started a game for England either, gave us a glimpse of the youth and vitality that Eriksson will be able to summon from the bench in Germany next month. Walcott played a cameo, coming on for Michael Owen when 28 minutes of the match remained. In the time available, the 17-year-old made a bold, bright impression. But of the new kids on the block, it was Lennon who caught the eye, Lennon who tormented Belarus from start to finish. Forget the result and feel the potential. It was Lennons pace and trickery, for instance, that drew a second rash tackle from Sergei Omelianchuk and got him the red card he thoroughly deserved. And the impact he and Downing made gave the clear impression that these youngsters are in the England squad to stay. Alf Ramsey sprung his wingless wonders on the World Cup 40 years ago. Last night, Eriksson used his squads first warm-up 福彩3d2020 350期藏机图 game to turn England into wide boys again. It may only have been a B international but Lennon and Downing made a big enough impact to suggest they will be far more than passengers in Germany next month. It is highly unlikely Lennon will force David Beckham out of the side, but the pace and the trickery he showed last night emphasised the value he will have to Eriksson coming off the bench if t
hings are not going smoothly. Downing showed great maturity on the left side, too, and enhanced his own prospects of forcing his way into the team if Eriksson wants to use Joe Cole in a more advanced role. Lennon, who
was pictured on the front of last nights match programme, has been given the same No.19 squad number that Paul Gascoigne wore during the 1990 World Cup. Im happy to have any number, Lennon said. If I have a chance to get on at the World Cup, it would be unbelievable. Actually, just playing for England would be unbelievable. Only nine minutes had gone when Owen spread the ball wide to the Spurs winger on the right and he began to run at the unfortunate Belarus left back Aleksandr Yurevich. Lennon stepped outside him as if he wasnt there and then squared for Peter Crouch to tap into the net only for the goal to be ruled out for of
fside. On the other flank, Downings contribution was not quite as spectacular but it was still hugely promising. The presence of a naturally leftfooted player gave the side a good balance and Downings quality soon shone through. He hit one brilliant 40 yard crossfield pass to Lennon and the longer the first half went on, the more responsibility he took. He nearly created a goal for England after half-an hour when the Belarus keeper spilled his dipping free-kick, but Crouch could not quite turn it in. Five minutes later, he went one better. He curled a free- kick straight in to the path of Owen, and when Owens header hit the bar, Jermaine Jenas nodded the rebound home. After Robert Green had been carried off, his own World Cup dreams in tatters, Lennon picked up w
here he had left off. He danced across the face of the Bela
rus area and then tried
to play in Owen with an outrageous backheel that only just eluded Englands centre forward. Downing dragged a late shot across goal and then, 11 minutes from time, he was replaced by Michael Dawson. He and Lennon had done themselves proud.