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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 11:45 GMT
England's winners and losers
England's moment of strewth against Australia was hard to swallow, but there were some positives to be had amid the rubble of the Upton Park shambles.
Plaudits for the performances of Jermaine Jenas, Wayne Rooney and Francis Jeffers in England's 3-1 defeat at the hands of Australia could arguably be heard over the rustling backdrop of straws being clutched.
But, if England fans are not able to focus on the positives, they will go mad in the afterglow of Australia's latest triumph over the Poms.
Here, BBC Sport takes a look at the winners and losers on a night of mixed emotion for England.
Winners and losers:
David James v Paul Robinson
Robinson finally got the chance to prove he deserves the England gloves, despite his relative inexperience.
James made some good stops but some poor decisions in the first half.
Robinson was solid, albeit under less pressure in the second half.
Verdict:Robinson. The first of many caps for Leeds' bright young talent.
Gary Neville v Danny Mills
Neville was keen to make the most of his 55th cap in his first international since April last year.
Found wanting for the opening goal and forward raids were restricted.
Mills was solid and dependable but equally frustrated going forward. That frustration began to get the better of him late on.
Verdict: Neville stumbles on as first-choice right-back.
Sol Campbell v Wes Brown
Campbell looked surprisingly lost in a tatty first-half defensive display. Also wasted one of England's better goalscoring opportunities.
Brown was composed and comfortable but did not have Harry Kewell to contend with for long.
Verdict: Brown's assurance a major boost.
Rio Ferdinand v Ledley King
Ferdinand was badly exposed by Kewell for the second goal and failed to organise his defence in his former Upton Park home.
But King hardly looks like a future replacement and was lost on the big stage. At fault for Australia's killer third goal.
Verdict: Ferdinand still the boss.
Ashley Cole v Paul Konchesky
Cole probably could have done with a rest following his niggling hernia problem. England's first-half format required him to overlap constantly but the Arsenal man struggled to get forward.
Konchesky looked confident on his debut and got forward well, but he is unlikely to pose an immediate threat to Cole or Wayne Bridge.
Verdict: Wayne Bridge was the big winner here.
David Beckham v Danny Murphy
Beckham tried hard to pull the strings in the first half, but there were too many loose ends for even the England captain to handle.
Murphy has been Liverpool's most consistent performer this season and has a continued England future, but struggled to stamp his mark on this friendly.
Verdict: Captain's honours, even on an off day.
Paul Scholes v Jermaine Jenas
Scholes was his usual buzzing self and chipped away at the Aussie defence with some neat passes. Also had a goal harshly disallowed for a foul by James Beattie.
But even Scholes was outshone by Jenas after the break as the young Newcastle midfielder continued his rapid rise this season.
The pick of the new boys - and probably of the senior pack as well.
Verdict: Jenas takes the honours.
Frank Lampard v Owen Hargreaves
Lampard has been one of the Premiership's outstanding midfield talents this season, not that you would have guessed on Wednesday.
Lost cheap possession and looked out-of-sorts.
Hargreaves was better, but missed the chance to display real international pedigree.
Verdict: No score draw
Kieron Dyer v Darius Vassell
Tough contest to call as the two played different roles either side of half-time.
Dyer did his best to suggest he can solve England's left-sided conundrum but had little joy despite constant probing.
Vassell injected some life behind the front two in the second half but blew hot and cold as the game slipped out of England's reach.
Verdict: Dyer gets a second chance
James Beattie v Francis Jeffers
Beattie took his chance well on his England debut and was a good foil for Michael Owen.
Posed an aerial threat and showed some nice touches on the floor, but barely had a sight of goal.
Jeffers transferred his impressive goalscoring habit for England Under-21s onto the senior stage with a superb header to give the young second half side hope.
Verdict: Jeffers edges it, 1-0.
Michael Owen v Wayne Rooney
An abject international display was the last thing Owen needed, given his current crisis of confidence. Was busy up front but gave further evidence that his goalscoring touch has dramatically deserted him.
Rooney became England's youngest-ever player and his senior cap will be the first of many.
At times, his enthusiasm had him crashing around like a bull in a china shop but the chaos he caused was enough to hint he can make the step up to senior level for his country, as he has with his club.
Verdict: Rooney wins to suggest this could be England's partnership of the future.
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