Stuart Pearce's young Three Lions side were easily beaten by host nation Israel, Norway and Italy - managing to score just once and conceding five goals in the process - despite heading into the tournament off the back of nine consecutive victories.
England now travel back home amid fears of a "crisis" in the English game - talk which senior Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson has rejected.
"We're embarrassed we haven't done ourselves justice," Butland told Sky Sports News. "We know we are lot better than this but we can't keep saying that. We have not proved it and we can only wonder why.
"We wanted this. It's difficult to understand what went wrong we just seemed flat and not ourselves which is difficult to understand."Connor Wickham was more frank in his assessment of England's failure at the tournament and admits there are a lot of bruised egos in the camp.
"It's devastation. I don't think that there are going to be any players that are proud of what we have done," Wickham added.
"We have let our country down, but ultimately we have let ourselves down. Coming into the tournament we had a lot of confidence and we had strength in numbers. Clearly when it came down to it we weren't good enough."However, Wilfried Zaha offered a more optimistic perspective and believes this experience will serve the Under-21's well in future tournaments.
"For me it's my first tournament so it was a different environment," Zaha said. "Perhaps we didn't expect the quality. I think we will be more prepared."