Andy’s Angles: Captain Chalobah, Andre’s display and Downes’ debut - observations as England U20s beat Germany
England Under 20s beat Germany 2-0 at Colchester this evening. ANDY WARREN was there to see how Trevoh Chalobah, Andre Dozzell and Flynn Downes got on
Tale of the game
A crowd of nearly 8,000 fans went home happy from a wet Jobserve Community Stadium after watching the Young Lions beat rivals Germany 2-0.
England came on strong in the driving rain as Joe Willock of Arsenal and Preston’s Lukas Nmecha found the net in the second period, delighting a near-capacity crowd including plenty of young supporters who enjoyed their night out.
Ipswich Town trio Trevoh Chalobah, Andre Dozzell and Flynn Downes all featured, while manager Paul Lambert and his staff watched on at a ground the Blues boss called home between 2008 and 2009.
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The game started at a hectic pace as the two sides settled in the wet conditions, with neither side able to keep control and build in the final third.
It was Germany who were able to settle quickest as two early penalty appeals, both for hand ball, were waved away before Bournemouth goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale pulled off a stunning save to deny Hoffenehim’s Alfons Amade.
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A second superb stop, this time denying Manuel Wintzheimer, soon followed as Germany continued to push forward, but England did soon find their feet.
Grady Diangana of West Ham was their main source of attack, with the forward stealing in to fire just wide before having a shot saved prior to the break.
The tables were turned in the second as England took full control, with Willock’s driving finish from inside the box and Nmecha’s tap in completing the job.
It will have been a proud moment for the 19-year-old as he led the Young Lions out as captain in front of watching club manager Lambert.
Ipswich Town’s young Chelsea loanee is viewed as a central defensive prospect by his parent club and the same is true at international level, as he once again lined up in the middle of the back four.
He’s played the vast majority of his football for Ipswich in a midfield role and it perhaps took him time to adjust during this game, as he was pulled out of position during the early exchanges but soon found his feet after Germany’s dominant spell early in the game.
He showed neat touches throughout, in a game in which he wore a cast on his left wrist, moved the ball well and was even able to burst out of defence on a number of occasions as his trademark swagger was able to shine through.
He showed good leadership skills too as a he talked team-mates through the game and pulled players aside during breaks in play, while the jewel in the crown of his display came in the second half as he got back superbly to deny Makana Baku with a sliding tackle.
Lambert will have been impressed with what he saw, with the youngster likely to start against West Brom on Friday night.
The biggest cheer
Dozzell has had some memorable nights in an England shirt, most notably with the Under 19s, and while he was a little quiet on this occasion the experience will prove vital.
His name received the loudest cheer when the teams were read out, with plenty of Ipswich supporters making the short trip down the A12 for a game watched by Andre’s father, Jason.
Dozzell always wants the ball and makes space to receive it from team-mates at every opportunity, and when he was in possession during this game he showed neat touches and vision to bring others into play.
He saw more of the ball in the second period and the 63-minutes he did play, prior to being replaced, will be of huge benefit as he continues to work his way back to fitness after so long on the sidelines due to injury.
A brief cameo
Flynn Downes made it onto the field with just a minute of normal time remaining, with his arrival greeted by a rendition of ‘Baby Shark’ (which will send shudders down the spine of parents everywhere) from the England band as he made his debut at Under 20 level.
The midfielder, who has impressed in the first two games of Lambert’s reign, was a late call-up to the squad having originally been on standby and has spent the week working with the squad at their St George’s Park base.
While he only played a minute, a week training with some of the best young players in the country will have been of huge benefit to a player who is in just his second season as a professional.
He’s another who is likely to be in the starting XI on Friday night.