Goals from two Villa players gave England a much needed victory over Denmark last night so what can we read into this. First up was a tap-in for right place-right time striker Darren Bent which levelled the game after the Dane’s took the lead early on. The introduction of Ashley Young at half-time was some what of a turning point and it was great to see two Villa forwards lining up alongside each other for the national side. Young looked bright and delivered a delicious toe-poked cross to Bent who could have had a second before neatly slotting away his first goal for the senior international set-up. Stewart Downing also played a part in a late cameo role which saw the England line-up looking eerily familiar. Kyle Walker picked up his first senior call-up but despite a pretty dismal display from starting right-back Glen Johnson, the youngster was not called upon.
So four Villa players in the squad, reduced from five after the withdrawal of Gabby Agbonlahor is great to see for a Villa fan. But I can’t have been the only one to notice the club’s influence on the national side last night. In the second period Capello fielded and attacking line-up which involved Bent, Young and Downing, currently of Villa, alongside Gareth Barry and James Milner who both established themselves as squad regulars whilst at Villa Park. Gary Cahill, who plied his trade at the Midlands club before Villa, perhaps foolishly let him move onto Bolton was also involved in the second half. With all these English current and ex-Villans in the squad I started to think of an England XI, all of Aston Villa at some point still playing, from the last 10 years, and the following is who I picked. If you think you can name a better one or even an all time best English Villa XI keep me posted!
Goalkeeper (53 caps): David James (1999-2001)
Defence (caps 11): Kyle Walker (2011-), Gary Cahill (2004-2008), Luke Young (2008-), Stephen Warnock (2009-)
Midfield (caps 94): Marc Albrighton (2010-), James Milner (2008-2010), Ashley Young (2007-), Gareth Barry (1997-2009), Stewart Downing (2009-)
Forward (caps 8): Darren Bent (2011-)
Luke Young is predominantly a right-back but represents an ex-England international having retired from the national team set-up. Marc Albrighton is the only player in the XI not to have been called up for senior duty but is now an integral part of the Under-21 set-up. The side I’ve produced has a combined total of 166 international caps between them.
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