Friday, February 11, 2011

The Premier League's international star performers

England fans are a bunch of supporters who don't turn their noses up at friendly victories over apparently lesser sides in world football such as Denmark. After all, we can't really afford to do that after the general misery and frustration, not to mention lack of success, of the past four years or so. However, last night's win over Denmark really was bordering on the impressive for a number of Premier League stars who furthered their case for consistent inclusion in boss Fabio Capello's plans.

Jack Wilshere is perhaps the most obvious example of this. A man whom the England camp were warned by none other than Mr Confident himself, Nicklas Bendtner, to protect rather than thrust straight into action, the young Gunner looked accomplished in a midfield he was tasked to act as a protective shield for.

Some Arsenal fans may have worried that, denied of the free role to join up with attacks, Wilshere's performance would go unnoticed by the England boss, but it was this very fact that made his performance so strong; we did notice him and his tackles brought more applause from the crowd than some of England's play up front. Of course the international football betting suggested England would win, but it was still nice to see a youngster doing well.

Ashley Young looked more confident in an England shirt than he ever has done before, playing in a more advanced role than usual, just as he has been doing for Villa this season. His goal was the icing on a pretty tasty cake from his point of view, and he's another decent option for Capello to bear in mind and it's something that would no doubt be covered in the latest Andy Gray podcast.

Darren Bent grabbed a goal that, although not exactly the best he'll ever score, will provide him with further confidence when lining up for the national side in the future, whilst a hardworking performance from James Milner may give Roberto Mancini pause for thought when he considers his starting eleven for the weekend's clash against title rivals Manchester United.

England aren't the finished product just yet, that's for sure, but the signs are certainly encouraging for Capello's wounded unit.

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