Last night saw the England Under-21 side ease past minnows San Marino 4-0 with Tottenham striker Harry Kane the star man after scoring his first international hat-trick.
Seemingly this is a fantastic sign that England are producing players that can progress into the full national side and help the country to World Cup glory.
Sadly, this most likely won’t be the case. It has all been seen before and all been said before.
“England have a group of players ready to take on the world.”
But realistically, only a small percentage of these players actually make a difference for England in European and World competitions.
Not only have many of England’s former youth stars been unable to make a name for themselves at full national level, the country has also lost some of it’s brightest talent to other nations.
Liverpool’s on-loan Chelsea star Victor Moyes has switched alliance to Nigeria despite being one of England’s hottest prospects. The winger played at Under-17 & 19 level for England but choose to switch before earning a full England cap.
In recent years the England team has seen a host of young inexperienced Premier League players blooded at international level.
Arguments have been made that players were too young, and that giving them the honour of playing for their country at such a young age meant they had nothing to work for, and it should be a greater privilege to win a cap.
But the young players brought through and practically skipped under-21 level are actually the greater performers.
Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand and recently Ross Barkley were all thrust into the England limelight at a young age and quickly became regular features.
Where as players like Newcastle duo Steven Taylor and Shola Ameobi, Ex-Tottenham midfielders David Bentley and Tom Huddlestone and former Arsenal forward Francis Jeffers all appeared on numerous occasions for the under-21 ones but never became proven internationals.
If you look at the current England squad now a lot of them are going to be about for a long while. The likes of Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck, Daniel Sturridge and the before mentioned Barkley they are all 24 and under, yet have become essential in the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.
It’s unfortunate that England haven’t been able to turn more of their youth stars into internationals who might have been able to aid England in their failed attempts at clinching a European or World title.
It's fantastic for the nation to see the young lions doing well like they did last night, and it's even worse for the fans when they don't.
The failed attempt at success in last summer Euro Under-21 champs was a bitter blow to England, especially with the squad looking very strong.
But if there is future success for our nation's youth teams it will be important for people not to get over excited and presume that we now have a bunch of world beaters amongst our mitts.
As for the team that played last night, out of the 16 man squad I expect only five or six to become regular full internationals - but I hope to be proven wrong.
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