Roy Hodgson enthused by England emergence of Dele Alli and Eric Dier

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Roy Hodgson believes the emergence of Dele Alli and Eric Dier shows there is an abundance of young talent in the English game.

Alli and Dier enjoyed memorable full debuts in England's 2-0 victory over France on Tuesday.

Dier put in an impressive display in front of the back four while Alli marked his first start with a stunning 24-yard strike that flew into the top corner

The Tottenham midfielder won a crunching tackle in the build up to his maiden goal and did the same again for the second, dispossessing Juventus' Paul Pogba to start the move that led to Wayne Rooney's close-range volley.

Alli was playing League One football for MK Dons six months ago so it was nothing short of remarkable that he put on such a commanding performance against a star-studded French team.

"He was fantastic," England manager Hodgson said of Alli.

"It was great that I could have the luxury of bringing him off with five minutes left to play so that the crowd could show their appreciation.

"I thought apart from his goal, which he will be obviously be remembered for, his whole performance throughout the game was first class.

"The same applies to Eric Dier. Here we have two guys both of whom have little or very little Premier League experience - both of them making their (full England) debut and they have played the game like they have been playing in the England team as long as we can remember."

In an age when the number of home-grown players in top-flight football is dwindling, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has bucked the trend and has put his faith in young English talent.

The ?83million Spurs received from Gareth Bale's sale in 2013 was largely wasted on foreign flops, so the club changed tack and Pochettino has put his faith in young English players.

Spurs bought Dier and Alli from Sporting Lisbon and MK Dons respectively last season while Ryan Mason and Harry Kane have been promoted from the club's academy. In Kane's case, the promotion has proved a particularly fruitful one for club and country.

"It just proves the point that I try to make - that there is talent out there in the country coming through and if we can just keep it nurtured, keep working with it and given them the confidence and the belief in themselves we can hope in the future for maybe some better things," Hodgson added.

Hodgson's joy at ending the calendar year with a victory over one of the favourites for Euro 2016 was understandably tempered by the Paris terrorist attacks which claimed 129 lives last week.

Just four days after armed terrorists wreaked havoc on the streets of the French capital, Didier Deschamps and his men travelled to London for a friendly that many thought would not go ahead.

It was a sad night at times, but an important one too. Players from both teams stood shoulder to shoulder in an act of defiance before kick-off and they were once again side by side in the centre circle for an impeccably observed minute's silence.

"I think the occasion was handled quite brilliantly," Hodgson added.

"I think that the way the FA set about showing our respect and marking this poignant and sad occasion - because we are commemorating the deaths and serious injury of hundreds of people - could not have been done any better.

"And then we had to go and play a game of football with a very young team and I have to say I was more than satisfied with our performance.

"I thought it was nice to end the year on a high with a victory even though we still have in our minds the enormous tragedy that has affected the French people and the French team."

England captain Wayne Rooney felt the decision to play the friendly despite last week's attacks was justified.

He said: "I think it was definitely the right thing to do and I think it showed a great unity from both teams and hopefully that sends out the right message."


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