Stewart Downing put in another great performance against Bolton on Sunday.
The Middlesbrough flyer must have impessed Sven-Goran Eriksson by following up his great performance against Lazio in midweek with another good game against Bolton on Sunday.
Let’s be truthful, it wasn’t a vintage weekend for a lot of the England internationals at Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham.
But two England Under-21 players stood out, Middlesbrough’s Stewart Downing and Ipswich Town striker Darren Bent.
Downing seems to be learning that most elusive of qualities for a wide player - consistency.
Just three days after starring against Lazio in the UEFA Cup, Downing was the most creative player on the pitch against Bolton, enjoying a ferocious battle against Under-21 team-mate Nicky Hunt.
"The thing about Stewart is he’s so direct. I think he is the best left-sided player in the country at the moment. He is a centre-forward’s dream," said TheFA.com judge Malcolm Macdonald, who famously scored a record five goals in one match for England.
Downing narrowly got Supermac’s verdict as Lion of the Weekend to take the lead in our Lion of the Season poll and there are many who think he’s got a chance of making Sven’s squad for the next international against Spain.
Downing’s ability to run to the byline and whip in genuinely dangerous centres against Bolton gave him Supermac’s vote but Ipswich striker Darren Bent also deserved an honourable mention with two goals at Burnley in the Championship on Saturday.
Bent, who has a knack of scoring late goals for the Under-21s, was the difference on Saturday as Ipswich won 2-0 at Burnley.
"I don’t know a lot about the lad but it’s a good sign that he’s scored goals when stepping up a level for England," said Supermac. "He will want to carry on scoring so he can help Ipswich get in the Premiership where all good young players want to be."
Lion of the Season - Total nominations so far
Stewart Downing 3
Michael Owen 2
Shaun Wright-Phillips 2
Ashley Cole 1
Rio Ferdinand 1
Steve Gerrard 1
David James 1
Ledley King 1
Alan Smith 1
* TheFA.com selection panel this season are former England internationals: Mick Mills, Russell Osman, Paul Parker, Malcolm Macdonald and Alan Mullery
Every Monday TheFA.com announces the best England player from the weekend with the help of a former professional. The player with most nominations in May will be named Lion of the Season.