come and play with the Under-21s any more. Until we solve that problem there will be no success.”
The former left-back also aimed an attack at Real Madrid’s new world record signing Gareth Bale over the squad for the Great Britain Olympic football team.
Pearce took charge of the team for the Olympic Games last summer with the Welshman expressing an interest in playing under the former Nottingham Forest defender, but pulled out due to an injury.
Although just a few days later, he was playing for Tottenham Hotspur in their pre-season tour of the United States.
“I was going to put the squad out on the Friday,” Pearce continued.
“On Thursday he rings me to say his back is not so good. But he plays his first game for Spurs pre-season the same day as we play our first Olympic game.”
Since Pearce’s comments have come to light, The FA have issued a response clearing Jones and Oxlade-Chamberlain of any wrongdoing and suggesting that the final decisions on squads came from the management.
On the offical website, a statement reads: “The FA are disappointed with the comments of Stuart Pearce with regard to squad selection this summer.
“Squads were selected for the summer tournaments and decided upon by the coaching staff, including Stuart Pearce. The players were then advised accordingly which squads they were in.
“It is unfair to criticise individual players.
“All selections were management decisions and were not taken by individual players.”