Jack Wilshere has taken a swipe at former England manager Fabio Capello, claiming the atmosphere has improved under Roy Hodgson and the national team are now reaping the benefits.
The Arsenal midfielder made his first start under Hodgson last night and rewarded his manager with a man-of-the-match performance in England's 2-1 victory over Brazil.
Prior to last night's match Wilshere had only made one appearance under the current England manager, as a substitute against Sweden late last year.
The 21-year-old won his first five caps under Capello, who quit as manager last February, but admits the mood in the squad has changed for the better since his last start in June 2011 report The Evening Standard.
He said: “It’s totally different from before. For one, the manager has changed and all the staff have changed, too, so it’s a totally different atmosphere. It’s a nice atmosphere.
“There are more English people around and we get on really well and are more relaxed.
“We have some good young players now and some with experience, so it’s important we have got a good blend and it worked well [against Brazil].”
Wilshere was praised by his team-mates and Hodgson for his showing and is already being touted as a key player if England are to qualify and do well at the World Cup next year.
But he is refusing to get carried away and added: “I feel my form is getting better and better. I am never happy with where I am. I always try to improve and work hard in training.
“I always want to keep my performances up for my club and then whenever I get called up for England.
“It was a great night personally and for the team as well. The main thing was the team. We had to work hard together and this win was good for our confidence.”
Captain Steven Gerrard feels that beating Brazil shows England are improving under Hodgson and insists they can only get better.
He said: “I think if you beat Brazil, it means there have got to be signs of progress. It doesn’t mean that we’re finished by any means.
“If you look at the names in the squad this time around, it looks a lot stronger in defence, midfield and attack and we have a fantastic goalkeeper.
“If we can keep the competition for places, keep people healthy and fit, we will keep on moving in the right direction.”
But Brazil skipper and Chelsea defender David Luiz has warned England that it will be a different outcome when the two teams stage another friendly in Rio in June.
He said: “Let’s see in the summer, it will be 40 degrees. In this game some [Brazil] players couldn’t run because it was so cold, so in the summer the English players will have to try to play in 40 degrees.”
England’s only low point was a mistake from defender Gary Cahill just after the restart which allowed Fred to cancel out Wayne Rooney’s first-half strike only for Frank Lampard to restore their advantage.
It was the kind of error that will increase pleas for Rio Ferdinand to earn a recall and the Manchester United defender admitted earlier this week that he still wants to play for England. Ferdinand has yet to be picked by Hodgson despite continuing to impress for his club and was left out of Euro 2012 for “footballing reasons”.
But he looks set to suffer more disappointment as when Hodgson was asked about Ferdinand’s chances, he told ITV Sport: “I’m not prepared to rule things in or out. We’ll be taking things on a match-to-match basis but it’s the wrong time to start discussing people who aren’t here.”