After an extremely disappointing display at the UEFA U21 European Championships, a new look England U21 side demolished Scotland's youngsters 6-0 in a friendly tie at Bramall Lane on Tuesday evening.
It seemed some wholesale changes were being made in preparation for the upcoming qualification campaign for the U21 European Championships in 2015.
Some familiar faces did return, though only seven players from the squad who went to the European Championships kept their places.
Although Wilfried Zaha was not selected due to his second call-up to the senior England side and Tom Ince out with a groin strain.
With senior England manager Roy Hodgson at the helm temporarily, it seems there was added motivation to the England U21 team, not forgetting the youngsters were up against local rivals Scotland.
In what was quite a comfortable win, Hodgson used the opportunity to make several changes; there was a rare start for Derby County’s Will Hughes who had been involved in the qualification campaign leading up to the European Championship.
His situation with is similar to Nathaniel Chalobah who also played in games prior to last summer’s tournament, except the Chelsea starlet was included in former manager Stuart Pearce’s squad.
Birmingham City’s Nathan Redmond opened the scoring on the third minute mark with Sterling extending the lead before halftime.
Connor Wickham in the second half added the third after a poor kick from Tottenham U21 keeper Jordan Archer.
Ross Barkley grasped his opportunity to impress the England boss, the highly rated Everton youngster displayed some brilliant skill in gliding past Scotland players.
He also scored after winning the ball in midfield and taking the ball from Wickham and finishing coolly in a crowded Scotland penalty area.
Barkley came on in unfortunate circumstances, as Chalobah was taken off the field with an injury.
Jonjo Shelvey stunned the crowd with a wonderful strike, which would prove to be his last input on the game after being subbed off.
Tottenham Hotspur youngster Tom Carroll was also on the scoresheet, after only being on the pitch for three minutes.
Other debutants were Harry Kane, Jesse Lingard, Tom Thorpe, Ross Barkley and Eric Dier.
A special mention to Nathan Redmond who assisted both Raheem Sterling's and Andy Carroll's goals, while also scoring one himself.
It seems the young Lions are turning over a new leaf after displaying the best passing football I have seen from an England side in a very long time and I look forward to the coming season for the youngsters.
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