Young and youth earn England win

Capello impressed with Wilshere on teenager’s first start l Bent also scores as visitors come from behind


ENGLAND manager Fabio Capello declared himself satisfied with Jack Wilshere’s audition for a regular place his in side’s midfield after an encouraging friendly victory in Copenhagen.

But he stopped short of guaranteeing the precocious Arsenal midfielder would start against Wales in next month’s Euro 2012 qualifier, after a win secured by goals from Aston Villa duo Darren Bent and Ashley Young.

The 19-year-old Wilshere, who played 45 minutes in an unfamiliar holding role which highlighted his need to improve the defensive side of his game, was intelligent and economical in possession and completed 27 out of 29 attempted passes.

“He (Wilshere) played well,” said Capello. “It was not easy in the first half because Denmark pressed and ran a lot, but Jack played with a lot of confidence. I am happy with that performance.

“But now have to wait for a month because all the players have some really important games, not only in the Premier League but in the Champions League too. It is too early to decide about Wales now.”

Though Wilshere settled into the pace of the game instantaneously, the same could not be said for the majority of his colleagues, particularly those in defence.

Glen Johnson had already needlessly conceded possession twice in dangerous areas before Daniel Agger nipped in ahead of Michael Dawson to power home an inviting centre from Denmark’s own wunderkind Christian Eriksen in the eighth minute.

To their credit, England responded immediately and were level from the next attack when Theo Walcott brought down Wayne Rooney’s crossfield pass, beat his full-back and presented Bent with an easy finish from inside the six-yard box.

Eriksen then hit the base of a post after Joe Hart had used his right foot to good effect to deny Dennis Rommedahl as the hosts looked to reassert their authority.

But England improved greatly after the break, with Rooney’s replacement Ashley Young combining well with Bent in attack.

And the former Watford winger was rewarded with his first international goal midway through the second-half, taking Johnson’s pass in his stride and beating Thomas Sorensen with a calm finish. With Wayne Rooney’s international goal drought continuing, Capello admits the impressive display of Young and Bent, allied to the emergence of Andy Carroll are certainly giving him much to contemplate.

Asked if he might play consider playing Young instead of Rooney, he said: “No. In the future I have players, like Rooney, like Bent, like Carroll, like Defoe, like Crouch.

“I have to decide which one plays from the start depending on what form they are in. There is big competition now and it is not easy for me to choose.”


Darren Bent’s stock continues to rise. A £24m move to Aston Villa looks likely to represent a wise career move and he’s beginning to carry his club form onto the international stage at long last.

Despite his unflinching commitment to the cause, Fabio Capello wasn’t letting John Terry near the armband. Ashley Cole and Gareth Barry were both afforded the honour after Frank Lampard was taken off.

Jack Wilshere was not the only impressive teenager on show. Midfielder Christian Eriksen was a livewire throughout and showed why he is rated so highly by Ajax youth team coach Dennis Bergkamp.