Around the U21 camps: Monday

Germany made a poignant visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial while Italy and Norway limbered up for their match to decide who wins Group A on day six of the U21 finals.

Harmeet Singh practises on the eve of Norway's game with Italy
Harmeet Singh practises on the eve of Norway's game with Italy ©Sportsfile

Group A

If Stuart Pearce's players were despondent following the team's early exit, the presence of senior England manager Roy Hodgson in Netanya on Monday is likely to reinvigorate them. Hodgson watched on as the team trained for the final time in Israel ahead of their pre-match press conference at Teddy Stadium.

"We've got to use this as a learning curve for everyone's careers, put it down as part of our education and move on from this," England striker Nathan Delfouneso told the Football Association website.

Guy Luzon's side have dusted themselves down following Saturday's 4-0 defeat by Italy and are all set for Tuesday's meeting with England. Requiring a victory themselves, a Norway win over the Azzurrini and a significant swing in goal difference, Israel are determined to do their bit against Stuart Pearce's side.

"We were in a bad mood at the beginning and we didn't know how to accept the fact that we almost lost our chance," said Eliazer Dasa. "We are ready for England. I don't think a tournament like this will be held in Israel for many years to come." Eyal Golasa is suspended following his red card against Italy, but Munas Dabbur and Israel Zaguri are expected to recover from injury.

The Italy squad had some time off in the morning before studying videos of Norway's game against England in the afternoon. Coach Devis Mangia was in jubilant mood at the early evening press conference and revealed with a smile on his face that he would rather "play in the second semi-final because it's cooler". A draw or win would ensure that.

On the injury front, Lorenzo Insigne will play no part in their final Group A game after an ankle injury sustained in the 4-0 victory against Israel. Mangia is hopeful that he will be fit for the semi-finals and announced that Alberto Paloschi, who was also a member of the Italy squad at the 2009 edition, will take his place up front.

Norway reported a clean bill of health at their press conference, where it was revealed that the first half of their match against Italy will be screened live at the national stadium in Oslo before the senior side's friendly against the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Second-half highlights will be shown at the break and coach Tor Ole Skullerud is pleased his charges are getting the credit they deserve. "We're generating a lot of positive attention back home," he said.

The players enjoyed a relaxed morning ahead of their evening training session at Bloomfield Stadium. Markus Henriksen, one of the four players to have joined from the senior squad, is enjoying his time with the U21s. "I'm very happy to be here," said the AZ Alkmaar midfielder. "Spain and the Netherlands are strong sides. I think Spain are a bit better but I wouldn't say no to meeting my friends and colleagues from the Dutch league either."

The Germany delegation at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial
The Germany delegation at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial©Getty Images

Group B

The mood at the German camp was understandably sombre on Monday morning, with some players heading to the pool on the hotel's roof to try and process the team's elimination. For the majority of the squad it was the biggest disappointment of their young careers. "I will put this down to experience, as it certainly wasn't something to write home about,” said defender Stefan Thesker.

Meanwhile, a delegation from the German Football Association (DFB), led by president Wolfgang Niersbach, visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial on Monday morning. The group, which included Otto Rehhagel, Günter Netzer and German Football League CEO Andreas Rettig, laid a wreath at the site and signed the guestbook.

The Netherlands were able to reflect on a job well done. On the brink of qualification for the last four in the immediate aftermath of Sunday's 5-1 victory against Russia, their progress was confirmed by Spain's win against Germany. With eight goals from two fixtures, Cor Pot's side have already shown themselves to be an attacking force to be reckoned with. "We always try to score goals as a team," Georginio Wijnaldum told "We hope we can continue in the games to come."
The squad underwent a gentle warm-down at their hotel on Monday morning before fulfilling various media duties. The players were allowed time off to relax in the afternoon.

It was a low-key day in the Russia camp following their elimination from the tournament with a game to spare in Group B. Senior coach Fabio Capello, who attended the U21s' match against the Netherlands, is not planning to stay for the last group match against Germany. On the injury front, centre-back Maksim Belyaev suffered a slight concussion against the Dutch but joined in with evening training in Bat Yam.

Aleksei Nikitin will captain the side on the road to the 2015 finals, which started with a 3-0 win against Andorra in March. The defender is also in the current squad in Israel and told "This tournament is a great experience even if I'm not playing. The atmosphere is great and I desperately want to return to the finals in two years having witnessed it here."

Spain had a light training session with only the substitutes from Sunday's win against Germany, including goalscorer Álvaro Morata, taking part. Assistant coach Santi Denia, his country's most-capped player at U21 level, concluded the session by leading a six-a-side match. In the afternoon, the team visited the Spanish embassy in Tel Aviv.

Only Italy and La Rojita are yet to concede in the tournament, though Spain now play the highest scoring side at the finals, the Netherlands, to decide who finishes top in their section. The winners will take on the team that come second in Group A on Saturday in Netanya.