Fabio Capello believes the players breaking through to his team could prove as important to England as the new generation were to Germany at last summer's World Cup.
Germany were eliminated by eventual winners Spain in the semi-finals, but they drubbed England 4-1 in the second round and then crushed Argentina 4-0 in the last eight. Their young team included the likes of Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira, Thomas Muller and Manuel Neuer.
At Wembley on Tuesday night, Capello saw young-guns Jack Wilshere, Andy Carroll, Danny Welbeck and Matt Jarvis all take another step on the international ladder, and said: "I hope that people will talk about us like they did about Germany. We have got some young players who are really good for the future. These players are improving a lot and playing with confidence."
Capello also offered name-checks to Joe Hart and Gary Cahill following the 1-1 draw with Ghana, although it was Ashley Young who was given the greatest backing of all.
Previously, Young had been viewed by Capello as one of the players who shrank when they pulled on the England shirt.
However the 25-year-old has revelled in the space afforded to him by a central attacking role at Aston Villa and Capello has noted the improvement.
"Last year Ashley Young played nearly always on the left wing and sometimes on the right," said Capello.
"This year he changed position and improved a lot. Now he is a really important player because the movement between the lines is there."
Capello stressed that those who have served him well in the past should not be forgotten.
"Don't forget Rio Ferdinand and Steven Gerrard because these are really important players, who have been really good for us," he said. "But you need to find different solutions, depending on which kind of players are selected."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms