Fabio Capello has drawn parallels between the young talent emerging into his England team with the youthful Germany side who were so impressive at last summer's World Cup finals, with the Italian insistent that the signs are promising once again for the national team's future.
Joachim Löw's Germans had swept their way to the semi-finals in South Africa, humiliating England in Bloemfontein in the first knock-out phase and Argentina in the last eight, with Thomas Müller, Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira all excelling en route. Capello has sought to blood younger players since the side's failure in that tournament and has drawn huge encouragement from the performances by players such as Jack Wilshere, Gary Cahill, Ashley Young and Andy Carroll this season.
"I told you that we've got some players, young players, who are really good for the future," said Capello, whose revamped team demonstrated grounds for optimism in the entertaining friendly draw with Ghana on Tuesday. "We have used players like [Danny] Welbeck and [Matt] Jarvis, Wilshere and Carroll.
"These are really important players for the England future. Another is Cahill – a really young, interesting player who has big confidence – and there is [Joe] Hart in goal. I hope that people will talk about us like they did about Germany. These players are improving a lot and playing with confidence."
The absence of Steven Gerrard and Rio Ferdinand through injury, together with the decision to rest a quintet of players who had played in Wales on Saturday, but whose clubs compete in Champions League quarter-finals next week, offered Capello an opportunity to experiment with the youngsters duly staking their claims. Cahill played his first 90 minutes, with Jarvis making his debut as a substitute and Young, so impressive in Cardiff, catching the eye again. "There has been change," said Young. "Look at the players who went to the World Cup and those who are in the squad and the team now, not just against Ghana but in Wales. The manager said he was going to bring change to the squad and I think he has done that."
Wilshere, whose seamless emergence into the senior set-up continued with assured performances against Wales and Ghana, pointed to the greater strength in depth available to the management ahead of June's final Euro 2012 qualifying game of the season, against Switzerland at Wembley.
"There is more competition than ever now," he said. "There are young players with a bit more experience, so it is a good mix. We were missing a lot of big players against Ghana, but there are now players to come in, and younger players as well. That is only good for English football."
Only Glen Johnson, Gareth Barry and James Milner of those who started on Tuesday night against Ghana had played in last summer's tournament – Hart was unused in South Africa – to suggest Capello now has options to explore over the remainder of his side's qualification campaign. That reality, and the assured switch to 4-3-3 that has benefited Wilshere and offered Scott Parker a platform upon which to thrive, has injected confidence back into a national set-up that had been suffering a prolonged hangover from South Africa.
"I've tried to monitor all the players," said the Italian. "For this reason, I know very well the value of the players. But that was in club football. This [level] is different. I think this is a good team because, technically, the players are really good. They have improved.
"But the players who were not here on Tuesday night are also really good, as well as the injured players, Rio and Steven. Don't forget them because they are really important players too. The future looks good."
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