Lampard shouldn’t play for England, never mind captain them

by Charlie Coffey

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Of the players in the current England squad, it makes sense that he should be captain for tonight’s game against Denmark. But why is he playing in this match in the first place? Why is he even in the squad? We know what Lampard offers for England: a pale imitation of the player he is at club level, and at the moment he isn’t even performing for Chelsea.

Lampard has consistently produced the kind of mediocre performances that are emblematic of the national team at major tournaments. At 31 he is already a fading force. Do England fans want him failing to produce, and hindering Steven Gerrard again in 18 months’ time in Poland and Ukraine? Do they want him playing in the World Cup in Brazil at 34? The answer must be no, and so why is Fabio Capello flogging a dead horse by including starting him in a meaningless friendly against Denmark?

Lampard’s policy of shooting on sight may have worked against some weaker Premier League teams in the past, but it has proven ineffective at international level, and is symptomatic of a direct English style that is easily worked out by more technical sides at each major tournament. Lampard shoots just wide from distance; our pacy wingers beat their man but the final ball lacks accuracy. Such events give the fans ultimately empty promise but ultimately do not produce results. Meanwhile the Germanys and Spains of this world pass the ball accurately and intelligently, and England are outdone yet again. Capello surely needs to bring in players early and use his continental expertise to rid them of their English impatience; to nourish a brand of football to compete with the technical sides that win international tournaments.

If England’s promising younger players are to gel in time for these tournaments, Capello needs to use every chance he has, of which there are not too many, to play them together so they fulfil their potential when it really matters collectively and individually . This means Jack Wilshire playing in his preferred position, with a license to get forward. The boy has the promise to be a much better player than Lampard, and has shown a continental style in his attacking play that has been taught by Arsene Wenger and mentored by Cesc Fabregas, neither of which, crucially, are English. Why, then, is Capello talking of him in the holding midfield/Makelele role? England have lacked intelligence going forward, so why are they stifling their most exciting midfield talent for years before he has even played 10 minutes of international football?!

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  • Stan

    totally agree mate. Lets be honest, no one gives a toss about Capello’s England, we are just going through the motions.

    I’m not even watching the game tonight, I’ll be playing squash

  • Liam

    What a stupid article.Lampard is a rolls royce compared to Gerrard.
    Frank has been the top goal scoring midfield player in the Premiership
    and in the CL for many years and every stat in the book say so.

  • Stan

    you’re missing the point Liam, HAS been, there’s no denying he HAS been a top class midfielder. But his current form is piss poor, yet Sven McClaren not only picks him buts makes him captain


  • C’est La Rie

    OK, lets make Jack Wilshere captain shall we? you sir, are a dolls head

  • Dave

    To be fair Gerrard’s form for England has hardly been outstanding, and its ridiculous to blame that all on Lampard being in the team too. Gerrard is 30/31 as well, so maybe Capello should be looking even further afield than him.

    Also, Lampard scored a great shot against the Germans, it was sadly (and incorrectly) ruled out.

    Like you;ve said its a friendly with little meaning, and wilshere is playing (as well as I;m sure some other youngsters), but it’d be foolish to have all new players. Lampard can be used just now to act as an experienced head to play alongside some new blood – I think that is more of a longsighted move than you seem to give Capello credit for.

    I’d rather England entered 2012 competition with pretty much a whole new team, maybe with gerrard, but he definitely shouldn’t be going to the WC in 2014…if England haven’t replaced him by then, the national setup is in an even worse state than we thought!



  • John

    Lampard is still the best midfielder we have so this article is patetic… His shooting is by far the best in England he just lack a lit.. of pace he had before.. And he is a born lider so as Gerrard and Terry.

  • Mystical Mike

    Make Joe Hart captain. Simple as, build for the future.

    I hate Capello and always have done. he’s taken us even further behind the rest of the world with his dinosaur tactics and appealing use of the English language!

  • Stan

    @ John Lampard is still the best midfielder we have? What planet are you are mate? Probably the same one as Sven, McClown & Postman.

    On current form, and that’s what Pat always said, Wiltshire and Joey barton are miles ahead of any other English midfielder at the moment.

  • Bob

    How can you mention Joey Barton and Frank Lampard in the same breath?….If you were trying to wind us up congratulations you have done so !¬

  • EssientheMerciless

    Lampard and Gerard undoubtedly very good english midfield players, but they’re not the future. Who are the future, Josh McCeheran looks good, Wilshire also, otherwise it looks like the same old donkeys, with the biggest useless hump of all up front with a massive five goals in the last year. Beyond getting upset anymore!

  • rufio

    this is some ridiculous article right here

    lampards assists much like gerrard did undoubtly.. but lampard also offers more goals and deliver it consistently … something which has already proven for the past few seasons..

    FACT !

  • John

    @Stan barton lol

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