Stuart Pearce
Pearce leaves the Under 21 position after six years at the helm.

Stuart Pearce's contract as England Under 21 manager will not be renewed, The Football Association have confirmed.

England exited this summer's Under 21 European Championship after losing all three of their group games despite heading into the tournament among the pre-competition favourites having won their previous nine matches.

Gareth Southgate and Peter Taylor are among the early contenders to replace Pearce, whose inauspicious six-year spell of the Under 21 side, which saw a group stage exit in the same competition in 2011, has sparked calls for a radical overhaul of English youth football

"I'd like to thank Stuart Pearce for his hard work. Nobody can doubt his commitment to the job throughout his time as Under-21 Coach," FA chairman David Bernstein said.

"He has done extremely well in qualifying for finals tournaments, but after the disappointment of the past two tournaments, we believe it is time to change coach.

"On behalf of everyone at The FA I'd like to wish Stuart well for the future."

Pearce, who managed both the full England team which lost to Netherlands following Fabio Capello's resignation last year, and Team GB during the Olympic football tournament at London 2012, took over the Under-21's in 2007.

Elimination on penalties by hosts Netherlands at Euro 2007 was followed by a run to the final two years later with a team including Theo Walcott and James Milner, where they were beaten 4-0 by Germany.

Running alongside his role as assistant manager of the England team, Pearce's young team suffered a group stage exit at Euro 2011 despite possessing a squad including current full internationals Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley and Phil Jones.

The ex-Manchester City's boss' spell as manager ended following defeats to Italy, Norway and hosts Israel this summer with questions subsequently being asked over the success of England youth system.