As his young lions walked off the pitch last night, their mentor....
As his young lions walked off the pitch last night, their mentor was understandably proud. Having personally coached and coaxed every single one of the second half team, he was understandably delighted at the way they acquitted themselves at the hightest level of the game.
For Les Reed, The FA's acting Technical Director, this was the culmination of five years work.
It's a far cry from the days of Keegan, Pearce, Platt, Clemence, Winterburn, Dixon, Dublin, Fashanu et al who all came up to represent England having begun in the non-league and lower divisions.
The players we are now bringing through come to the Senior team are no strangers to international football - they know what to expect and they are ready to play>
24 members of Sven's latest squad have come to the Senior team directly from the Under-21 side. And, as Les Reed explains to TheFA.com, there is no better measure of the success of The FA's International Development Programme.
"Increasing the amount of progression that there is from Under-21 level to the Senior side was is one of the target ratios we set out to improve when we started this new programme in 1998," reveals Reed, who still coaches the England Under-20 side which he is currently preparing for next month's World Youth Championships.
"Obviously to look on and see the line up that Sven selected for the second half night - with every single one of those players having come through our system - is tremendously satisfying.
"I know that I have personally coached all of them at some stage except Hargreaves.
"These days we are able to school our players in international football right the way through the system and we are only just starting to see the real fruits of the work that we have put in over the last five years."
The Stats behind the Facts
Sven's latest England squad was one of the youngest ever. The average age of the 27-man party was 23 years and six months. That makes it an even younger squad than the one selected by Peter Taylor for the match in Italy in November 2000, when England's caretaker boss virtually announced a ban on the over 30s.
All but three of the 27 players in the last Senior squad have been capped at Under-21 level. Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Wayne Rooney are the three.
Four of the 27 have appeared for the Under-21s this season: Paul Konchesky, Joe Cole, Jermaine Jenas and Francis Jeffers.
Five more appeared for the Under-21s last season: Paul Robinson, Ledley King, Sean Davis, Scott Parker and Darius Vassell.
The players in the 27 who have the most Under-21 caps are Frank Lampard (19), Richard Wright (15) and Danny Mills (14). Francis Jeffers' 12 goals in 12 Under-21 matches leaves him one short of Alan Shearer's record tally.
England's youngest team? The eleven players who made up the team to play Wales in Cardiff in 1959 were all under 26. The average age was 22.7. It's possible that an England side against Wales in the 1880s may have been even younger.
The average age of our second-half line-up last night was 21.9 years old.
Wayne Rooney is now England's youngest ever senior international. The record was formerly held by James Prinsep, a Clapham Rovers half-back who made his one and only England appearance against Scotland at Kennington Oval in 1879 at the age of 17 years 252 days. England won 5-4.
Last night Wayne was 17 years 111 days old, so he holds the record by more than four months.
Michael Owen was the youngest England player of the 20th century, making his senior debut against Chile at Wembley in 1998 when he was 18 years 59 days old.
From Daniel Freedman and David Barber