Mark's rallying call

Mark Noble has urged West Ham United team-mate James Tomkins to turn despair to delight by winning the UEFA European Under-21 Championship in 2011.

Both Noble and Tomkins were part of the England squad beaten 4-0 by Germany in the final of this year's tournament on Monday evening.

Two years after suffering a semi-final defeat on penalties to the Netherlands, Noble was again left disappointed as goals from Gonzalo Castro, Mesut Ozil and a late brace from Sandro Wagner handed the Germans their first European U21 title in Malmo, Sweden.

While Noble, 22, has played his last game for the U21s, 20-year-old Tomkins is expected to be a central figure when Stuart Pearce's side go for glory again in two years' time.

"It is worse than 2007," Noble admitted. "As much as we lost in 2007, it was on a high because we were a little bit unlucky with the penalties, but this time we thought we could play as well as we could and win the game. Obviously that didn't happen so we're all gutted, terribly gutted, and I'm just crossing my fingers for the younger lads in the squad that they can go one step further than us and go and win it."

Despite being left in tears following England's shoot-out defeat in Heerenveen, Noble admitted the sight of the German squad receiving their winner's medals and lifting the trophy had left him feeling even lower.

"It's one of the worst things I've ever had to do, to be honest," he said. "I didn't really watch half of it. I couldn't. It was too much to watch. I wanted that to be us up there and not them, but at the end of the day, we lost the game and they picked up the trophy."

England had gone into Monday's final as favourites, having drawn 1-1 with the Germans in the group stage with a shadow team containing West Ham defender Tomkins.

However, the absence of key forwards Gabriel Agbonlahor and Fraizer Campbell and goalkeeper Joe Hart through suspension rendered Pearce's side unable to pierce a German defence that conceded just one goal in the entire tournament.

Afterwards Noble pointed to Castro's 23rd minute opening goal as the defining moment in the game.

"I don't know why it didn't work for us," said the skipper. "We started so well. We started sharp but obviously we had a setback with their first goal and that was terrible for us. You could hear them [celebrating in their dressing room] afterwards so obviously it was gutting for us and our families as well. We thought we'd be bringing home a trophy but we're not."