Fabio Capello has admitted he must now confront a welcome selection problem ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifying fixture against Wales next month after his much altered line-up secured England's first victory in Denmark since 1978.
This friendly was, in many ways, exceptional for the Italian's tenure to date, if not for the brilliance of his team's performance then for the reality that England's players largely departed Copenhagen with reputations enhanced and devoid of injuries to infuriate their club managers. Capello offered praise for Jack Wilshere on his first start, though it was the impression made by his attacking players, not least the scorers Darren Bent and Ashley Young, that offered real cause for optimism.
"There's big competition because all the players could play," Capello said. "It won't be easy for me to choose. All those players who featured here are in good form. I hope that's still the case when it comes to the games in March and against Switzerland [in June]. I will have the same players, like Wayne Rooney, like Bent, like Andy Carroll, like Jermain Defoe, like Peter Crouch. I have to decide which ones play depending on what form they're in."
Defoe went unused here but both he and Crouch are competing for places at Tottenham, a club with interest in both the Premier League title race and Champions League, while Carroll's rising star was confirmed by his £35m move to Liverpool. Young and Bent appear increasingly assured at this level, with both flourishing at Aston Villa, to suggest sudden strength in depth. While it still seems unthinkable that Rooney might ever be overlooked if fit, Capello does have options.
The manager conceded as much, his responses to this rare win on Scandinavian soil delivered with an ironic smile as he claimed his relationship with the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, Harry Redknapp and Carlo Ancelotti would be healthier "because no one is injured" during the 2-1 success. "I was happy with the performance and with the result," he said. "Darren Bent scored a goal and had another two chances to score a second. But he was always in a good position to score.
"And, of course, Jack [Wilshere] played well. It was not easy for him in the first half because Denmark pressed and ran a lot but he played with a lot of confidence. I'm happy with his display." Asked whether the Arsenal teenager had done enough to earn a place in the side to feature at the Millennium Stadium, Capello said: "We'll have to wait and see over the next month. He has to play some really important games, not only in the Premier League but also in the Champions League. But I'll make a decision nearer the time.
"He is a new player, like Andy Carroll is a new player. Theo [Walcott] is back, [Scott] Parker played well and the goalkeeper Joe Hart did really well with two important saves. I've watched three or four Aston Villa games recently and I like the position Ashley Young is playing, centrally. He's really good there because he's free. He can run where he wants and is fast and technically good, so he can be dangerous. He's strong with his dribbling, his shooting and his passing – a good player."
While Young celebrated a first international goal, Wilshere, so calm and assured on his full debut, was quietly impressive particularly with his tidy distribution, even if England were too open for comfort at times in a free-flowing first half. Yet there were words of congratulation from the absent captain, Rio Ferdinand – "First of many more I'm sure," he wrote on his Twitter site – and obvious pride from the 19-year-old in the aftermath.
"It was great to play for my country and I'm glad my full debut was a win," Wilshere said. "It was a difficult game in midfield and I'm pleased with my performance. That was quite similar to my role at Arsenal. But it was made easier by not going forward quite as much and playing with the players I was alongside. The main thing is that we won. We can take a lot from the game."