Debutants shine as England earn draw against Germany
Spurs' Eric Dier captains youthful side to 'encouraging performance' at Wembley ahead of next year's World Cup
10 November, 2017 — By Paul Cowling
ENGLAND 0, GERMANY 0
ENGLAND surprised the doubters with an encouraging display against world champions Germany in the first goalless draw at Wembley since October 2010.
Fielding a total of five debutants, Gareth Southgate’s men should have won it too, but substitute Jesse Lingard hooked his shot over the bar with the last kick of the game.
Coach Southgate paid tribute to a side who were the most inexperienced to take the field since 1980 for a full England international – the starting line-up yielded just 101 caps compared to Germany’s 297.
Tottenham’s Eric Dier led by example with a fine performance as captain for the night, and was perhaps a pointer for the future.
“It was a brilliant experience for our players and, without getting too carried away, it was an encouraging performance,” said Southgate.
England, without the likes of Spurs’ injured trio Harry Winks, Dele Alli and Harry Kane, were indebted to debutant keeper Jordan Pickford, who twice made goal-saving stops to deny Timo Werner in an entertaining first half.
Another debutant, Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek – currently on loan at Crystal Palace – with an assured man-of-the-match performance, showing a calm, cool head and an eye for a pass, produced one of the finest senior England debuts in years.
‘I have watched Ruben since he played at Under-16 level,” said Southgate. “He has so many good attributes and we believe in him.”
The tempo was markedly slower in the second half. That was down to Germany, who stifled the fast counter-attacking threat of another debutant, Tammy Abraham, and his co-striker Jamie Vardy. A Vardy header on 49 minutes drew a point-blank save from Marc-Andre Ter Stegen in the German goal.
At the other end, Pickford had little to do, and England’s inexperienced defence showed a calm maturity that should put the whole squad in a good frame of mind for another stern test: Tuesday’s friendly match-up against Brazil.
England: Pickford, Jones (Gomez, 25), Maguire, Stones, Trippier (Walker, 71), Dier (C), Livermore (Cork, 85), Rose (Bertrand, 71) ; Loftus-Cheek; Abraham (Rashford, 59), Vardy (Lingard, 85)
Subs not used Hart: Young, Keane, Cahill
Germany: Ter Stegen, Ginger, Hummels (C), Rudiger, Kimmich, Gundogan (Rudy, 85) Ozil, Draxler (Can, 66), Werner (Wagner, 73), Halstenberg, Sane (Brandt, 85).
Subs not used: Trapp, Sule, Plattenhardt, Khedira, Leno, Stindl, Boateng, Gotze