Harry Kane and Dele Alli lead inexperienced England in Germany test

Roy Hodgson believes young squad members could develop into top European players

Harry Kane and Dele Alli will spearhead an inexperienced England side at the Olympiastadion this evening with Roy Hodgson urging his young players to draw inspiration from Germany's progress over the past decade and secure inclusion in his team at Euro 2016.

Hodgson has selected a side who have only 161 caps to confront the world champions. The stand-in captain, Gary Cahill, is the most seasoned campaigner with 40 appearances. Kane, flanked by Danny Welbeck and Adam Lallana, will start for only the ninth time as he seeks to maintain the impressive form he has demonstrated at Tottenham Hotspur in establishing himself as the leading scorer in the Premier League.

Alli, whose only previous start came in November's friendly victory over France and who Hodgson likened to a young Bryan Robson, will operate in a midfield three with Eric Dier and Jordan Henderson. The debutant left-back, Danny Rose, completes a quartet of starters from Spurs.


Joachim Löw's side are expected to begin with five players who featured in the 2014 World Cup final against Argentina at the Maracana, and eight who were at the tournament in Brazil, and a lineup who have combined 479 caps.


Hodgson has been denied Wayne Rooney and Joe Hart through injury, and James Milner will start against Holland on Tuesday.

It was the England manager who initially volunteered a comparison with the young Germany team, under Jurgen Klinsmann with Low as assistant at the time, who finished third as World Cup hosts 10 years ago when assessing the potential of his squad. That was subsequently tempered, albeit only slightly, as he assessed his players' recent progress.

"Maybe we are where Germany were in 2006 [when they had] a lot of good young players they wanted to promote," he said. "The experience they're getting in the Premier League and Champions League every week that accelerates their progress but you need to play internationals and tournaments as well. First we have to get to the tournaments, which we have done.

“I personally believe there’s a platform now, of players coming through who could develop into really good quality European players and help the team and the country, in some stage in the future, to win something.


“You can’t guarantee it will happen for us, too [like it did for Germany two years ago]. All we can do is give the players the encouragement they need, the coaching they need, the leadership skills that are required to get the best out of them, and the opportunity. Then they have to take it, as the top players of the past did.

“Joachim Löw gave X, Y and Z chances: they had no experience but he believed in their talent and look how they took their chance. We have to believe the same will happen with ours, because there is no reason not to.”

Kane, whose double against Bournemouth ensured his league goal tally for the season already matches his 21 of last term, has an opportunity to show why he should start against Russia in Marseille in England’s opening Euro 2016 on June 11th.

His performance will come under even greater scrutiny given Rooney started running again only this week after damaging the ligaments in his right knee when Manchester United lost at Sunderland in mid-February. He should benefit from his relationship with Alli, an attacking combination that has been one of the most productive in Europe’s elite domestic leagues this season. The midfielder was playing for MK Dons in League One a year ago and has bypassed the under-21s to feature for the senior side.

Flashes of indiscipline

Hodgson was asked about the occasional flashes of indiscipline that have surfaced in the youngster's game, most notably in the recent Europa League tie against Fiorentina. "A player's temperament is often what brought him to the position he enjoys," he said.

"But I've not seen anything worrisome in it, so that doesn't concern me. Ray Lewington, Gary Neville and I are convinced he has the capacity and ability to play, so we took the chance and have been rewarded. He's now got some games to show what he did against France, and as a sub in one or two other performances, on a regular basis.

“With the Spurs players, if they carry on and play as well for England as they do for Spurs, that would be advantageous for us but I don’t choose them as a block.”

If there is a surprise in Hodgson's lineup it could be the decision not to start with Jamie Vardy, whose form was described as "spectacular" by Low yesterday. The Leicester City striker will be on the bench but is likely to be used at some stage and, like Daniel Sturridge, should start against Holland.

Guardian Service