England World Cup star Chris Waddle believes Fabio Capello has done the right thing by following Germany’s lead and placing his faith in youth.
Waddle was at the 2009 European Under-21 Championships when the core of Germany’s present senior squad first emerged.
Coach Joachim Low was sufficiently impressed by the eventual winners, not only to select Manuel Neuer, Sami Khedira, Jerome Boateng and Mesut Ozil for the World Cup in South Africa but also play them as part of a team that romped past England, then Argentina in the quarter-finals and only succumbed to eventual winners Spain at the penultimate hurdle.
Although England were beaten in that 2009 final, only James Milner made it to South Africa.
The tentative approach has now been abandoned and former Sheffield Wednesday favourite Waddle can see clear similarities between what Low did and how Capello is handling the development of his squad.
Manchester United trio Danny Welbeck, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have all been involved this season, while both Jack Rodwell and Kyle Walker made a massive impression on Capello during last month’s friendly win over Sweden.
In addition, midfielder Tom Cleverley has been selected for two squads and was only prevented from making his debut against Holland in August because the game was postponed due to the riots in London. Jack Wilshere, meanwhile, will be an automatic selection once he has recovered from a worrying ankle injury.
“I have said all along we should mix it up with the young talent,” said Waddle.
“We’ve got players like Wilshere coming through and if it means one or two of the Under-21 lads stepping up, do it.
“I always remember the Euro Under-21s. Germany won it, then a lot of the players went to South Africa and the world saw how good they were.
“If our young players are performing well, take them. Throw them in. We have tried everything else.”